We already know that Broadway’s Lin-Manuel Miranda is a swell guy. Despite his busy schedule starring in "Mary Poppins Returns," accepting a Kennedy Center Honor for his blockbuster musical "Hamilton" and working to get an "In the Heights" movie off the ground, he has time to wish us all good morning and goodnight every day on Twitter, he’s currently reprising his lead role in "Hamilton" in Puerto Rico to raise money for the hurricane-battered island -- as well as a bunch of other stuff -- and now he’s got a new title to add to his resume: bookstore owner.
Miranda and his "Hamilton" collaborators (including director Tommy Kail, producer Jeffrey Seller and theater-owner James L. Nederlander) have bought a theater bookstore on the brink of closing. The Drama Bookshop in New York City is a popular hang for the theater crowd, and also includes a black box theater and hosts readings, classes and signings.
Miranda has a personal connection to the shop as he browsed there in high school. “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,” he told the New York Times. Miranda wrote much of "In the Heights" there. In 2002, he and Kail would meet there to discuss collaborating on "In the Heights" as Kail has a theater company based in the basement.
Here he is with future co-star Christopher Jackson back when they were Broadway babies:
Kerry Washington also chimed in on her love for the little shop around the corner:
This is not the first time Miranda has come to The Drama Bookshop's rescue. In 2016, after a burst pipe caused damage to the store, Miranda encouraged people to shop there and business boomed. This time, the shop is being forced out of its current location due to the crazy NYC real estate market and the city has pledged to help move the shop to an affordable Midtown location under the guidance of the new owners. The previous owner will stay on as a consultant. It is closing this month and will reopen in its new space in the fall.
As a former high school theater nerd who knows first-hand about the power of theater communities, this makes me want to shower Miranda and friends with confetti made from recycled Playbills. Preserving this little piece of the Broadway community is what the city needs and who better to lead the charge than the current king of Broadway? Better yet, make that man a cape made of old show t-shirts and raise a toast at the cast party. He'd totally dig that.