Gift guide: Theater

Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far (Sony BMG Masterworks, $55) We know the Sondheim fanatic in your life has multiple recordings of Company and Assassins—plus everything before, after and in between—causing their shelves to groan, but surely there’s room for this deluxe survey of the great man’s oeuvre. In this handsomely produced box set you will find 81 digitally remastered tracks, from his early work as lyricist (“Tonight” from West Side Story) to his masterpieces of the 1970s and ’80s, plus songs for film and TV. The 76-page booklet is light on new information and omits the complete lyrics—but no doubt your friend has several copies of those, too.

Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theater, 1850–1970 (Turner Publishing, $40) Critic-journalist Leonard Jacobs provides a wealth of scrupulously researched background on 240 black-and-white photographs drawn from New York Public Library’s acclaimed Billy Rose Theatre Collection. Theater facades, backstage pictures, obscure production shots—this single coffee-table book is a priceless visual record of more than a century of American theater.

Shrek the Musical T-shirt (, $35) The soon-to-open megamusical aims to bring ugly back, but you’ll be sitting pretty in these stylish tees. Our fave: the Gingy eat me.

Patti LuPone at Les Mouches (Ghostlight, $19) and Gypsy: The 2008 Broadway Cast Recording (Time Life, $19) These bookend CDs allow fans to chart the career of the great American musical-theater diva, from her wild and woolly 1980 nightclub set at Les Mouches through her current apotheosis in Gypsy.

Patti LuPone at Les Mouches

Gypsy: The 2008 Broadway Cast Recording

The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (University of Minnesota Press, $23) Downtown’s premier wordsmith, Mac Wellman, presents nine recent plays in this new collection, featuring an introduction by TONY’s own Helen Shaw.

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Holiday gift guide 2008: On a budget
More than 200 ideas that don't look cheap.