Theatrely’s 2022 Gift Guide to Books This Holiday Season


Give the theatre lover in your life the gift of reading!

Dan Meyer
No items found.
December 8, 2022 10:36 AM

Every year, every day, eight times a week, Broadway (and beyond) gives audiences the gift of live theatre. Now that the holidays are here, it’s time to think about the perfect give to give that theatre lover in your life—and what better than a nice book to snuggle up while waiting for Into the Woods national tour tickets to go on sale?

Below, check out Theatrely’s list of books to give as gifts this season.

A Boy and His Mirror
by Marchánt Davis, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
The Ain’t No Mo’ scene-stealer makes his author debut with an uplifting picture book that encourages readers to look beyond appearances. The story follows Chris, who loves wearing his hair long—but his classmates tease him about it all the time. When he looks for answers in his mirror, a lady appears who changes his life forever. The message? Styles come and go, but celebrating one another never goes out of style. (Available January 3, 2023, from Penguin Random House)

DESIGNING BROADWAY: How Derek McLane and Other Acclaimed Set Designers Create the Visual World of Theatre
by Derek McLane and Eila Mell
This celebration of Broadway set design offers insider intel on some of the best shows in the past few decades. McLane invites readers into the immersive experience of building visual worlds that have bring a story to life on stage. With co-writer Eila Mell, McLane and contributors discuss Moulin Rouge!, Hamilton, Hadestown, and many more. Among the Broadway contributors are Danny Burstein, Cameron Crowe, Carole King, Kenny Leon, Santo Loquasto, Kathleen Marshall, Lynn Nottage, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. (Published November 22 from Running Press)

Finale: Late Conversations with Stephen Sondheim
by D.T. Max
After Sondheim’s 2021 death ended D.T. Max’s multi-year effort to profile the genius, he compiled interview notes into this memoir of the creative process, both Sondheim’s and his own. Combining his unedited conversations in an unforgettable work of literature and celebration, Finale offers up a cultural icon at his most relaxed, thoughtful, sardonic, and engaging. Throughout, Max sets the scenes, shares his impressions of Sondheim during each session, and explains how their unusual relationship unfolded over time. (Published November 22 from HarperCollins)

Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway
by Gideon Glick
Teaming up with food writer Adam Roberts, the To Kill a Mockingbird Tony nominee has created a collection of musical-inspired recipes that includes dishes like Yolklahoma!, Clafoutis and the Beast, Yam Yankees, Weenie Todds, Hamstilton, and Dear Melon Hansen. Each dish comes with a brief history of the show that inspired it, a summary of the plot, and behind-the-scenes trivia. Throw in illustrations by Squigs and you’ve got the ultimate cookbook for Broadway fans. (Published October 4 from W.W. Norton)

Jack in the Box: or, How to Goddamn Direct
by Jack O’Brien
The Tony-winning director of Hairspray and the upcoming Broadway musical Shucked gets deep in this memoir by actually showing people what it’s like to be a director instead of just telling telling them. Jack in the Box starts with the moment a director enters a rehearsal room—and throws the textbook out the window. That means things like letting a cane-twirling Jerry Lewis do his thing in a production Damn Yankees, tackling Tom Stoppard’s three-part The Coast of Utopia, etc. It also means failing a lot (read: The Phantom of the Opera sequel). The result is an ode to the capturing lightning in a bottle onstage. (Published November 15 from Macmillan)

Magic to Do
by Elysa Gardner
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pippin opening, Gardner dives deep into one of Broadway's most influential musicals. Exploring the creative struggles between Pippin’s director/choreographer Bob Fosse and its composer/lyricist, Stephen Schwartz,  the book uses never-before-told stories to provide intimate look at a moment in history, a time and a place in which popular culture was as defined by conflict—between the young and the old, idealism and cynicism, creation and destruction—as anything else. (Published November 1 from Applause)

Moulin Rouge! The Musical: The Story of The Broadway Spectacular
by David Cote, with a foreword from Baz Luhrmann
The Tony-winning musical gets the book treatment via photo essay and oral history, offering a behind-the-scenes the process of crafting the show. From early sketches to historical research, technical diagrams to rehearsal photos, theater writer David Cote gathers the cast and crew’s firsthand accounts of the excitement and challenges of creating a musical that paid tribute to and forever changed Broadway. The book includes interviews with Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo, Robyn Hurder, and many more cast members. (Published October 11 from Rizzoli)

No items found.
Dan Meyer

After 4 years in the biz, Dan swapped out theatre for sports and is now a researcher at NBC Olympics. Spectacle remains a key passion and is dedicated to building bridges between different forms of entertainment. He has worked as a writer and editor at Theatrely and Playbill, covering Broadway and beyond. In addition, he has been published in Rolling Stone, Spy, and others.