Drama at the Drama Bookstore

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John F
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Drama at the Drama Bookstore

Post by John F » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:21 am

The Drama Bookstore is a great place, the best in America for getting plays and all kinds of books and other materials about theatre. Possibly in more than America, since the best London places closed years ago. But 10 days ago... Well, let the NY Times tell the story.

Pipe Bursts at Drama Bookstore. Enter ‘Hamilton’ Creator to Drum Up Business.
FEB. 23, 2016

A playlet in four acts, set in the Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, near Eighth Avenue, starring A BURST PIPE as the villain, and LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, the creator of “Hamilton,” as one of many heroes.

Act I. Time: Early morning, Feb. 15

SHAWN VERRIER, a manager, arrives to open the store for the day. Sees that the front windows are fogged up. Looks puzzled. Unlocks the door. Looks up at ceiling. Sees water dripping — a lot of water. Sees a sheet of ice on the floor — water that had frozen after pouring down from A BURST PIPE upstairs. PIPE’S motivation for bursting is unclear. MR. VERRIER senses that this is a catastrophe for the shop, which bills itself as the oldest performing-arts bookstore in the country. Tears up. Sobs.

A soliloquy by MR. VERRIER: “There were big clumps of paint that looked like snow” hanging from the ceiling, he says, “and it looked like it was raining.” The water was still dripping.

RIC E. ANDERSON, another manager, reports receiving a call from someone from Story Pirate, a children’s theater company that rents space in the store: “They said, ‘We’ve got a bit of a flood.’ I thought it was toilets.”

Just as the show must go on, the store must stay open. VARIOUS EMPLOYEES cordon off the area where damage is worst, mainly sections devoted to acting, writing, theater management and producing. CUSTOMERS are routed along the far side of the store to the area in the back, where the plays are. MR. VERRIER climbs a ladder, scrapes paint from ceiling. Says the books caught in the cascade were valuable. Estimates the value as “probably someone’s college tuition.” Many were out of print.

Act II. Time: Sometime on Thursday, Feb. 18.

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA is wherever he is on a Thursday afternoon, several hours before curtain time for “Hamilton,” posting messages to his 269,000 followers on Twitter. “The @dramabookshop is not only the best place to get theater-related ANYTHING, I wrote most of In the Heights there. Pls support... It is the only one in the world, and therefore indispensable. #BuyaBook when you’re in town.”

“I like to sit in the Shakespeare section — comfiest chairs. If I’m not poring over piano/vocal scores...
When I was last there I got a Noël Coward bio, a King Lear DVD starring Brian Blessed and the Heathers piano/vocal.”

A FOLLOWER asks: But will “Hamilton” be sold there? That is a reference to a book, “Hamilton: The Revolution” by Mr. Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, which is to be published in April. “It will be. And I’ll go sign it there. But they need your help now so I can go sign it there in April.”

Act III. Time: Sometime on Friday, Feb. 19.

MR. MIRANDA stops in, makes a video with his iPhone and posts it to YouTube. Shows the shelves where the water rained down. Shows his purchases, which include the score of “The Book of Mormon” and “The August Wilson Century Cycle” — “which, if you are studying playwriting, how have you not heard at least one of August Wilson’s great plays?”

Points the iPhone at an employee, FREDDY PADILLA, and directs him to tell viewers where to find the shop’s website.

MR. PADILLA: W, w, w, whatever, drama bookshop dot com.
MR. MIRANDA: You don’t need to type the www, it’s not 1997.
MR. PADILLA: Everyone knows.

Act IV. Time: Tuesday afternoon.

Sales soar, fueled by social media traffic, attention from MR. MIRANDA and news coverage. MR. ANDERSON mentions an order for $2,500. MR. VERRIER mentions a March 26 concert to benefit the shop at Feinstein’s/54 Below, on West 54th Street.

MR. PADILLA has the last word: “We’re thankful for all the attention. It’s fun, getting all these people coming in saying, ‘Hey, Lin-Manuel sent me.’ I’ve had people high-fiving me who said, ‘You’re friends with him, so now I’m friends with him.’ But I don’t think that’s how it works.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/nyreg ... iness.html
John Francis

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