Definition of playbill in US English:



  • 1A poster announcing a theatrical performance.

    ‘her name occupied third place in the playbills’
    • ‘Pianist Raf Robertson, who months ago advised of his unavailability, was still on the playbill.’
    • ‘The only other evidence of his existence is a playbill they found in Dawson's papers for a concert by some of the professor's students.’
    • ‘He takes pains to claim back credit from his producers and fills three pages with the playbill of a 1968 Italian concert to show there was a time when his name came first.’
    • ‘The language emblazoned across these advertising playbills bandies about offensive terms which today would be unacceptable.’
    • ‘He points to the box office, and the framed playbills he used to deliver for the reward of a free pass to the pictures.’
    • ‘Friday night's premiere of Kaiso House at the Deluxe Cinema attracted no more than 250 patrons for all the kings and queens on the playbill and the ‘shocker’ Yangatang promised at City Hall mustered no better than half that number.’
    • ‘It looks fantastic, full of wonder: the pages are liberally illustrated with playbills, etchings and portraits both crude and powerful.’
    • ‘The ephemera gallery is a self-navigated tour through vintage still photographs - many of which were used in the film - and images of vintage posters and playbills, including some from different countries.’
    • ‘Photos and playbills from famous ventriloquists line the walls.’
    • ‘At times it reads more like an epic playbill than the behind-the-scenes exposé hinted at in the subtitle ‘Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater.’’
    • ‘A counter balance to these playbills is one for a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin at the Theatre Royal in Dunlop Street in 1853, during the time of the abolitionist movement.’
    • ‘The playbills indicate this play is unsuitable for children.’
    • ‘Another playbill from the same tour provides a typical description.’
    • ‘Well, Stanley Donwood's artwork reminds me of the playbills from Victorian music halls or a rickety theatre troupe travelling across the land.’
    • ‘John Mee demonstrates how playbills and advertisements could be used during the 1790s to mock authority figures and government policies.’
    • ‘Two years earlier, in 1829, the playbill for Rossini's William Tell had included the names of the dancers (again led by Marie Taglioni) together with the singers as evidence of a spectacular production.’
    • ‘You don't need a playbill to tell that the lecherous, black-clad Wolfe, who swaps hockey tickets for political favours, is the heavy here - if he had a moustache, he'd twirl it.’
    • ‘By 1602 it appears to have been operating again: the hoaxer Richard Vennar circulated a playbill describing an entertainment called England's Joy, ‘to be Played at the Swan this 6 of November, 1602’.’
    • ‘She puts all of her playbills up in here and keeps scripts that she finds here.’
    • ‘Coupland isn't the only big name gracing the Rabbit playbill next season.’
    notice, placard, public notice, bill, sign, advertisement, announcement, affiche, sticker
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    1. 1.1North American A theater program.
      • ‘On the cover of the playbill, there is the classic picture of Little Cosette with a broom (the symbol of the play), and then on top of the pictures in giant letters it says: Les Miserables: The Youth Tour.’
      • ‘‘It has been hard work, but enormous fun trawling through many old and dusty boxes of playbills and re-living many memories,’ he said.’
      • ‘The archival material includes unpublished literary manuscripts, correspondence, playbills, pamphlets, and photographs.’
      • ‘Headed up by the Pompidou's chief curator, Dominique Paini, the organizers gathered exhaustive selections of drawings and graphic works, manuscripts, letters, photographs, special-edition books, news clippings and playbills.’
      • ‘On the sponsorship side, Bravo will gain exposure via mentions in all tour advertising, including direct mail, on-site signage and in playbills.’
      • ‘The decline in assertions of authorship further manifests itself in the wording of contemporary title pages and in the content and typography of theatrical playbills.’
      • ‘Leading actresses on Broadway, including Frances Farmer, the star of Clifford Odets's play ‘Golden Boy,’ and the entire cast of ‘The Women’ let it be known in the playbill that they performed in lisle hose.’
      • ‘This collection contains many of the letters the men exchanged in the 1970s and 1980s, including postcards, manuscripts, instructions, photographs, and playbills for Havel's plays from theaters around the world.’
      • ‘Whilst he was rifling through years of documents, Emily noticed a playbill from the ‘Collisseum’ London playhouse owned by Albert Colliss, a promotion of the new Irish verse-play ‘The Secret Flower’.’
      • ‘As fate would have it, his first gig on Broadway was at the St. James Theatre and ‘I found in some forgotten corner of the theatre that playbill from that show with Ginger Rogers on the cover.’’
      • ‘There were announcement cards, playbills and copies of magazines such as Chrysalis and Heresies.’
      guide, list of artistes, list of performers, list of players
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