Today Playbill Inc. unveils the newest service in its family of theatre-related offerings: Playbill Universe, where fans can keep up-to-date with their favorite Broadway luminaries' latest concerts, personal appearances, and non-theatre projects. And our stars are already cheering.
“It's long overdue that such a listing exists!” Tony nominee Laura Osnes (Bandstand, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella) says. “The Broadway fanbase is so extensive—as are the Broadway artists and their projects—so keeping up via separate social media platforms (or lack thereof) is nearly impossible. I am thrilled that Playbill has finally solved this problem and our loyal followers can see at a glance what we're all up to. There is now no excuse for not knowing about or missing your favorite performer's appearance!”
“I'm psyched about Playbill Universe for a billion reasons. Maybe two billion reasons,” says the Tony-nominated star of School of Rock, Alex Brightman. “I make a lot of noise on my own, promoting shows I'm either in or writing, and Playbill Universe will make it that much easier to be noisy. I'm an actor and writer that likes to know what my fellow actors and writers are up to. Anything that can make this community tighter is a worthwhile tool in my opinion.”
Tony-winning Theatre Hall of Famer Brian Stokes Mitchell said, “As I look backward, I realize that I have always had multiple interests in the arts. I also learned early on in my career that the more skills you have, the more you work. Playbill Universe is the one place that gives me the opportunity to let people know what is going on in all aspects of my career—upcoming TV, film, or Broadway appearances; times and locations of my upcoming concerts, local, national and international.”
Christy Altomare, currently on Broadway as the title character in Anastasia, says, "Playbill Universe keeps fans connected as we continue to create, perform, and share our hearts with the world." And Tony-winning Gypsy star Laura Benanti cheered Playbill Universe, saying, “Broadway will always be my true love, even as I flirt with television and other mediums. How exciting that there is now a website dedicated to these adventures!”
Betty Buckley, the Tony-winning star of Cats whose album Story Songs was released this spring, said, “So happy to hear about the launch of Playbill Universe! Looking forward to reading about what all my friends and colleagues are up to!”
Enthusiasm isn’t limited to the stars themselves. The stars’ managers and publicists see Playbill Universe as a great new tool to get the word out on their clients. Molly Barnett, of newly launched grapevine pr, representing Jessie Mueller, Billy Porter, Jeanine Tesori, and others, says, “As a publicist, Playbill Universe is an incredibly useful resource to promote our clients’ projects that extend beyond traditional theater but will still appeal to the Broadway audiences. And as a theater fan, it’s so great to have all of this information in one place, so I know where to find my favorite theater stars—whether it’s in concert, on TV, or another exciting venue.”
Daniel Deraney, personal publicist to Benanti and others, enthused, “Playbill has always been at the forefront of theatre culture. This will be a fantastic avenue for fans to see their favorite Broadway stars in a new and exciting way.”
And the venues are excited as well. Jennifer Ashley Tepper of Feinstein’s/54 Below welcomed the new service, saying, “In an unprecedented way, theatre artists are crossing over to the concert and cabaret world. Playbill’s photo and video coverage of concerts and cabarets has brought new audiences into our venue since it opened. We are excited for this partnership to continue as Playbill expands its coverage of theatre artists crossing over to other mediums!”
Here are just a few samples of the kinds of stories we'll be covering on the new site seven days a week:
Playbill.com has been reporting the latest news of the stage since 1994. Along the way we’ve added a series of websites tailored to serve the theatregoing public’s needs: PlaybillStore for the best in show merchandise, the PlaybillClub for ticket discounts, PlaybillVault for detailed production information about shows of the last hundred years, PlaybillEDU for information on pursuing higher education in the arts, PlaybillTravel for our star-packed theatre cruises, and PLAYBILLder for local theatre groups who want to hand their audiences a real Playbill.