Lin-Manuel Miranda and his Hamilton colleagues just bought a bookstore


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/08/lin-manuel-miranda-and-his-ham.html


Lin-Manuel Miranda rescues New York's beloved, century-old Drama Book Shop
#2

This is wonderful news though still sad, however i hope that because Broadway people are the new owners this will give that location some reinvigorated clientele.


#3

This may be a controversial opinion, but dammit I don’t care if I’m going way out on a limb here: Lin-Manuel Miranda seems like a genuinely great person who is making the world a better place.

There, I said it. Flame away!


#4


#5

“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,” Mr. Miranda said…

Now he has the money to buy ALL the plays in the store, and the store, too. This is a masterclass in giving back.

“Hamilton” is a great show, but Miranda understands that the great show he’ll see 20 years from now might not exist if this bookstore isn’t around.


#6

He’s very much aware of the BS that’s currently surrounding Hamilton. It’s a show about coming from humble beginnings, minorities, and hip hop but it’s such a hot commodity in Broadway that it’s not accessible to the very audience he made the show for. He does do a lot to try to offset that like lotteries, offering programs where under privileged kids can go see the show, etc.and him buying this bookstore just seems like an extension of that effort.

I’d love to see the show myself, i’m a massive fan but i just can’t justify the cost :frowning:


#7

I still don’t know if it’ll work out. NY rents are pretty unsustainable city wide. And neither NY classics or these sorts of single serve businesses have been fairing well. The rediculous ones like the specialty mayonnaise shop, and the bakeries that only make macrons or cupcakes didn’t last long. But there were an awful lot of specialist book stores, wholesale fabric shops, etc around NYC that just don’t exist anymore.

Things that stick around in that part of Manhattan, and this needs to be in that part of Manhattan, tend to be subsidized in some way. The money losing flagship for a national chain. The boutique for a millionaire designer who just likes having a famous space.

I’m assuming Miranda is basically trying to do that but not evil.


#8

It’s really wonderful. As great as the soundtrack is, it doesn’t do justice to seeing the live performance. Almost as good as the show was the excitement of the younger audience members. Just awesome to see teenagers in the 21st century squeee-ing over obscure historical figures like the Schuyler sisters (“Work!”) or Hercules Mulligan.

The good news is that he’s made a high-quality reference video of the original production, which they’ve talked about editing into something that people can watch in movie theatres. Also, the stage show will probably have a long life like “Les Mis”, so eventually you’ll have a chance to see it at a more reasonable price.


#9

I do hope he can make it work, i can see a scenario of broadway people going there for signings, talks, etc and keeping the place lively but that depends on how Miranda and friends decide to run the place.

I am very much looking forward to it eventually coming out on video :slight_smile:


#10

I will enthusiastically second this. I just about memorized the soundtrack start-to-finish, but when I got to see the touring production recently, the pure energy of the choreography and imaginative staging is kind of astonishing to watch. And young people not only being excited for live theater but live historical-drama theater is wonderful.

The one caveat I have on the show is that I sort of felt sorry for the older people around me who were clearly not at all familiar with the show but wanted to see what the fuss is about. The lyrics and dialogue are so rapid-fire and densely packed that they were muttering to themselves confusedly during the most intense parts of the show (such as “Yorktown” or anything with Lafayette). The songs reward repeated listening to unpack all of the references and allusions and cleverness.


#11

I used to work there while they were workshopping In The Heights. They often stayed in the basement after the store closed, and I couldn’t stand it. I was not nice to them because I wanted to go home.

This is now my go-to lesson about being nice to people, even if they are a bunch of annoying musical theatre kids, and your job has decreased your tolerance for musical theatre kids. You never know when they will become beloved by all.

Also, I should have kept in touch with that co-worker from my other job at a Broadway show concession stand. That guy went on to win a Tony for best actor.

So glad to hear DBS is going to live on, it’s an institution!


#12

I would imagine they were already doing so. NYC book stores in general. And most of the ones still standing are on the famous end. There’s cache to appearing at a NYC bookstore, but especially to appearing at The Strand, or Midtown Comics. So it happens a lot. Like there was a Shakespeare specialty store, and Al Pachino “stopped in” to buy a copy of Merchant of Venice when he was in Merchant of Venice. Because he needed a copy of the play he’d already been in for months.

The specialist ones are usually pretty plugged into whatever scene their involved in. Like the Mysterious Book Store, which only sells mysteries, thrillers, and true crime books. Especially rare and out of print ones. Is pretty central (along with a handful of other book stores around the country) to the whole True Crime Boom. Anyone of significance in that scene has started a book tour there, or done a live podcast there. Or recieved an unsolicited box of research materials as a form of advertising. There’s almost always some weird murder related event at that place.

And from what I remember this place was similar. I think what changes is you go from “The cast of Cats is signing subway maps at this weird bookstore where theater students buy their homework” to “Good Morning America now takes you live to the cast of Star Wars singing show tunes at that bookstore Hamilton owns.”

All the people involved with Hamilton have been pretty agressive about this sort of thing. During the height of the craze they were doing most of their press events from their own neighborhood bodegas, and public school playgrounds and shit.


#13

I managed to snag tickets for the Seattle run by selling my soul signing up for every promo Ticketmaster offered and hoo boy, that was my birthday, anniversary, and Mother’s Day gift for the year.


#14

I had the opportunity to see it later this year but it would’ve entailed me buying a season pass for the entire year. And a lot of the other plays that are coming to Austin will be phenomenal and i’d love to see them, but i just couldn’t drop that kind of money. I’ll wait for now and see if i get another opportunity later on.


#15

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/08/arthur-seelan.html


#16

Another one? Wow, they’ve been busy!


#17

Same store, just a clarification. :grin:


#18

Don’t let the more radical liberals know that wealthy people sometimes do really good things for really good reasons and don’t expect to get richer from doing it. Good things no government would ever do and few would want a government doing as there’d be too many strings and “oversight”.

“Hmm,“Equus” and “Waiting for Godot” have got to go, they do not portray a positive role model Americans should see. “The Crucible”? NO way, it is unfair to our Christian traditions and heritage and presents a one sided view of religion being applied in a practical way to keep the children safe .”


#19

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