Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Drama Book Shop

The Drama Book Shop at 250 West 40th Street, right down the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Ave., is one of my favorite places in NYC.

UPDATE: The Drama Book Shop is open Mon-Sat, 10-8, and Sunday, noon-6. Call 1-800-322-0595 or www.dramabookshop.com

Near the cash register there is an array of postcards and flyers announcing small theatre productions, auditions and workshops. The magazine rack is stacked with publications devoted to acting and writing, theatre and film. A large mannequin atop a bookcase in the center aisle is adorned with a gown made of book pages -- the writings of Aphra Behn, the first professional woman writer in English literature.

The back of the store has hundreds of theatre-related books, scripts and memoirs. I picked up a copy of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" here, prior to attending the play's recent revival on Broadway.

If you are a devotee of fashion or theatre history, this is the place. It's great to see Tom Tierney's paper doll books prominently displayed. His work is valued by anyone creating costumes for a period production--Tom researches each book thoroughly, as you know. In addition, the Drama Book Shop also has an Edward Gorey toy theatre for sale, and numerous photographic- and illustrated- fashion history books, some just about hats, others just about shoes, and even patterns for costume makers.

The image at the top of this post is from a small book of postcards, "Playbill Classics Collection."

Below, more Erte note cards. The golden glitter doesn't show up, but trust me they are gorgeous.

Left: "Triple Costume design for Golden Wedding (1924)." Right, "Manhattan Mary (1927)."

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