NEW YORK - On Broadway, it’s the stars that shine, but in the seats there has been a silent supporting cast member at nearly every major performance since 1884.
Playbill magazine, with its yellow iconic banner, has been a part of Broadway for over a century, and even in an age where digital media has largely replaced print, it endures.
“Playbill is special because we’re associated with the greatest form of entertainment which is live entertainment, which is Broadway Theater and theater of all kinds,” said Phillip Birsh, CEO of Playbill.
The magazine’s 25,000 square foot printing factory sits on a quiet street in Woodside, Queens.
Inside, a machine that is nicknamed "the beast" uses mile-long spools of paper to print the magazines.
Playbill vice president Alex Birsh says, "It is an amazing machine."
This month alone, they will print for 350 shows across 24 cities, with new pamphlets being printed each week in case of a change in the cast.
Those cast changes mean that secrecy is important so that cast names don't leak out before they are announced.
"We know a lot before it happens but we can't tell," Phillip Birsh said with a smile.