Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Day at the Flea Market

Expecting bad weather, my friends and I spent a good part of Saturday monitoring the New York City weather forecast.  It fluctuated between a 30% to an 80% chance. Ick, right?  Well, it turned out that all three of us bringing our umbrellas to the 25th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction not only kept the rain at bay, but the sun even made a few appearances!

Of course, the real success of the day was the over one-half a million dollars raised for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS!  For details and more numbers, check out THIS.

For me, there is no other event where I feel so connected to the world around me.  I mean, think about it, thousands of people who share a love and passion for theatre coming together for a great cause, and also submerge ourselves in more than city block's worth of memories, history and art.  And the fact that right along with us are the artists themselves, volunteering time, and not just photo ops and autographs, but real time talking to fans.  How fortunate we all are to share such an experience like this. 

Here are a few of my impressions of the day:

  • Best Trend: BRIGHT COLORS!  RED: Godspell; ORANGE: Lysistrata Jones; YELLOW: The Lion King  You couldn't help but notice them even in a tight 44th Street crowd or the sensory overload of Times Square.  The yellow beacon of The Lion King's booth tent... the orange sign, pom poms and basketballs of Lysistrata Jones brought life, and crowds to their simple booth, and the bright red of the t-shirts and hats of the street team, passing out fliers, and again on the cast members at their booth.
  • Best Mini-Trend: Balls.  Yes, balls.  Both Lombardi and Lysistrata Jones had balls - foot and basket, respectively.  And what fun... squeezey stress relievers and fun bath toys both!
  • Best Connection:  The cast and crew of Lysistrata Jones!  They did what all the best do: reach out and relate.  Not only did they cheer on every single brave soul who tried to win tickets by shooting baskets, but they took time to chat and laugh with anyone who wanted to.  Patti Murin and Teddy Toye are the very picture of grace, warmth and enthusiasm... their attitude alone would make me want to buy tickets.  (And I would have bought them then and there, but I already have them!)

  • Best Freebies:  The free tattoos from Godspell and the free pom poms from Lysistrata Jones.  Free is great, even at a fund raiser, but these accomplished much more.  Every time a smiling face walked by with that show logo on it, I thought of Godspell, and every time I saw someone carrying one, or saw one left behind at another table, or even the two or three I saw on the street, the bright orange and the fun, fizzy plastic reminded me of Miss Jones and her jock friends!  (This show will go miles in bridging the gap between the jocks and the drama geeks!)
  • Best High End Memorabilia: The goods at the War Horse booth.  Not just signed Playbills and posters, but unique magnets featuring all of the puppeteers, and beautiful sketches of the set, mounted and autographed.
  • Best Memorabilia for the Everyday Masses: $1.00 posters at the Triton Gallery booth, $3 posters at the ITS booth, $10 dollar posters at The Book of Mormon table.  A savvy, patient shopper can find some real bargains... TIP FOR NEXT YEAR: Go back several times to the Triton Gallery booth.  The stock is constantly changing.
  • Best Personal Find:  A mint condition Chicago window card featuring Sandy Duncan!  An actual board poster is probably very expensive, and only a photo reproduction of it is available from Triton Gallery for just $75!  My actual poster, sans flaws? $3.00!!!

My final haul: a Lombardi ball: $1.00; window cards: Lombardi: $1, Chicago:$3, Broadway Bares 19.0: $5, and a pristine Anything Goes: $10.00; a Sweeney Todd (LuPone/Cerveris) CD sampler $1, Lysistrata Jones pom pom: FREE.  $21.00 for a bounty of stuff I love and can't get anywhere else.  Not bad!

I am really looking forward to next year's event already.  And all shows should take note of the two shows who really stood out, Godspell and Lysistrata Jones.  And just think, neither of those shows have even opened yet!  I can only imagine how great those shows will be...

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