Matthew Broderick
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Matthew Broderick
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
A walk-on role in Rent, a vocal coaching session by Barbara Cook, and a chance to visit backstage with Matthew Broderick after a performance of the The Odd Couple are among the items to be auctioned as part of the first annual New York Times Auction for the Arts, to be held on Thursday, January 5 at Christie's (20 Rockefeller Plaza). Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Actors' Fund of America.

Other items that will be available that evening include a collection of prop Playbills used in the film version of The Producers signed by Broderick, Susan Stroman, Mel Brooks, and Nathan Lane, an Al Hirschfeld lithograph created for the 30th anniversary of PBS' Great Performers series, a photograph of the Statue of Liberty taken by Tony Award winner Joel Grey, the chance to attend a Broadway play and have tea with playwright Tina Howe, and the opportunity to meet Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz backstage after a performance of his new play Beauty of the Father at Manhattan Theatre Club.

The auction is part of the 5th Annual New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend, January 5-9. This year's event includes special TimesTalks with theater stars Philip Seymour Hoffman (January 6), Harry Connick, Jr. (January 7), Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell (January 7), Hank Azaria, Michael Cerveris, and Michael C. Hall (January 8), and Donna McKechnie, Bebe Neuwirth, and Kathleen Marshall (January 8).

Tickets to the Auction for the Arts are $75; TimesTalk tickets range from $20-$35. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.nytimes.com/alweekend.