Francois-Henry Bennahmias and Jay-Z
(© Bill Davilla/startraksphotos.com)
Francois-Henry Bennahmias and Jay-Z
(© Bill Davilla/startraksphotos.com)
Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet and the Tony Awards have partnered for Time to Give, a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that features one-of-a-kind watches bearing the signatures of Broadway stars. Rap superstar Jay-Z, who is one of the producers of the Tony-nominated musical Fela!, attended the live auction at New York's Four Seasons Hotel on Monday, May 17. The auction package of his autographed Royal Oak Offshore Las Vegas Strip and signed poster from Fela sold for $220,000; the evening's highest price.

Broadway stars at the event included Kelsey Grammer, a 2010 Tony nominee for La Cage Aux Folles, Sondheim on Sondheim star Vanessa Williams, Next Fall's Patrick Heusinger, and Memphis cast members Derrick Baskin and J. Bernard Calloway.

Additional attendees included rappers Pras Michel and Nick Cannon; golfers Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel; actor Matt Walton; Francois-Henry Bennahmias, President & CEO, Audemars Piguet North America; Tom Viola, Executive Director, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; and Jan Svendsen, Director of Marketing, The Broadway League.

Additional stars who have signed watches as part of the benefit include Antonio Banderas, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Edie Falco, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Neil Patrick Harris, David Hyde Pierce, Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jane Krakowski, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Cyndi Lauper, John Lithgow, Sienna Miller, Bebe Neuwirth, Cynthia Nixon, Chita Rivera, Anika Noni-Rose, Liev Schreiber, and Meryl Streep.

The auction raised $816,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. 15 of the watches from this collection are still available and can be viewed and bid on by the public through May 24 at www.charitybuzz.com/audemarspiguet.

For TheaterMania's complete coverage of the 2010 Tony Awards, click here.