Broadway’s Great Cause


Samantha Magistre, Writer

On Sunday, Sept. 24, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids hosted its annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction in the Theatre District. All of the money raised by the vendors was donated to this great cause.

More than 60 tables were lined up along West 44th Street and West 45th Street, each selling memorabilia specific to the show or group that they represented. Over 50 on and off-Broadway shows came out to help support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, including Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, and Dear Evan Hansen. Many cast members from each show helped to sell items, such as props and signed Playbills, and some even took pictures with fans.

Over 70 Broadway stars also sat at the popular Autograph Table and Photo Booth where, for a donation of at least thirty dollars, fans had the chance to meet with their favorite cast members of over 20 shows. The stars were given time slots of 50 minutes each before a new slew of performers took their spots for the meet and greet area. In order to keep the lines flowing, photographs had to be paid for and taken separately from the Autograph table. Fans were sequestered into a “holding area” until it was their turn to take a picture, and if they wanted more than one actor in their photo, they had to place a bid. The highest bid for a certain combination of actors won the chance to take the picture.

Some shows proved to be more popular than others. The Hello Dolly table was practically hidden away in an alley in front of its host theater, with minimal crowds surrounding it. However, The Great Comet booth proved to be an entirely different story, with fans waiting on line for three hours at least, just to buy a prop or overpriced merchandise. Unfortunately, for The Great Comet, the long line meant selling out of items fast. In an attempt to solve the issue, the company took down names and addresses so they could send the person what they purchased, but this discouraged many from buying anything.

By the end of the day, many of the vendors were left with sparse tables and dwindling crowds. This meant success for Broadway Cares/Equity for Aids since the money earned was being donated to their charity. Once again, the Broadway Flea Market proved to be a huge hit for fans, and for a good cause.