Whoopi Goldberg

If you've been to a Broadway or a touring show, you know the drill: You walk in the theater and someone is standing there selling gorgeous, full-color souvenir programs. Some shows even have souvenir stands outside the theater.

My Broadway collection started with mugs until I realized not every show made mugs (not to mention the trouble of storing them). So I switched to souvenir programs.

"Phantom" was my first. They were $10 at the time, and I looked at it all the time. Well, over the years I've seen the price inch its way to $15, although I refused to spend $20 for the Special Edition Cover for "Little Mermaid." Yet the stack of gorgeous, full-color souvenir programs in my music room continues to grow — and collect dust.

I don't know what to do with them and, to be honest, I never look at them. But now I have a "collection," so I keep buying. Sound familiar? Let's not even get into how much money I've spent.

A few friends have suggested I frame them, but then I really wouldn't look at them. Perhaps a big binder? I mean, if you like shows, it's a pretty neat collection and should be seen.

I guess I mention this in the hopes that someone more creative than myself has solved the problem of what to do with a souvenir program.

But the bigger question is, should I keep buying them? Will you? They're going to get more expensive all the time and, as beautiful as they are, they really just sit around. When is it time to "just say no" to the souvenir program? As always, I'd love any ideas, suggestions or, in this case, time frames.

Mamma money: The hit movie musical, "Mamma Mia!" has boosted ticket sales of the already popular Broadway show — putting the ABBA tuner at more than 100 percent capacity for the week.

Luck be a lady: "Guys and Dolls," the Frank Loesser classic, considered by many to be the greatest musical comedy every written, is heading back to the Great White Way — this time, under the direction of Des McAnuff, who also brought us "Jersey Boys." With the support of Loesser's widow, McAnuff's production is set to open in spring on 2009; no casting has been announced.

Big Whoop: "Xanadu" welcomed Whoopi Goldberg to the cast. The comedian will be with the show until Sept. 9, filling in for Jackie Hoffman, who is busy releasing her new CD. She's playing one of the muses and, if she doesn't turn it into the Whoopi show, it could be a great role for her.

Brigadoomed? We've mentioned before that the ol' Lerner and Loewe classic was making its Broadway trek with a reworked book and an "earthier take" on the magical village. But now that's been postponed, and the pre-Broadway engagement has been cancelled. "Lack of an appropriate Broadway theatre in spring 2009," was the reason given. Hmmm ... too much heather and not enough hill.

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