Words by Léna Fontaine
The famous broadway book shop will reopen in the spring on West 39th Street, just a block south from its previous location thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, and Jeffrey Seller, as well as theatre producer and owner James M. Nederlander. “It was both a destination for tourists and it was also our hub, and so we wanted to keep it close to the theater district,” Miranda said. “And, too, we’re in the business of creating community, and that’s another thing the Drama Book Shop does, and that’s incalculable — I can’t tell you how many creative teams on theater companies say ‘Let’s go meet at the book shop and talk there’.”.
For decades, the Drama Book Shop has been a place for theatre communities and fans. There you could find scripts, collections, history of theatre books, screenplays, and a wide array of novelties associated with the performing arts. Even if the place was a classic for all anyone working in the theatre industry, high rents forced the shop to close its doors earlier this year. But fortunately, soon after the announcement, some theatre folks came together to save the place and give the collection a new home.
The Hamilton team went on to purchase the place, moved the content into storage in January and looked for a new location. And the shop holds a special place in Miranda and Kail’s heart as they worked on “In The Heights”, their first musical together in its basement. Another Hamilton story related story is : David Korins, who created the musical’s set will also be the one to design the new look of the shop. According to him, the new centerpiece will be “a large spiral worm-shaped sculpture dramatic literature, bursting out of the back wall and coming straight into the space”.
From the previous location, the now new-owners managed to save the old-fashioned sign and an upright piano. As a whole, the Drama Book Shop is expectied to have a “european cafe” and a “reading room” atmosphere. It will sell coffee, merchandise, along with play scripts, librettos and books about the arts. The basement could be used for classes, or readings, just like the old days!
Now let’s just all wait patiently until march 2020…