Monday, September 27, 2010

Broadway Cares Flea Market

I had fun volunteering yesterday at the Episcopal Actors’ Guild table at the 24th annual Broadway Cares Flea Market in Shubert Alley. This wonderful event raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and features tons of theatrical memorabilia donated by the community.

I got there early so I could shop because the bargains each year are just too good to miss. Picked up a brand new, still-in-its-wrapping cast recording CD of Wicked for $4, an unopened cassette of the Bernadette Peters revival of Annie Get Your Gun for $1 and a $1 mug that probably only I would have been attracted to, with its bold purple lettering of “All the world’s a stage,” and in narrow letters above the word stage, “Syracuse.” When I was a reporter at The Post-Standard, Syracuse Stage was my salvation just as Centerstage had been my salvation growing up in Baltimore.

Wanted to say hi to Kristin Chenoweth who was posing for photos for a fee -- to support the cause -- but it was so crowded. And 4’ 11” Kristin does not exactly stand out in a crowd. Well, at least height-wise. Kristin is a standout in every other way.

Guild friends Elowyn Castle and leslie Shreve were on duty with me. Our table had vintage Playbills, which people combed through as if they were searching for gold -- and they seemed as happy with their finds as if they had discovered gold -- original cast recording albums and a few other items. All money made went to Broadway Cares. We were just the sellers and goodwill ambassadors for the Guild, which provides financial support to actors in need.

I haven't heard how much was raised this year, but last year's Flea Market — held in the Roseland Ballroom because of rain — raised $403,929. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation's largest industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. Since its founding in 1988 the organization has distributed over $170 million for services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses.

For more information, visit the BC/EFA web site at or call (212) 840-0770.

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