Lin-Manuel Miranda goes up the new Drama Book Shop's curtain
The Latino Hamilton acquired the legendary library after its closure in January. And now it is about to reopen for theater lovers’ delight.
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The first time I visited the Drama Book Shop I had been in New York for a week. I walked past the display window and found a playwright writing behind it:
Rick: Marjorie, what have you come for?
Marjorie: Stop playing that game, will you? You know why I am here...
From that day and during the month I was wandering around the City, emptying my pockets while carrying experiences, I often attended to the bookstore; I bought books or kept looking at the clients in case I met a famous face... Sometimes, I just stood in front of the window, reading the writer’s work in progress until one of the two ended up getting uncomfortable.
Then the Drama Book Shop closed. It was in January. I suppose that the aspiring actors had to come up with another route: from the exit of one casting to the next, and then they may have visited the Church of Saint Malachi and stayed longer than expected praying for a new project. But if someone could save the theater it was the theater itself, and to be more precise, "Hamilton."
Latino actor, songwriter, and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda announced some time ago that he had acquired the legendary Broadway bookstore along with part of the musical team, and although they are still working on it, the reopening of the Drama Book Shop is expected in March of the next year.
“The Drama Book Shop is the heart and soul of the New York theater community,” Lin-Manuel Miranda said.
“It’s been an oasis in midtown for a century of storytellers and theater fans alike - a safe space to gather, to learn, and to find great books and music. I found my collaborators there. I wrote drafts of ‘In the Heights’ there. Freestyle Love Supreme was born there. I made sure the first book-signing of ‘Hamilton: The Revolution’ was held there. The Drama Book Shop is home. To the next generation of dramatists, actors, directors, composers, choreographers, designers, and theater enthusiasts: the stage is set…Come in. Discover. Enjoy.”
After more than a century of history, the mythical bookstore will be located in a new place at 266 West 39th Street, in Times Square, and its design, by the “Hamilton” set designer David Korins, will be inspired by European coffees. There will also be a reading room, classes, and cafeteria.
Judging by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s instinct for success – his revolutionary musical, previously conceived as a conceptual music album, has already passed to the annals of history – we could say about the new Drama Book Shop the same that “Hamilton” himself sings at the beginning of the musical:
“There’s a million things I haven’t done. But just you wait. Just you wait!”