Beltline to Broadway’s Top 10 list of holiday gifts for theater lovers this year includes some of my favorite things to gift made from some amazing small business owners I’ve come to know through my work with the Broadway Makers Alliance and Broadway Makers Marketplace. Shop small this holiday season.
Caskey Hunsader, a stage manager based in New York, started Stagedoor Candles during the pandemic after theaters shut down. His collection is inspired by musical theater characters, including his Two Best Friends collection, which is inspired by Wicked, and his Sun & Moon collection, which is inspired by Miss Saigon. But it is his boxed collections I am particularly obsessed with, namely his French Lovers Heart Full of Love trio ($35), which is inspired by Les Miserables. This collection features three candles aptly named Cosette, Eponine, and Marius, and includes an enamel “Heart Full of Love” pin all packaged in a red, white, and blue gift box. Individual scents start at $10.
If you follow Beltline to Broadway, you know that the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA) Broadway Flea Market is one of my favorite events in New York. That’s because Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS supports so many artists and organizations in all 50 states with much-needed services and grants. In addition to several spectacular fundraising events, including the Broadway Flea Market and Broadway Bares, BCEFA sells a line of theater-inspired merch online to raise funds. The organization also enlists the help of the Christopher Radko Company to design a commemorative holiday ornament to sell to honor a Broadway legend. This year’s glass ornament captures Billy Porter as Lola in Kinky Boots, stands 6 inches tall, and retails for $70.
Broadway Murder Mysteries
I love gifting experiences and can’t think of a better theatrical experience to gift than a Broadway murder mystery. Like Stagedoor Candles, Broadway Murder Mysteries launched during the pandemic as a way to provide jobs for out-of-work actors. Broadway Murder Mysteries has 20 games to choose from, which can be played in person or virtually over and over again. This is the perfect gift for fans of escape rooms or a perfect activity for your holiday party or family gathering. Each game retails for $45. Memberships are also available.
Broadway Book Club Subscription Box
Subscription boxes are so popular and are the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Broadway Licensing’s Broadway Book Club includes a curated selection of scripts and makes a perfect gift for the theater teacher trying to build their script library, a high school student, or a college grad pursuing a career in the theater. Boxed collections start at $57.99 for a set of five curated scripts. An annual subscription, which includes 28 scripts (seven scripts shipped quarterly) retails for $199.
Cheese or Charcuterie Serving Board
Another small family business I love supporting is Thespian Swag. I am particularly obsessed with their home goods collection, which includes a line of bamboo boards ideal for serving. I can’t think of a better hostess gift than a “Young, Scrappy, and Hungry” Hamilton-inspired charcuterie serving board. Can you? Cutting boards start at $24.95 for a small board.
Wear your show love on your sleeve (literally). Thespian Swag’s holiday sweater collection pays homage to so many popular shows, including Wicked and Hamilton. My favorite is the “Happy Hamildays” line. There are six designs to choose from. The shirts start at $21.95 for short-sleeve styles. Sizes go up to 3XL. Holiday mugs and cards are also available.
Alex Wrinkle (Alex Draws) is a Charlotte-based artist and graphic designer who sells affordable art prints inspired by musical theater and pop culture. Her theater prints are inspired by popular Broadway shows and characters but as dogs. But our favorite prints just might be her Muppet collection. Her art prints start at $7.00. All 31 of Alex’s theater prints are featured in her Musical Dogs art book.
Andrea Koehler is a small business owner and leadership coach based in Seattle. She combined her love of musical theater with mindfulness to create a line of coloring pages, stickers, and accessories. While I am a fan of all things Coloring Broadway, I am particularly fond of Andrea’s sticker assortments because of their affordable price point and durability. They make great stocking stuffers or gift exchange items and feature so many popular Broadway shows including Six, Hadestown, and Hamilton. Sticker assortments start at $9.95.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Speaking of stickers, several years ago my daughter jumped on the VSCO bandwagon and introduced me to the Hydroflask. She had to have one to cover with stickers, so I designed one. Our stainless steel water bottle, features our catchphrase, I’ll see you at the theater, keeps beverages cool for hours, is BPA-free, has plenty of room for stickers, and best of all, supports Beltline to Broadway. There are several sizes available (though I prefer the 32 oz. size which I try to fill up twice daily). Our water bottles start at $34 and are available on our Shop Page.
Although I am not a singer, I swear by steaming to keep my voice podcast ready. And I am not alone. Many singers and performers swear by steaming as well, which is why I’ve added a steam inhaler to my list of gift ideas. Steamers range in cost from Vick’s Personal Steamers ($35) to the Mypurmist line ($119+). Most singers I surveyed prefer Mypurmist, though certain models require users to purchase specific ultra-sterile refills, which can get pricey. Other models use distilled water, which is more economical and widely available. Still, if you are looking for something special for the singer or performer in your life, a steamer may be the perfect surprise gift.
Several of the businesses above have donated items for a Beltline to Broadway Giving Tuesday Giveaway. Visit our Instagram or Facebook page for complete details and rules. Although we would love it if you would consider making a donation to Beltline to Broadway, you do not need to make a donation to be entered in this drawing.
The above links for Mypurmist and Vick’s Personal Steamer are Amazon affiliate links. Beltline to Broadway earns a small commission from the sale of these items.