Gift guide: Theater



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The August Wilson Century Cycle set

The August Wilson Century Cycle

(Theater Communications Group, $200) Here, in one massive set, are the ten works that make up August Wilson’s epic survey of 20th-century African-American life. Read them decade by decade, from Gem of the Ocean (set in 1904) to Radio Golf (set in 1997). Each play features an introduction by a luminary such as Tony Kushner or Laurence Fishburne, and is published in a handsome hardcover edition. The gorgeous presentation is fitting for one of American drama’s greatest projects. 800-283-3572,

TKTS gift certificates

TKTS Gift Certificates

(Theatre Development Fund, $25–$100) As tickets get more and more expensive, your beloved theatergoers need all the help they can get. You can partially defray the cost of their pricey addiction through these gift certificates, which work like cash at the TKTS booth. 212-221-0885,


Xanadu CD cover

Xanadu Original Broadway Cast Recording

(PS Classics, $19.98) Finally! You can relive the arch, cheesy thrill of the Broadway musical, or pop in this glittery disc to spice up a party. From the trippy title track to disco-ish ditties such as “I’m Alive” and “Don’t Walk Away,” the score will induce instant flashbacks. Featuring Cheyenne Jackson’s studly vocals, Kerry Butler’s twangy channeling of Olivia Newton-John, and shameless camp-crooning by Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman (“Evil Woman”), this score works both as show tunes and dance mix.

BBC Acting Series DVD set

The BBC Acting Series

(Applause Books, $200) Learn from the British greats—Janet Suzman, Brian Cox, Simon Callow, Michael Caine—in this legendary six-DVD set of acting classes originally broadcast on the BBC. Each disc is dedicated to a different genre: film, opera, tragedy, Restoration Comedy. If you’ve been recently bitten by the acting bug or you have a friend starting out, this is a graduate course in a box.

cover of The Wooster Group Work Book

The Wooster Group Work Book

(Routledge, $38) If you’ve ever seen a show by the Woosters—like their Hamlet, currently at the Public Theater—you might wonder how the hell they create such dense multimedia spectacles. This generously illustrated in-depth study by British professor Andrew Quick provides a partial answer. He interviews the actors and director Elizabeth LeCompte, and studies their source material. An essential gift for fans of the avant-garde.

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