The Players Club, a Hidden Gem in New York

THE DAILY PIC: Barely changed for a century, the club is a time machine.

2016-06-10-players

THE DAILY PIC (#1568): One of the glories of New York is all its undiscovered treasures and corners. The other day, I got a special chance to peak into one of them: The Players, a venerable private club for theater people launched in 1888 in the gorgeous Gramercy Park mansion of its founder, the great thespian Edwin Booth.

The bedroom where Booth died in 1893, shown in today’s Pic, is still in the state it was in when he passed (his “last slippers” are shown below) and seeing it reminded me of one of the vital functions of all art – to take you to a time and place in the past that you didn’t get the chance to witness first hand. I guess that’s why I’m such a fan of the period rooms that used to be de rigeur in museums but have long since passed out of fashion. (A few older institutions, like the Met in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, keep a few of theirs in fine shape.) The Players feels like a whole suite of Victorian period rooms, still fulfilling their original functions.

Oh readers, lest you think I am tempting you with a vision of a place that you, in your unjournalistic humbletude, cannot visit, know that the Players will happily organize tours with just a bit of advance notice. Or if you have some Twitterly skills, you might even be able to get in this coming Sunday to watch a live broadcast of the Tony Awards, no less, with a crowd of esteemed theatrical pros who have been specially invited to attend. All you have to do to join them is head to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and post a 140-character rhyming couplet about a Tony-nominated show. Tag your couplet @ThePlayersNYC (@ThePlayersNY for Instagram), attach the hashtag #TonyCouplet, and, if your “poem” is clever enough, you could be chosen as one of 20 lucky civilians to grace the Players’ hallowed halls. (Photo by Lucy Hogg)

IMG_5046BoothShoes

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.


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