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9 Broadway Stars Share the Best Holiday Gifts They’ve Ever Received

Category Broadway

|by Robert Peterpaul |

From odd musical instruments to massages and even pets

The glistening humans of Broadway never stop giving. All year long, some of the world’s finest artists – actors, singers, producers, choreographers, designers and more – gift their artistic talents to audiences in the one and only New York City. And what a gift it is, too. As the holidays roll around, we’re turning the tables and taking a peek at the joy has been gifted to some of the most consummate and beloved entertainers around.

Tony winner Beth Leavel of ‘The Prom’; Joe Iconis, composer of ‘Be More Chill’; Spencer Liff, choreographer of ‘Head Over Heels’ (Photos courtesy of the artists; Joe Iconis headshot by Stephanie Wessels)

Tony winner Beth Leavel of ‘The Prom’; Joe Iconis, composer of ‘Be More Chill’; Spencer Liff, choreographer of ‘Head Over Heels’ (Photos courtesy of the artists; Joe Iconis headshot by Stephanie Wessels)

Tony Nominee Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde, Hairspray)
“Best Christmas gift I ever got was when I was 6 years old. We got to open one gift on Christmas Eve…I was about to choose this long skinny package and everyone kept saying…’Are you sure you don't want to open THIS box?’ It had holes in the side…but I don’t think that was registering…So, I said ‘Okay!’ and I opened the box they suggested…Well, it had a little puppy in it…This was my dog, Lilly, and she was my companion until I was 21. Best. Gift. Ever.”

Laura Heywood a.k.a. Twitter’s BroadwayGirl
“The best Broadway gift of my life isn't one I gave or received, but one I witnessed. On Christmas 2017, my California-based nieces received tickets to both parts of Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, as well as Frozen and Mean Girls, from their (very generous!) parents. The tickets were for nearly a year later – in fact, it was Thanksgiving week 2018 that they finally got to come to New York to see the shows! I was lucky enough to attend with them, and put my own cherry-on-top of their experience by introducing them to friends in all three shows. They may be California kiddos, but they are Broadway Girls just like their Auntie Laura!”

Drama Desk Nominee Joe Iconis (Be More Chill)
“I love giving annoyingly esoteric gifts like animal bones, blocks of smelly cheese or random items with Bill Murray's picture on them. The best gifts I've received have been ones that are completely on-brand for me, like weirdo musical instruments (thanks for the harmonium, mom and dad!), fancy menswear items from Fine and Dandy in Manhattan, the Sardi's Bar Guide and a Country Bear Jamboree mug. This year, I'm hoping to receive some unglamorously practical gifts like socks (especially ugly ones covered in distracting patterns), underwear (Lucky Brand boxer-briefs, sized medium, preferably in a fun color or with skulls and cross bones on 'em) and non-stick carpet pads.”

Adam Jepsen (Frozen)
"I love the gift of experiences. One time I gave a gingerbread house making set with frosting, and I thought that was great because we got to do it together. Favorite gift I have gotten? Maybe not my favorite, but it comes to my mind: this plush robe that keeps me toasty in the winter. It's so easy to throw on and off so I tend to just wear that whenever I'm at home."

Analisa Leaming (The King and I, School of Rock, Hello, Dolly!)
"Kristin Chenoweth sent all the ladies of On the 20th Century to Great Jones Spa for a day. We each got a massage or facial and then enjoyed the water lounge. Dean and Deluca catered, and there was a lot of champagne, which we enjoyed at the end of an eight show-week.” 

Tony Winner Beth Leavel (The Prom)
“Time! But if you can’t give me time…Someone gave me a gift certificate for a massage! Heaven!”

Ilana Levine (You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown & Little Known Facts Podcast Host Extraordinaire)
“Our producers of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown gave me an original Peanuts comic strip of my character (Lucy Van Pelt) signed by Charles Schultz. It’s one of the most valuable pieces of art I own!”

Spencer Liff (Choreographer, Head Over Heels)
“When I was a young child performer, I was in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. The whole cast played secret Santa and my final gift was a real live 6-week-old kitten! She was so small and had a tiny Santa hat on when they gave her to me. She was the most precious gift I ever received.”

Marissa Perry (Hairspray, Sister Act)
"I received a blanket from the Hairspray producers for Christmas. I then gifted it to my Nana, who wrapped herself in it every single day until she passed away in 2010. I love knowing she used it every day." 

For more of the best of Broadway during the holidays, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in January 2019



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