Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide Day 3: Ornaments w/a Long History

The Playbill Holiday Ornaments feature the Big 6. Image from Playbill Store.


a chance to “hang” with some of your favorite Broadway musical shows.

The Playbill Holiday Ornaments is a set of miniature playbill covers from Broadway’s Top 6 longest-running musicals. They come in gold metal and resin with a bright red silk ribbon for hanging on the tree or mantel. Each ornament is 2-3/8 X 3-1/2 and is packaged in a custom-designed gift box, which is convenient for year-round storage.

The covers in this inaugural collectible release commemorate "The Phantom of the Opera" (still playing at the Majestic Theatre!), "Cats," "Les Miserables" (soon to be playing widely in movie theaters), "Chicago" (also still on Broadway at the Ambassador Theater), "A Chorus Line" and "The Lion King" (still at the Minskoff Theatre). The set is $50, plus shipping and tax.

Hugh Panaro as the title character in "The Phantom of the Opera." Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Phantom of the Opera is currently Broadway’s longest-running musical, having celebrated its 10,000th show after nearly 25 years at the same theater. Chicago is a contender, however, since the revival of the John Kander/Fred Ebb show is the longest-running American musical. The 2002 movie version won an Academy Award for Best Picture, the first musical to win in that category.

In “Chicago’s” first incarnation on the Great White Way in 1975, this dark piece lasted only 936 performances, making it a candidate for New York City Center’s Encores!, the series in which actors work with open books to present stripped down versions of “failed” musicals. (

Like Phantom, Chicago is a repeater – this reviewer has seen the former four times, the latter five as of this writing. Unlike Phantom, whose revolving casts are generally mostly relative unknowns, Chicago keeps it humming with marquee names such as Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley and Sofia Vergara. Currently Billy Ray Cyrus is starring as attorney-to-the-murderesses, Billy Flynn.

Ryan Worsing, Charlotte d'Amboise and Michael Cusumano in "Chicago." Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Anyone who invests in the Playbill Holiday Ornaments gets to do good while giving well. The set is part of the Broadway Cares Classic Collection, so a portion of proceeds go to support Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. (

Visit to learn more about Playbill Holiday Ornaments, including purchase information.

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