The 12 Shows of Christmas: How Broadway Performers Handle Holiday Schedules

By Robert Simonson
24 Nov 2013

Danny Burstein

"We have a little extra help," said Duma, explaining that an aunt pitches in to watch their child.

Married actors Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker aren't lucky enough this year to be in the same show throughout the holidays — Burstein is in The Snow Geese, which closes Dec. 15, and then begins rehearsal for Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, and Luker is in Cinderella — so, as Burstein put it, "It may be a little difficult to see each other around the holidays."

Because both are veteran actors, Luker and Burstein are used to such holiday shuffles and take them in stride. "You just take lots of naps," said Luker, who, from Dec. 26-29, will perform in Cinderella a total of seven times. "Maybe rest a little more. If you normally would meet a friend after a show, you wouldn't do something like that."

As for the usual activities that preoccupy most citizens during November and December — shopping, decorating, cooking, planning, etc. — they try to keep things simple and ask for help wherever they can get it. Their Manhattan apartment will be adorned with just a "Charlie Brown Christmas tree," as Burstein put it, and his mother will prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the couple.

"I've learned over the years to do less, to make it simple," said Prince. "The things I used to do — like cooking Thanksgiving for 12 people while doing 12 shows — I don't do that!" For Christmas — Prince will get Dec. 24-25 off — Prince will visit her sister-in-law in the Berkshires and let her relatives shoulder the yuletide burden. "I'm a guest," she laughed. "I'll do things for other people on another time."

Burstein and Luker's two children are grown, so child care is not an issue, but that wasn't always the case. "It was difficult" in the past, Burstein said. "But were very lucky. We negotiated hard and made sure they had a place to stay in our dressing room. That wasn't an easy thing to do back then. Broadway is more kid friendly now than it was back then."