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Autograph Suit, with Dozens of Signatures, Auctioned to Fund Bway-Bound Show

The autographs of dozens of stars, all penned in ink by the celebrities on a one-of-a-kind 3-piece men's suit, will be auctioned on eBay Dec. 9 to 18, 2005. The proceeds from the auction will fund the development of a new musical, which is set for production at a high school in Pennsylvania next year and bound for Broadway, according to the suit's owner, Vincent Esoldi.

The Autograph Suit -- the value of which has been appraised at approximately $35,000 and which the Smithsonian Institute has likened to an "equivalent to the walls of Sardi's or the Hollywood Walk of Fame" -- features autographs by
Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, Richard Rodgers, Elizabeth Taylor, Ethel Merman, Sir Laurence Olivier, Carol Burnett, Rock Hudson, Cher, Faye Dunaway, Chita Rivera, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Lucille Ball, Walter Cronkite, Sylvester Stallone, Gloria Swanson, Glenn Close, Frank Sinatra, President Gerald R. Ford, Eve Arden, Eubie Blake, Dustin Hoffman, Diana Ross, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Jimmy Stewart, Robin Williams, Meryl Streep and over 200 other show business, political and sports figures. It is being auctioned to finance a developmental workshop of Mr. Esoldi's new musical Cows, A Moosical Musical, scheduled for June 2006 at a Pocono Mountain High School in Pennsylvania. "It is believed that this production will mark the first time that a Broadway-bound musical has had its world premiere at a high school," according to press notes. 

Cows, a Moosical Musical has music by Barbara De Angelis and Peter Howard; lyrics by William Cressler, Barbara De Angelis, Vincent Esoldi and Robert Krauss; and book by William Cressler, Vincent Esoldi and Robert Krauss. Howard has served as conductor for such musicals as the original Annie, Hello, Dolly!, Baby, Chicago and many, many more.

The Autograph Suit was born in 1974 at Sardi's at the Opening Night party for the play Sherlock Holmes. "Merman was the first person -- and possibly the loudest -- to autograph the suit, which Mr. Esoldi was wearing."

The idea to collect autographs took hold immediately, and through the years, Esoldi -- an avid theatre fan, and member of the theatre's wardrobe union for many, many years (presently a dresser for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular) -- has collected almost 300 autographs of famous folks: the late baseball legend Thurman Munson, Lady Rachael Roberts, Sir Laurence Olivier, Governors Jerry Brown of California and Thomas Kean of New Jersey, Congresswoman Bella Abzug, NYC Mayors Abe Beame and Ed Koch, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, the late Christopher Reeve, Merv Griffin, Peter Allen, Liberace, Van Johnson, Rock Hudson, Lillian Gish, Carol Channing, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Cher, Comden and Green, Liza Minnelli, Charles Strouse and Bob Mackie, among others

"Cows is an Oz-like story about a young man who dreams of a glamorous life much different that the one he knows, living on a farm in the midwest with his twin sister aunts, -- one a plainspun woman and the other a dynamo with unfulfilled hopes of stardom. In an odd turn of events, the young man finds himself transported into a magical world, where he learns what the riches in his life truly are." Cows, A Moosical Musical draws some of its characters from Mr. Esoldi's 1999 book, "May Maisey Moo's Cowllection of Moo Tales," with illustrations by Robert Bourdeaux.  

For more information about the Autograph Suit, and for a complete list of autographs, log on to, where a link to e-Bay auction is also available.

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