AceShowbiz - Lin-Manuel Miranda and his "Hamilton" collaborators have saved a beloved New York theatre book shop from closure by becoming its owners.
The "Mary Poppins Returns" star, "Hamilton" director Thomas Kail, the show's lead producer Jeffrey Seller and James L. Nederlander, the president of the Nederlander Organization, which owns Hamilton's Broadway home, the Richard Rodgers Theatre, have purchased The Drama Book Shop, which has been selling theatre and film scripts, sheet music, and other stage-related material since 1917 and is beloved by the New York theatre scene, even receiving a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre in 2011.
It has a special place in Miranda and Kail's hearts as they were regular patrons of the shop when they were younger.
"When I was in high school I would go to the old location and sit on the floor and read plays - I didn't have the money to buy them," the Tony Award winner told the New York Times. "After college Tommy Kail and I met in the Drama Book Shop basement, and I wrote a good deal of (2008 musical) 'In the Heights' there.... They're like family to us and when we heard that the rent increase was finally too precipitous to withstand, we began hatching a plan."
Sharing the story on Twitter, the 38-year-old added, "It gave us a place to go. Proud to be part of this next chapter. A place for you to go."
As a teen, I went to the @dramabookshop on 47th. Spent hours reading plays. Felt made for me, a place to go.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) 8 January 2019
In 2002, I met with Tommy Kail in the Drama Book Shop. It gave us a place to go.
Proud to be part of this next chapter.
A place for you to go. https://t.co/LuRJjVM72K
The team have bought the store from 84-year-old Rozanne Seelen, whose late husband, Arthur Seelen, had bought it in 1958. Seelen could no longer afford the rent at its current location near Times Square and it will close on 20 January before reopening at a new, more affordable location in the autumn.