Greenwich Village has a new bookstore located at 115 MacDougal Street in the lobby of the historic Players Theatre.
The specialty bookshop, Bravo’s Book Nook, focuses on books about theater, music, children’s education, and Greenwich Village history. The store is co-owned by Michael Sgouros of the historic Players Theatre and Brenda Bell of Literally Alive Theatre, a children’s production company that performs plays in the theater.
The theater has a rich history. Built in 1907, it is one of the oldest Off-Broadway venues still in operation. It was originally used to house horses but was converted into a theater in the 1958. The Players Theatre contains a main stage with more than 200 seats and a 50-seat black box theatre as well as four rehearsal rooms. According to the South Village Historic District Designation Report, “Gene Frankel directed and held theatre workshops at the Players Theater from 1959 to at least 1968. The Café Wha? has occupied part of the building since the 1950s except for a period when it was replaced by the Café Feenjon. Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Pryor, and Bill Cosby are among the performers who played the Café Wha?” Players Theatre has hosted a large number of off-Broadway productions since opening its doors. Most notably in the early 1990s, Natalie Portman starred in the musical Ruthless, in which Britney Spears also participated as an understudy. An archive of every production at the theater can be found here.
The store stays true to its theater roots and offers a plethora of plays ranging from one-acts to full broadway productions. The store also celebrates their Greenwich Village history by offering a rotating collection of books that speak to local history, including Village Preservation’s own publication Greenwich Village Stories. They regularly hold special sales, so stay up to date on upcoming deals by following their Facebook page.
Bravo’s Book Nook offers an off-Broadway theater space that they plan to take full advantage of with their upcoming events. The first event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m with a reading and book signing of “How To Raise A Reader.” Authors Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, two women who not only live and work in the world of books but are mothers of three children each, provide readers with insider know-how to parents searching for the tools to instill a lifelong love of reading in their children. Your $22 ticket includes a copy of “How to Raise a Reader.” You can purchase your ticket by emailing info@BravosBookNook.com or by clicking here.
The bookshop is open Monday to Saturday from noon-7 p.m. & Sunday from 10 a.m-5 p.m. You can find more information at bravosbooknook.com.
Bravo’s Book Nook is also located within the South Village Historic District. Did you know that landmarked districts can help small businesses thrive? Learn more about how Village Preservation is fighting for small businesses here. You can also learn more about our work to protect the South Village here. Lastly, you can also check out our image archive of Fred W. McDarrah’s collection for original photography of Players Theatre.