The 15th and grand finale edition of THE BROADWAY BEARS, the annual auction of handmade, one-of-a-kind, theatrically costumed teddy bears, raised a record-setting $198,300 on Sunday, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway lovers and teddy bear collectors came together yesterday, March 18 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill (237 West 42nd Street) for one last time to bid on – and bid adieu to – museum-quality bears representing legendary theatrical characters and autographed by the stars who made those characters famous.
The cumulative fundraising total for the 15 editions of THE BROADWAY BEARS auctions is a remarkable $2,048,427. The previous fund-raising record was $170,000 set in 2002.
BroadwayWorld was there for the big event, and we bring you photos from the Grand Finale below!
The top bid for the 2012 auction went to a stunning recreation of Joey from the Tony Award-winning War Horse. Designed by Barak Stribling and Jamie Filippelli and based on the working drawings the Handspring Puppet Theatre used for the Broadway production, the Joey bear came complete with his own bear handlers. Seth Numrich, who starred as 'Albert' in the Broadway production, signed the bear and helped lead the live auction bidding to a staggering $20,000 final price tag.
The unique event was again hosted by the always entertaining Broadway, television and film star Bryan Batt ("Mad Men," Jeffrey) with the delightful Lorna Kelly reprising her role as auctioneer.
Several other Broadway stars dropped by to lend their support to the event including Danny Burstein, Faith Dane, Harvey Evans, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Zach James, Jeremy Jordan, Donnie Kehr, Ilene Kristen, Norm Lewis, Rebecca Luker, Andrea McArdle, Michele McConnell, Judy McLane, Laura Osnes, Patrick Page, Justin Matthew Sargent and Jennifer Smith.
The evening's opening number was performed by Christine Pedi, Kurt Peterson and music director Michael Lavine. It was written by Douglas Braverman.
For more information, visit broadwaycares.org.
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter Keddy
Torch Song Trilogy, Me and My Girl, Candide, Journey's End and Dreamgirls
Shrek The Musical
The Crucifer of Blood
Bette Midler's Clams on The Half Shell Review
Danny Burstein and The Drowsy Chaperone Bear
Driving Miss Daisy
How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
The Pee-Wee Herman Show
Fiddler on The Roof
A Chorus Line
The Original Mazeppa Faith Dane and Richie Ridge
The Big River
Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway
Harvey Evans, Zachery James, Scott T. Stevens and Danny Burstein
Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein
Bryan Batt and Lorna Kelly
Pam Myers and Harvey Evans
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka and A Little Night Music Bear
Paige Davis and Patrick Page
Scott T. Stevens
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Bryan Batt, Lorna Kelly
Donnie Kehr with The Billy Elliot Bear
Jennifer Smith, Bryan Batt, Lorna Kelly and The Wicked Bear
Michelle McConnell and The Phantom of The Opera Bear
Rebecca Luker, Bryan Batt, Lorna Kelly and The Mary Poppins Bear
Patrick Page, Bryan Batt, Lorna Kelly and The Lion King Bear
Patrick Page and The Lion King Bear
Norm Lewis and The Porgy and Bess Bear
Harvey Evans, Bryan Batt and The Follies Bear
Justin Sargent and The Rock of Ages Bear
Norm Lewis and King Triton from Little Mermaid
Donnie Kehr and The Frankie Vali Bear from Jersey Boys
Danny Burstein and Jennifer Smith with Aldolpho Bear from The Drowsy Chaperone
Zachery James and Bryan Batt with the Uncle Fester Bear from The Addams Family
Jennifer Smith and Bryan Batt with The Producers Bear
Jeremy Jordon with Newsies Bear
Patrick Page with The Green Goblin from Spiderman
Eileen Kristen, Bryan Batt with Rizzo from Grease
Jennifer Smith and Bryan Batt with Exit The Kind