Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Signing Onto the Program: Spotlighting My Collection of Autographed Playbills

Les Miserables, Touring Cast, November 2012
Megalomaniacal as it assuredly sounds, I used to fantasize--facetiously, of course--about one day opening The Seth Museum.

This vast repository would display various creations I've made over the years--pun cartoon calendars, poetry, paintings, photography, photography books, greeting cards, music compilations, professional ads, blog posts and more.

Accompanying a library of CDs, DVDs, books and magazines I've collected over the years, The Seth Museum would also showcase to its plethora of visitors my vast stashes of shot glasses, ties, t-shirts, commemorative stamp panes, artworks, travel souvenirs, knickknacks, worldwide subway tickets, refrigerator magnets, ticket stubs, Playbills and a variety of autographed memorabilia.

This includes hundreds of autographed photos, as well as signed baseballs, books, CDs, Playbills and even a harmonica.

Now, with much of this and other junk cluttering my one bedroom condo, you may wonder why I'd need a museum.

Why not just invite people over? 

Which I actually do, with gatherings of friends and relatives multiple times per year. But while some of the stuff is quite visible, and much else viewable to anyone who wishes to look a bit deeper, a lot of things are within binders on shelves, put away in drawers, gathering dust in my storage locker (and mom's crawlspace), etc.

Accepting that there likely won't ever be a Seth Museum, I've decided to occasionally highlight some of my collections in blog posts.

Back in January I exhibited a good swath of my 300+ neckties, and having had to take hundreds of shot glasses off a bookcase when a cable guy needed to get behind it, I took photos in putting them back, so you'll one day have that beguiling blog post to look forward to.

Rent 2009 tour cast, including original
Broadway cast members Anthony Rapp
and Adam Pascal.
But having recently added to my collection of signed Playbills (and other theater programs), I thought I would post a number of those.

I actually don't actively collect signed Playbills, in terms of seeking out vintage and random cool ones on Ebay, or even regularly trying to gather autographs at the stage door of the dozens of plays, musicals and other performances I see each year.

But all of my autographed programs--a good majority of which are shown below; i.e. it's not that large a collection, contained in one 3-ring binder--represent shows I've seen, and are typically signed by rather notable performers that I've waited for at stage doors, requested & received by mail and in a few cases purchased on Ebay.

A few, like the two shown at top, are from cast ensembles, usually purchased to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a great charitable effort that most Broadway and touring productions participate in during a designated period each year.

So, saving us both the time and expense of a walkable Seth Museum, here is a good smattering of my signed Playbills (plus a few signed tickets that I had autographed instead of or in addition to programs). 

Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and others
from the The Producers,
Original Broadway Cast, 2001
Signed on the stage of the Shubert Theatre, 2003
Denzel Washington, Julius Caesar, Broadway, 2005.
Signed in person. See end of this article for cool story.
Billy Crystal, 700 Sundays, Broadway, 2005. Signed in person.
Chita Rivera, Antonio Banderas, Jane Krakowski
Nine - Broadway, 2003 - Signed in person.
I also have another program signed just by Chita.

Chita Rivera, George Hearn, Marc Jacoby.
The Visit, Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA
2008 - Signed in person

Chita Rivera, Roger Rees, Mary Beth Peil
and cast of The Visit, Broadway, 2015

Hugh Jackman, The Boy from Oz, Broadway
2004. Signed in person.
Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, A Steady Rain.
Broadway, 2009. I also have a program signed
by the show's writer, Keith Huff.

John Lithgow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,
Broadway, 2005. Signed in person.
I also have another Playbill signed by
3 other stars, including Norbert Leo Butz.
Diane Lane, Sweet Bird of Youth,
Goodman Theatre, Chicago. 2012.

John Tartaglia, Rick Lyon, Jennifer Barnhart.
Avenue Q, Original Broadway Cast, 2004.
Signed in person.

Josefina Scaglione, Karen Olivo. West Side Story.
Broadway, 2009. Signed in person.
Photo with Josefina.
Carey Mulligan, Skylight, Broadway, 2015
Patti LuPone, Gypsy, Broadway, 2008.
Alan Cumming, Sienna Miller and closing cast of Cabaret, Broadway, 2015.

Jessie Mueller, Sarah Siddons Society Gala.
Signed in person.
Program for Hunchback of Notre Dame,
Bailiwick Theatre, Chicago, 2008.
Signed by Dennis DeYoung, show composer,
lyricist and book writer. Signed in person.

Laura Osnes and Steven Pasquale, Carousel, Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2015.
Sutton Foster, Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2003 and The Drowsy Chaperone, 2007
Laura Bell Bundy, Legally Blonde, Broadway, 2008.
Jeff Perry, Alan Wilder, Tim Hopper, Jim True-Frost,
Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble Members. Signed in person, 2006.
Stephen Sondheim, signed script book, Sunday in the Park with George.
Was sold at souvenir stand of 2008 Broadway Revival.

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