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BWW TV: Broadway Beat Catches Up with Batt, Carney & More at Broadway Bears!

BROADWAY BEARS XIV, an annual grand auction of one-of-a-kind, museum quality, theatrically costumed and celebrity autographed teddy bears, was held Sunday, March 6, and raised a grand total of $103,905 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway Beat takes you inside the auction below, brings you an exclusive interview with SPIDER-MAN Reeve Carney and more!

Broadway lovers and teddy bear collectors came together for the unique event, hosted by Broadway, television and film star Bryan Batt (Mad Men, Jeffrey) with Lorna Kelly reprising her role as auctioneer. More than 40 specially made Broadway Bears - each dressed in original, handmade costumes representing legendary theatrical characters - were auctioned to the highest bidder in support of Broadway Cares. The cumulative fundraising total for all 14 Broadway Bears auctions is a remarkable $1,843,977.

The top bids for the 2011 auction went to:

· My Fair Lady - Eliza Doolittle, resplendent in her pink silk organza dress and hat from Ascot, was designed by Richard St. Clair. She commanded a heavy bidding war that brought gasps from the audience as the bids crept higher. This "loverly" bear, autographed by Julie Andrews, ultimately sold for $14,000.

· Into The Woods - Witch, designed by Ariel Pellman and signed by Bernadette Peters and Stephen Sondheim, may not be good or nice but she was certainly popular, bringing in $6,500 after a friendly bidding battle.

· Rock of Ages - Designed by Karl Ruckdeschel and autographed by Rock of Ages Tony Award-nominee Constantine Maroulis, Drew (aka Joshy J.) urges everyone to "Don't Stop Believin'!" when you press his paw. Joshy J. brought a final price of $6,000.

· Hairspray - Signed by Broadway's original Link Larkin, Matthew Morrison, who's now starring on the television hit Glee, sold for an impressive $5,500. The bear was designed by Susan Bolt.

· Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark - Designed by Katie Falk, the Spidey bear was presented on the auction block by Broadway's Peter Parker himself, Reeve Carney. Thanks to some extra cajoling by Carney, bidding for the Spidey bear hit $5,250.

· Spamalot - Designed by Amy Micallef and autographed by original Broadway cast member Hank Azaria, Sir Lancelot shined in his bedazzled tunic and codpiece, bringing in $5,000.

· Merchant of Venice - Shylock bear, designed by Matthew Hemesath and autographed by legendary stage and screen actor Al Pacino, sold for $5,000.

· Cats - Cute and cuddly Jennyanydots, designed by Therese Stadelmeier-Tresco and autographed by Broadway's original Jenny, Anna McNeely, charmed her way into everyone's hearts at $4,500.

In addition to Carney, several Broadway stars dropped by to lend their support to the event including Christopher Sieber (Shrek The Musical, Spamalot), Richard Blake (Rent, Hairspray), Trevor Braun (The Little Mermaid), Kevin Burrows (Hello Dolly!), Paul Canaan (Legally Blonde), Veanne Cox (La Cage Aux Folles), Harvey Evans (Barnum), Lexi Fridell (The Pee-Wee Herman Show), Annie Golden and Anthony Hollock (Hair), Jeremy Gumbs (The Scottsboro Boys), Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (A Little Night Music) and Elizabeth Welch (Phantom of the Opera).

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised over $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

BC/EFA awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic and more.

 


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