Taking the form of a high school or college yearbook, the eighth edition is packed with photos (more than 4,000 of them, many in color) and memorabilia from the entire 2011-12 Broadway season.
The new edition, published Oct. 16, includes chapters on 72 Broadway shows, which is every show that ran during the season—not just the new shows like Once, Newsies, Nice Work If You Can Get It and One Man, Two Guvnors, but the long-running ones from seasons past, like Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon and Wicked. In addition to a wealth of production photos and all the headshots of all the actors who appeared in Playbill, the book features photos of producers, writers, designers, stage managers, stage hands, musicians, ushers – even a live chicken wrangled backstage at Jerusalem. This year's roster is expected to top 10,000 names, excluding poultry.
A co-publication of Applause Books and Playbill Books, The Playbill Broadway Yearbook 2011-2012 includes a wealth of photos from Broadway insider events, including "Gypsy of the Year," "Broadway Bares," Broadway floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the champs of the annual Broadway League softball championship.
To top it all off, The Playbill Broadway Yearbook 2011-2012 has asked each production to supply a member of the cast or crew to serve as correspondent, to report on things that only those who worked backstage would know: opening-night presents, who got the Gypsy Robe, daily rituals, celebrity visits, favorite health tips and regimens, memorable ad-libs, etc. Correspondents range from dressers and stage doormen to stage managers, dancers, featured players, and, in some cases, the star of the show.
And, for the eighth year in a row, Kris Koop Ouellette (Mme. Firmin) faithfully chronicles the backstage romps at Phantom of the Opera, including a report on the night it played its 10,000th performance.
Yearbook editor is Robert Viagas, executive editor of PlaybillEDU, editor and co-author of Louis Botto's "At This Theatre," and author or co-author of books including "I'm the Greatest Star!," "The Alchemy of Theatre," "The Back Stage Guide To Broadway" and "On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line," "Scales to Scalpels" and "The Amazing Story of The Fantasticks." Assistant editor is Amy Asch, archivist for the Oscar Hammerstein II and Jonathan Larson estates.