Autographs! Photos! Meet-and-Greets!

Autographs! Photos! Meet-and-Greets!

The Grand Auction. (Courtesy Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS)

Broadway loves an anniversary. This fall, “Chicago” turns 20, “The Lion King” is 19 and “Jersey Boys” chalks up 11 big ones on the Great White Way. But one event has them all beat—even “The Phantom of the Opera.” On Sept. 25, 2016, the annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, produced by and benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, turns 30. In its three decades, the one-day event, an unofficial kick-off to the new Broadway season, has raised more than $11.8 million for BC/EFA; last year’s event was one for the record books: $756,655. So, the bar has been set for this year.

What brings in the dough-re-mi?

The silent auction, for which pre-bidding is open now online (broadwaycares.org) thru Friday, Sept. 23 at 4 pm, includes such treasures as a 50th-anniversary “Funny Girl” CD signed by Barbra Streisand; a musical phrase from “Kinky Boots” signed and in Cyndi Lauper’s hand; an autographed “Hamilton” poster; a sketch pad prop from “Fun Home;” boxing, robe, shorts and gloves from the musical “Rocky;” and so much more. On Sept. 25, silent-auction lots are open for in-person bidding every half hour beginning at 10 am.

Pre-bidding is also open online for the live auction scheduled for 5 pm on the 25th. Among the treasures here are pairs of tickets to the opening nights of some of the season’s most anticipated new shows, including Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!,” Cate Blanchett in “The Present,” Nathan Lane in “The Front Page” and Jake Gyllenhaal in “Burn This;” meet-and-greets with the casts of “Falsettos” and “Something Rotten!;” brunch with Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka; and a backstage pass to “Aladdin.”

Throughout the day, more than 40 tables full of Broadway memorabilia and collectibles, including rare Playbills, line 44th and 45th streets around Shubert Alley. For Broadway browsers, this is nirvana.

Another big draw, 11 am-3 pm, is the Autograph Table and Photo Booth just outside Junior’s restaurant in Shubert Alley. Stars set to sign autographs and pose for fan photos include Alex Brightman of “School of Rock,” Danny Burstein of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Leanne Cope of “An American in Paris,” Chilina Kennedy of “Beautiful,” Jeremy Kushnier of “Paramour,” Ana Villafañe of “On Your Feet.” While admission to the event is free, autographs are a minimum $30 donation each hour for all performers that hour; photo prices are based on the number of requests per performer. Log on for an hour-by-hour schedule of appearances.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit fundraising and grant-making organizations. Since 1988, BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. It is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states.

Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, Shubert Alley, between W. 44th & W. 45th sts., btw Broadway and Eighth Ave., Sept. 25, 2016, Autograph Table and Photo Booth 11 am-3 pm, Grand Auction at 5 pm.