Editor in chief of TheaterMania.com, Portantiere and his team of 15 contributing writers have produced a useful and fascinating guide to more than 1000 recordings of 600-plus English-language musicals, the one criterion being that the score must have been performed professionally in New York. Arranged in alphabetical order, the signed reviews rate the recordings from five stars (superlative) to no stars (not recommended) and include information on composers, lyricists, main cast members, plot, superlative songs, and record labels. All major recordings are reviewed; the entry on Show Boat, for example, discusses 14 different recordings. The reviews themselves are so delightful and concise that music lovers will easily spend hours comparing notes with the experts. Along with lists from prominent theater people of their favorite musicals, there are also indexes of five-star recordings and of composers/lyricists. Bottom Line Though works like The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs & DVDs, 2003/4 edition, do contain some composers for the musical stage (e.g., three recordings of Jerome Kern music are listed in Penguin), the treatment is sketchy at best. This book is the most thorough guide to recorded musicals available and may also serve as a useful reference book and selection tool. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.