It's customary to present one's friends with a gift on the night that their show goes up, and although flowers are traditional, that can get a little expensive if you have several friends who are theatre majors. The flipside is that because it's theatre, you can afford to be, well, creative when cash is in short supply.
Once, when flush, I presented a friend who was a fan of The Shining with a bottle of Red Rum. A pox on the R.A. who forced him to ditch the empty bottle, which was a beautiful shade of crimson, since it violated the dry campus rule! Another time, I presented a different friend with a prismatic paper mobile for his room because it was slightly trippy and I was broke.
The best one, however, was the cheapest, most-brokest present of all time. (You have to keep in mind that it's ALL about the presentation, too.) We were SO broke that three of us went in together on this gift, along with the huge ribbon we put on it.
Perfect for the scenery-chewer amongst you, whose upstaging is consistently worthy of Tallulah Bankhead and who would do Gloria Swanson proud: a giant economy-size package of squeezably soft Charmin Bathroom Tissue.
At the appointed moment, as the cast was taking its bows during the curtain call and other friends and family clamored at the apron with their offerings, one of the guys strode forward and handed up the bale o' TP with its gloriously flowing bow.
Fortunately, the recipient has a sense of humor, or he'd still be in prison for systematically strangling every single one of us. Besides, if you've ever used institutional toilet paper, you'd probably be glad to get your hands of fifteen rolls of Charmin's finest...but probably not onstage at the conclusion of your opening night.