Lin-Manuel Miranda, 'Hamilton' Team Buy New York's Drama Book Shop
The independent book shop, which has one of the country's largest selections of plays, was facing closure due to rent increases in Midtown Manhattan.
The Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment and a team that includes Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hamilton director Thomas Kail announced Tuesday that they are saving an independent bookshop in New York from permanent closure due to rent increases.
Manhattan's Drama Book Shop, which has been a staple of the theater community since 2001 and is known for its large selection of plays, will go on hiatus Jan. 20 and reopen in the fall in a new location. This new venture was made possible by investment contributions from Miranda and Kail, in addition to Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller and veteran theater owner James L. Nederlander, with guidance from Julie Menin, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment.
Speaking to the bookshop's personal significance, Miranda wrote on Twitter, "As a teen, I went to the Drama Book Shop on 47th. Spent hours reading plays. Felt made for me, a place to go. In 2002, I met with Tommy Kail in the Drama Book Shop. It gave us a place to go. Proud to be a part of this next chapter. A place for you to go."
Said Kail in a statement: “My first experiences directing in New York City were at the Arthur Seelen Theater in the basement of the Drama Book Shop. Thanks to the generosity of owners Allen Hubby and Rozanne Seelen, I had a small theater company that was in residence there for five years. I was lucky enough to be there the day the shop opened on 40th Street on Dec. 3, 2001, and I am delighted to be part of this group that will ensure the Drama Book Shop lives on.”
Miranda, Kail and Seller are also working together on FX's Fosse/Verdon, a series starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams about the professional and personal relationship of legendary director-choreographer Bob Fosse and his actress-dancer wife Gwen Verdon. The feature version of Miranda's Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In the Heights, helmed by Jon M. Chu, is set to enter theaters in 2020, while Miranda's directorial debut, the musical film Tick, Tick... Boom, does not currently have a release date.