Playbill On-Line has augmented the website with several useful and exciting new features that have been months -- in one case, years -- in the planning and designing. Nearly all were requested by users of the service in surveys conducted in 1995 and 1996. Some are available on the website (http://www.playbill.com) only. Some on both the website and our America On-Line forum (Keyword: Playbill). We hope you like them.
* ONE SHUBERT ALLEY -- Theatre fans, especially those outside New York, have complained that they have had a hard time getting their hands on posters, cast albums, vocal scores, t-shirts and other theatre-related merchandise. No more! Playbill On-Line welcomes One Shubert Alley, the top theatre mail-order service, to the website. It's just like ordering merchandise over the phone -- only better, because we have photos of the items so you can see them before you order. We use the latest encryption technology to protect your credit card. To see our online catalog, click the One Shubert Alley logo on the front page of the Playbill On-Line website.
* DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO CLIPS -- Now you can hear what all the applauding is about. We've digitalized 20-30-second (the maximum the unions allow us) clips from cast albums of Broadway shows, and selected studio albums by theatre personalities -- all completely free. To browse Playbill On-Line's growing audio library, click on Audio Clips on the front page of the Playbill On-Line website.
* LONDON TICKETS -- Members love the ease of ordering tickets to U.S. shows through our alliance with TeleCharge. Now, we've made it just as easy to buy tickets to London shows, through our alliance with Applause Ltd. ticket agency in the West End. If you're planning a London vacation, live in London and want to get a tourist group rate, want to send tickets to a friend. To order, click on the Applause logo on the home page of the Playbill On-Line website.
* DRAMA BOOK SHOP -- Ever get frustrated by the bare-bones theatre sections of most book stores? Playbill On-Line has arranged with Drama Book Shop, the legendary theatrical bookstore in the Broadway Theatre District, to put its entire 11,000-title script inventory online. To search their catalog, click on the Drama Book Shop logo on the home page of the Playbill On-Line website. * KEN MANDELBAUM'S CD COLUMN -- The most popular feature of the folded TheatreWeek magazine lives on in cyberspace: a weekly column of news about musical theatre by the author of Not Since Carrie. To see one of his best columns, search on Mandelbaum in Theatre News.
* PETER FILICHIA'S STAGESTRUCK COLUMN -- Grab bag of theatre fun. No matter what's on his mind, it's always interesting. Things he's always wonderdered about, jokes, unusual points of view, sometimes news, sometimes profiles. To see one of his best columns, search on STAGESTRUCK in Theatre News.
* ANDREW KU'S COMINGS AND GOINGS COLUMN -- To help you keep track of your favorite actors joining and departing long-running Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring shows, we've added Andrew Ku's COMINGS AND GOINGS column, which appears every Tuesday in Theatre News.
* TALK SHOW WATCH: We stay in contact with major national TV talk shows and alert you whenever a theatre-related guest has been booked. For the latest list, see Talk Show Watch in Theatre News.
* THEATRE E-MAIL DIRECTORY -- We've begun assembling a directory of e-mail boxes maintained by theatre personalities and productions, so you can write to them personally through your computer. Check out Theatre E-Mail Directory in Theatre Features.
* NEW CHAT SCHEDULE -- This expanded an improved schedule of weekly chat areas gives more time to Stephen Sondheim fans and Andrew Lloyd Webber fans, and makes room for the growing legion of Rent fans, and provides an international gathering place for working playwrights. This feature is available in our America On-Line chat area only. Check out Revised Weekly Schedule of Chat Discussion Groups in Theatre News
* MORE TO COME -- Our staff of hard-core theatre lovers is working closely with expert programmers to get lots more of your requested services online. Watch for major announcements in the coming months!
-- Managing Editor Robert Viagas