UNLOCK THE VAULT: Dec. 30, Hail to the Chiefs

News   UNLOCK THE VAULT: Dec. 30, Hail to the Chiefs
In celebration of Playbill’s new site, Playbill Vault, we offer a month-long theatrical treasure hunt! Playbill Vault offers an interactive treasure trove for theatre fans, students, aficionados and historians alike. To build the Playbill Vault, more than a dozen Playbill staff members spent nearly 18 months scanning, cataloging and tagging thousands of programs from the Playbill archives in Queens and Manhattan, as well as synching up tens of thousands of news stories, photos and videos from 17 years of theatre coverage online on Playbill.com.

Upon the Dec. 1 launch of its beta version, the Playbill Vault includes information on over 10,000 shows and 120,000 actors, creative teams and crew members who have worked or are currently working on Broadway, with content being added on a daily basis.


With the quadrennial presidential primaries season set to begin next week, we dug into the Playbill Vault to come up with a survey of Broadway plays and musicals that depicted the various presidents, or used their names in titles. Here are some of the presidents we found. Can you name the shows?

George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
Abraham Lincoln
James Garfield
Theodore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
George W. Bush

UNLOCK THE VAULT Continue to page 2 for the answer.


American presidents have appeared in many plays and musicals, or had their names used in titles. Here are just a few:

George Washington
George Washington Slept Here

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Abraham Lincoln
By far the most popular play subject among the Commanders in Chief. Eight shows have mentioned his name in the title, and many more portray him.
Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Mister Lincoln

The Last of Mrs. Lincoln

The Lincoln Mask

The Young Abe Lincoln

Yours, A. Lincoln

The Man Who Killed Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

James Garfield

Teddy Roosevelt
Arsenic and Old Lace
(Teddy Brewster)
Teddy and Alice

Woodrow Wilson
Wilson in the Promise Land [sic]

Franklin D. Roosevelt
I'd Rather Be Right
Sunrise at Campobello


John F. Kennedy
Kennedy's Children
The Best Man (headed for a revival this spring)
Merrily We Roll Along

Richard M. Nixon
An Evening With Richard Nixon and…

Gerald Ford

George W. Bush
You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush

In addition, the musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue had a character called "The President" (Ken Howard) who technically embodied all the presidents.

How many more can you name? 

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