Theater memorabilia collectors, your red letter day is Sunday, September 23, 2012 from 10AM–7PM, when the Broadway community and stars of TV’s daytime dramas come out in force for the 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Shows and organizations will have booths on West 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eight Avenue. The big event, the celebrity-hosted Grand Auction, takes place in Shubert Alley. There’ll be photo opts galore, so bring your camera.

Through the generous donations of theatergoers just like you, the 25th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction raised almost $550,000, bringing the event's 25-year total to just under $10-million!

Stop by the autograph table, where, for a much-appreciated donation to BC/EFA, stars will sign photos and Playbills. Go a step further at the photo booth, where you can have your photo taken with Broadway’s biggest and best.

From 11 A.M. – 3 P.M., the always-popular Celebrity Autograph Table will host Nick Adams, Ed Asner, Brent Barrett, Danny Burstein, Charles Busch, Mario Cantone, Colman Domingo, Harvey Fierstein, Malcolm Gets, Judy Kaye, Steve Kazee, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Rebecca Luker, Rob McClure, Michael McGrath, Judy McLane, Karen Mason, Jan Maxwell, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Debra Monk, Donna Murphy, Bebe Neuwirth, Laura Osnes, Patrick Page, Bernadette Peters, Anthony Rapp, Ryann Redmond, Christopher Sieber and Will Swenson, among others.

There’ll be signed show memorabilia by Bradley Cooper, Sutton Foster, Neil Patrick Harris, Nick Jonas, Hal Prince, Daniel Radcliffe, and Julia Roberts to name only a few.

Before the matinees and immediately following, join the bidding frenzy at the Grand Auction for such amazing prizes as walk-on appearances in and backstage appearances at Broadway's biggest hits (participating shows include The Book of Mormon, Bring It On, Chicago, Mamma Mia!, Newsies, Once, Rock of Ages, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Wicked); the shirts literally off Hugh Jackman’s and Ricky Martin's backs (autographed and dated); on-set visits to popular TV shows (such as “Smash”); or, if the price is right, lunch at Sardi’s with one of theaters most beloved icons, Angela Lansbury, winner of five Tonys and a three-time Oscar nominee and 18-time Emmy nominee.

Other eagerly sought-after packages will be opening night VIP tickets and party passes to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, co-starring Tracy Letts and Amy Morton; The Anarchist (Patti LuPone, Debra Winger); Dead Accounts (Norbert Leo Butz, Katie Holmes), the revival of Rupert Holmes’ Tony-winning The Mystery of Edwin Drood (co-starring Tony-winning theater legend Chita Rivera, Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, and Tony winner Jim Norton (Finian’s Rainbow); Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots, and the acclaimed West End musical Matilda, making its Broadway debut at the Shubert in March 2013.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. An example of a very special find is a Follies poster signed by the entire company of the recent revival and a poster from the original production signed by Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim.

Serious collectors will have their sights set on signed photos and programs sent by Michael Crawford and sheet music written and signed by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Billie Joe Armstrong, Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli, Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Stephen Sondheim and Maury Yeston.

Regardless of what you're looking for – whether it's long-out-of-print cast albums, signed show posters and Playbills, or costume sketches – it will be here and make a prized collectible or that special gift for a theater-lover. Pre-bidding for these priceless lots is open now at broadwaycares.org, so bid to lay your claim to “once-in-a-lifetime” packages.

For an exclusive, sneak peek at the Flea Market, visit: youtu.be/AwFoAO-KzdU. For updates and more information, follow the Flea on Twitter @BCEFA or on Facebook www.facebook.com/BCEFA. The 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction is sponsored by United Airlines and The New York Times.

Since 1988, BC/EFA has raised more than $195- million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the U.S. and grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations. It’s the major supporter of Actors Fund social service programs, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.

Key Subjects: 
Broadway Flea Market, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, BC/EFA, autographs.
Writer: 
Ellis Nassour
Publication Credit: 
This article first appeared in City Guide Cultural Arts Blog, Sept. 2012
Date: 
September 2012