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Holiday gift guide 2012: Theater

For that special theater fan, here are the best gifts: books, DVDs and more.


Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Complete Broadway Musicals

This deluxe package celebrates the Golden Age team that revolutionized the musical. Included are 12 CDs and a glossy 100-page booklet with essays on each show, from Oklahoma! to The Sound of Music. Available at amazon.com, $110

 (Photograph: Jonathan Aprea)
Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

13P: The Complete Plays

After eight years and a baker’s dozen of experimental works, playwriting collective 13P closed shop. Now you can read all the plays, gathered in one handy paperback volume. Available at sohorep.org/category/bookshop, $18


Performance of the Century

Robert Simonson digs through Actors’ Equity archives and tells the story of this union’s fight to protect stage actors and stage managers since 1913. The coffee-table volume is perfect for history buffs. Available at amazon.com, $42

 (Photograph: Aislinn Weidele)
Photograph: Aislinn Weidele

Membership or subscription to a theater

What better way to ensure that you see new offerings at the city’s premier multi-stage venues than by getting a membership? It may cost a bit more than a single ticket, but pays itself off pretty fast. You can get a four-show ($100) or five-show ($150) subscription to the Signature Theatre Company. Or you can buy a $55 membership to the Public (above) for advance word on productions and discounts on your seats. More information at publictheater.org and signaturetheatre.org.



Image Entertainment just released a DVD (regular and Blu-ray) of the celebrity-stuffed 2011 concert version of the Stephen Sondheim classic about urban romance. The ensemble includesMartha Plimpton, Stephen Colbert and Neil Patrick Harris, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic. Available at amazon.com, $30

Tis the season for fall and winter openings (so many shows, so little time!) and family-friendly limited runs (hello, Elf, Grinch, Rockettes and Christmas Story). Tis also the season for presents. And if you know theater folks, you know they are obsessive completists. This year, we're offering something for everyone: old-school Broadway nostalgists, addicts of experimental playwriting; those who want to see more shows but save money. Also, it wouldn't be a gift guide without an item for Sondheim fans. Check out or picks and find the best gift for family member, friend or lover—or even yourself.

RECOMMENDED: Complete holiday gift guide