The Broadway Flea Market is an annual fundraiser to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, otherwise known as BC/EFA. I took my first trip to they Broadway Flea Market this past Sunday, as thousands of people descended upon 44th and 45th streets as well as Shubert Alley and the deck of Junior's restaurant from 10 AM to 7 PM.
I came prepared to go through autograph lines, as each hour from 11-2 new Broadway stars would sign and take pictures for a fee. Unfortunately, I was cut off and didn't get through the line I wanted to so I shopped instead. Tables from different shows and tables filled with Playbills and other show souvenirs lines 44th and 45th street, with tons of people. The lines to reach the Dear Evan Hansen and The Great Comet tables, stretched down the block by several hundred feet.
One table had piles upon piles of playbills and I did some digging to find some shows or actors I like. And I was very successful, getting Spamalot, If/Then, and Breakfast at Tiffany's Playbills. There was also a stack of 2013 Tony Awards programs, which were hosted by one of the best hosts, Neil Patrick Harris, so I couldn't pass up the chance to get it. At another table, they sold large posters and CDs. With my sister being a huge Finding Neverland fan, I had to get her a cast recording.
Since several shows had their own tables, I took the chance to visit two shows I love, Anastasia and Waitress. The Anastasia table was selling complete cast signed playbills, and since I didn't meet the whole cast when I went to the show and stage-doored, I grabbed one since they appeared to be going pretty fast, even thought it was really early in the day! On my way out, I stopped by the Waitress table, and they were selling playbills from when Sara Bareilles played Jenna, signed by her. I saw her in the show, and avoided that stage door as it spilled into 47th street. I bought one because I really love the show, and Sara.
The flea market was an absolute experience that every Broadway fan should experience at least once. What I discovered on my way home was that I would be much better equipped to go next year with more knowledge of how it worked. And of course, it's always wonderful support a charity, one which I always make a point to give money to when they raise money after shows twice a year. It was recently announced that for the first time, they raised of 1 million dollars, after raising close to eight hundred thousand dollars last year. If you can, support Broadway Cares, and if you didn't go this year, visit Broadway Flea next year!