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Lou Harry's A&E

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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

12 arts days of Xmas: A gift guide

December 10, 2010

Day 1: The must-have book for any musical theater fan is Stephen Sondheim's "Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics 1954-1981."

Much more than a mere collection of songs from the composer of "Sweeney Todd," "A Little Night Music," and many more, it's lengthy annotation offers an insightful look into the mind of a rigorous artist as tough on his own work as he is on that of others. My only complaint is that it only covers half his career. We'll have to wait for the next volume before he actually gets to the song mentioned in the title: "Finishing the Hat" from "Sunday in the Park with George."

If you really like the person you are gifting to, add in Peter Filichia's "Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit & The Biggest Flop of the Season: 1959-2009" and/or Laura Frankos'brutally difficult but fun to read "The Broadway Musical Quiz Book."

Gift ideas for Day 2-12 on the way. And, no, there won't be any pipers piping.

Your thoughts?

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