For the first time in its 31-year history, the annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction surpassed the $1 million dollar mark, raising a record-breaking $1,023,309 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on September 24.
This year’s event surpassed last year’s record of $782,081. Each year Broadway fans flock to the theatre district for the Flea Market and Grand Auction to purchase theatrical memorabilia and bid on one-of-a-kind show props, tickets to opening-night performances, autographed musical phrases, and walk-ons and one-of-a-kind experiences from their favorite shows.
Among the hottest auction items this year was a spot as a judge for Broadway Cares’ Gypsy of the Year and Easter Bonnet Competition, which was auctioned off for $14,000; tickets to a taping of the NBC return of Will & Grace and a photo with the cast, auctioned at $13,500; a chandelier from Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, auctioned at $13,200; VIP house seats to Ben Platt’s final performance in Dear Evan Hansen, which sold for $11,000; and tickets to the opening night of Disney’s Frozen on Broadway, which went for $9,500.
The tables at this year’s flea market raised a record $497,962. The top three tables were Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 with $50,612; Dear Evan Hansen with $42,326; and Hamilton with $32,751.
“I’m absolutely thrilled by this year’s jaw-dropping grand total,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said in a statement. “To raise more than a million dollars for the most vulnerable among us reminds us once again of how strong the heart and humanity are of everyone in theatre—onstage, backstage and in the audience. Every dollar raised means that men, women and children in our theatre community and across the country will see a tomorrow that includes healthy meals, lifesaving medication or emergency financial assistance. I am particularly glad the extraordinary total will enable Broadway Cares to increase support for our hurricane relief efforts in the name of the Broadway community.”
This year’s grand auction raised a record $381,450. The 31 editions of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction have collectively raised $13.6 million.
The Flea Market benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses.