Lin-Manuel Miranda Does His Part for the Drama Book Shop
As BroadwayWorld previously reported, the historic Drama Book Shop, located just steps from the heart of Times Square, will leave its 40th Street home because of recent rent escalations, according to Crains New York.
Vice President Allen Hubby told Crains: "We knew it was getting too expensive. It's hard to cover a $20,000 rent when most of the books you offer only cost about $10. Not to mention salaries, the costs of buying the books, electricity, taxes. We can't afford it."
Among the shop's most notable customers is Hamilton-creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who workshopped his first musical In The Heights in the shop's Arthur Seelen Theatre (located on the basement level). Readers may recall that Miranda rallied the theatrical community to raise funds for the shop previously, including a night of music at Feinstein's/54 Below to raise additional funds.
Miranda is back at it again following the news of the shop's relocation. Upon hearing the news, he made it very clear that this won't be the last of The Drama Book Shop:
He then tweeted about heading down to the shop to sign every item with his name on it that they currently have:
First, read this: https://t.co/KMJOXBd2F1- ??????The NYTimes Best-HELLing Authorror (@Lin_Manuel) October 25, 2018
Second, don't know where the next home for @dramabookshop is yet, but FWIW, I stopped by this morning and signed everything with my name on it -the books, the scores. Go spend money there. To be continued. pic.twitter.com/x41MJoL20R
If you've always wanted to own an autographed copy of his work, now you can with the added benefit of supporting one of New York theatre's most integral institutions!
The current lease expires at the end of January. A new location has not yet been announced.
The Drama Book Shop, founded in 1917, has had various locations throughout New York City over the last century. Its current venue, 250 West 40th Street, has been the shop's home for over 25 years. For the last century, the shop has provided the theatre and film community with a treasure trove of playscripts, libretti, technique books, sheet music and more. It's staff - made of actors, writers and directors - has been helping customers find monologues and scenes on a daily basis since the shop's opening. In 2011, The Drama Book Shop received an Honorary Tony Award for excellence in Theatre. The award is proudly on display in the shop for all customers to see.
For decades, playwrights, performers and authors have celebrated book releases at the shop with readings and signings. Most notably, signings have included Joel Grey(Master of Ceremonies), Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (Hamilton: The Revolution) and Theresa Rebeck (I'm Glad About You). Authors expected to appear at the shop in its 100th Anniversary Year include Samuel D. Hunter (January 6th, 2017),Harriet Walter(February 6th, 2017), Robert O'Hara (February 10th, 2017) and more.
A safe haven to many, students of theatre can often be found in the shop from open to close. Whether they are searching for the perfect audition piece, or just seeking a safe place to discover a new play, performers from around the world have come to call The Drama Book Shop "home".
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy