I’m about a month late in posting this, but at the end of September, I went to my very first Broadway Flea Market! If you’re unfamiliar with the event like I was, the Broadway Flea Market is an annual event that takes place at Shubert Alley and on 44th and 45th Streets between Times Square and 8th Avenue (the heart of the theatre district where many of the Broadway theaters are located) that supports Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, a philanthropic organization that supports both performers and families fighting HIV/AIDS. The event started in 1987 with the cast of A Chorus Line and is now a one-day event at the end of the summer that’s a real treat for Broadway fans! In addition to a silent auction and live auction, shows and theatre organizations set up tables to sell props, memorabilia, Playbills, signed items, and other one-of-a-kind finds.
What the Broadway Flea Market was actually like
I tried to do a decent amount of research before going to the flea market to figure out what to expect since I had never been before, but I honestly had a hard time finding any detailed information. The flea market was scheduled to open at 10am, but my mom and I got there a few minutes early and a bunch of the booths had already opened for the day! The most common item I found was Playbills – nearly every table had bins and bins of (both signed and unsigned) the iconic booklets! Aside from Playbills, many tables had outdated merchandise from shows, retired props, opening night gifts to cast, handmade crafts and goods, costume pieces, and assorted donations from cast and crew. A few tables, like Come from Away and the Music Man, had books written by or related to the cast.
One of the things that made the Flea Market the most special, though, was the fact that Broadway stars were there! Most of the booths with stars present had the option to take a photo with them for a donation to BCEFA – some were reasonably priced and some were quite pricey! There were also tons of TikTok and Broadway stars attending the flea market, many of whom I’ve been a big fan of! Everyone I met was so incredibly kind and personable and made it such a fun experience. I personally got to meet the current Aladdin and Jasmine, Sam Pauly from Six, several of the cast members from Come from Away, Jake Bazel from the Winnie the Pooh Musical, Tory Vagasy from TikTok, and Sean McManus from Beetlejuice. I personally didn’t get to meet them, but Milky White from Into the Woods, Sutton Foster, and Kristen Chenowith were making appearances throughout the day.
While the flea market was manageable at 10am and for our first loop around the block, the crowds quickly built up. Many of the booths started having lines or running low/out of merchandise. It was around this point that my mom and I headed over to Margaritaville for lunch and then went over to our matinee for the day (it was a two show day since it was the last day of Broadway week 2-for-1 tickets).
Prices at the flea market ranged from $1 to hundreds and thousands. Each booth set their own prices, and some were super reasonably priced and had a huge assortment of items, while others were quite expensive or didn’t have many options. I found that the Creative Goods, Disney on Broadway, Moulin Rouge, Dear Evan Hansen, and Come from Away booths had affordably priced options. On the other hand, I found Funny Girl, Hadestown, and The Music Man to be on the high end of pricing. Beetlejuice probably had the longest line of the day, but also had a good variety of price points.
What I got from the Broadway Flea Market
I am honestly quite proud of everything I got from the Flea Market! Not only was I able to get items from some of my favorite shows, all the funds went straight to BCEFA (which is a very deserving charity, in my opinion). Below is everything I got with what I paid (approximately!):
- Moulin Rouge Zip-Up from Boston World Premiere, $65
- Escape to Margaritaville bundle from Creative Goods (two t shirts, plush parrot, two magnets, travel margarita glass), $20
- Assorted playbills, signed and unsigned, $1 – $10
- Come From Away Janice shirt (actual costume piece, used on stage), $10
- Moulin Rouge theatre postcard, $1
- Moulin Rouge franc signed by Lady M’s, $35
- Lion King bear (BCEFA exclusive), $40
- Moulin Rouge L’amour t-shirt, $5
- Six first year anniversary pin, $10
- Broadway Green Alliance handmade flower from Moulin Rouge playbill, $10
And now for the experiences:
- Photo with current Broadway Aladdin and Jasmine with magic lamp, $40 donation
- Photo with Six’s Sam Pauly, $10 donation
I absolutely loved my trip to the Broadway Flea Market and am definitely planning on going back in future years! I’d recommend the event to anyone who likes Broadway and theatre – there truly is something for everyone and so many underrepresented shows that make an appearance somewhere. I’d also recommend bringing some cash with you – while there are card readers, the cash transactions tended to move faster and have less of a line!
Have you ever been to the Broadway Flea Market? Let me know about your experience in the comments!
Have a terrific day,