OUT PROFESSIONALS WELCOMES YOU TO THE PLAYERS, THE PRIVATE GRAMERCY PARK CLUB, EXTRAVAGANTLY DECORATED FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
On Tuesday evening, December 19, Members and friends of Out Professionals enjoy a full open bar during a memorable holiday visit to The Players, the private club founded in 1888 by legendary American actor Edwin Booth.
Purchasing a Gramercy Park mansion, Booth commissioned Stanford White, acclaimed architect of the Gilded Age, to turn it into a club “for the promotion of social intercourse between the representative members of the dramatic profession and the kindred professions of literature, painting, sculpture and music, and the patrons of the arts.”
Members have included John Barrymore, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon and Gregory Peck. In 1989 Helen Hayes became the first woman elected to membership. Recently the club’s roster has boasted Tony Bennett, Jimmy Fallon, Ethan Hawke, Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Christopher Plummer and Kevin Spacey.
Edwin Booth was portrayed by Richard Burton in Moss Hart’s elaborate 1955 biopic, “Prince of Players.” A bronze statue of Booth as Hamlet presides over Gramercy Park, Manhattan’s only private park. Reportedly the city’s oldest club still in its original clubhouse, The Players was named a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
A few highlights of your holiday visit:
- The pool table where Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) played pool with other founders of The Players.
- A visit to rooms where actors met secretly in 1913 to form Actors Equity Association.
- A portrait of stage and screen actress Nance O’Neil, whose intense friendship with the notorious Lizzie Borden fueled rumors of a lesbian relationship.
- Edwin Booth’s bedroom, with the skull he saluted in his famous 100 consecutive performances as Hamlet.
- A small portrait of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, Edwin’s younger brother — the only evidence of their relationship that the devastated Edwin would keep.
Extravagantly decorated for the holidays, the Players Club is housed in a stately 1847 Gothic Revival townhouse at 16 Gramercy Park South. Its entryway gaslights are among the few still operational in the city. Subway: 6 to 23rd Street or 4/5/L/N/Q/R to Union Square (a 15-minute walk). Tours of the interior depart at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.
Nonmember, $79, which includes a holiday contribution towards OP’s year-round operations. Dues-paying OP Member, $59. Full open bar. Business casual. Sorry, no refunds or exchanges. Advance registration closes at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Pocket a copy of your online receipt; thanks! Capacity limited. At the door, if available, cash preferred.
OUT PROFESSIONALS REWARDS
YOU FOR JOINING OR RENEWING
As a registered nonprofit, Out Professionals relies on the continuing support of our Individual and Business Members. Enjoy a 12-month Individual Membership PLUS free admission to tonight’s Holiday Party for just $119; final sale. Or enjoy the party and the expanded benefits of Business Membership — just $169. Membership provides free entry to every OP.LOUNGE and free or discounted admission at other OP events. As a Member, you help us provide a full range of affordable LGBT programming year round. Thanks for joining, rejoining or renewing now!