If you really love Broadway, I can't think of a better series of books to invest in than The Playbill Broadway Yearbook. And there are several reasons for my opinion on this. First, it is relatively inexpensive - it lists at $35.00, but I have never seen any edition NOT on sale be it at Playbill Store.com or at Amazon.com. As of this writing, it is currently "on sale" at Playbill Store.com for 34% of, or $22.95, while at Amazon.com it is selling for $23.10. The difference might just lie in the shipping and handling. Second, it is comprehensive, covering every show that was open between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009, including holdovers from years past (Phantom), shows from previous seasons that closed (Xanadu, Legally Blonde), shows that closed quickly (American Buffalo), and shows that continue to this day (In the Heights). It also includes entries of all the major Broadway events like Broadway Bares, Broadway Barks, Broadway on Broadway, the Easter Bonnet Competition, and many more. It is like being there when you can't get there yourself. Third, and perhaps the most appealing, is that it is written to be accessible to anyone from newbie to seasoned theatregoer to theatre professional. It is funny, offers insight into a life in the theatre and it contains thousands of color and black and white production photos and backstage candids.
- A copy of the current Playbill cover
- A title page and complete cast list as of opening or as of a June cutoff date for older shows
- Musicals include song listings; plays include setting information
- Headshots of every current cast member, every past cast member ("Alumni"), and every newly added cast member ("Transfer Students")
- Pictures of the creative staff
- Pictures of every crew, front and back of house (including the ushers and the ticket people)