What To Give That Theater Fan For Christmas...


Every holiday season I agonize over gift-giving for family and friends.

But if they’re theater enthusiasts like I am, the decision is much easier, with a wide variety of options from books, albums and that all important and au courant present—the “experiential” gift.

This year the choices are especially varied accommodating a wide range of personal preferences. Below is a guide for all levels of theater fans, from the young person who just got hooked on The Lion King, to the armchair listener of old school show tunes to the veteran theater goer who has seen it all—and wants something different.


1) For the kid who loved The Lion King but the parents are Disney-ed out: Well, The Wizard of Oz at the end of December and Finding Neverland in March are both at New Haven’s Shubert Theatre—and I’ve seen these productions and they’re fine. But kids can surprise you and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King & I—though it isn’t tailored as a family show—offers a different kind of enchantment for children. It even features a little boy finding himself in Siam with his loving mother and there’s a parade of Siamese children, too. The kids will leave the theater whistling a happy tune for sure.


2) For the book club member who may not be a great theatergoer but who loves heartwarming stories: Letters from Max: A Book of Friendship by Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo is a new book that remains on my bedside for moments when the newspaper headlines are just too tough to take and I need to take refuge in the book’s welcoming pages.