The Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction went virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of interactive experiences comprised the September 20 event, including a live and silent auction and an online store for theatre collectibles. In addition, one-on-ones (replacing the autograph table and photo booth) with Broadway favorites took place remotely. In total, the event raised $316,282 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The live auction brought in $160,000; lots included virtual Zoom meet-and-greets with Jonathan Groff, Bernadette Peters, Ben Platt, and Plaza Suite’s Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, and John Benjamin Hickey. Other opportunities included a virtual walk in the woods with Alan Cumming and opening night and party tickets to The Music Man and Plaza Suite. The auction culminated in a live Zoom-room bidding battle in the afternoon. Nearly 100 silent auction items were up for bid and raised $111,626, including a Halloween costume worn by Tom Hiddleston, a musical phrase from Waitress handwritten and signed by Sara Bareilles (the highest-selling lot, at $7,900), and a signed copy of Barbra Striesand’s Christmas CD.
Instead of tables of theatrical treasures from Broadway shows and organizations on 44th and 45th Streets, special “flea market finds” and eBay “buy it now” bundles offered fans another way to be part of the day, a beloved annual traditioin in the theatre community.
The event serves as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Last year’s iteration raised $870,167. Since 1987, the fan favorite has raised $15.4 million. The proceeds go to help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses, to provide healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism.
For more information, visit BroadwayCares.org. Check out highlights from last year's event below.