03/10/14 10:00am

Brothers Booth Players Club NYC Untapped Cities Newsboy (actor Daniel Burns). Photograph by Jeremy Daniel. - ImgurNewsboy played by Daniel Burns. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Artist Cynthia Von Buhler’s latest endeavor might be the closest you can get to time travel. Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth, an interactive play exploring the Booth brothers’ sibling rivalry, will whisk you back to 1919—when Prohibition drove the parties underground but certainly didn’t stop them.

Von Buhler has explored this theme in the first iteration of the Speakeasy Dollhouse: the Bloody Beginning, which was inspired by the true story of her grandfather’s murder. This time, she has taken a quintessentially New York story and brought it to life in one of the City’s most coveted private Gilded Age clubs, the Players Club on Gramercy Park.  (more…)

01/30/14 1:00pm

CynthiaVB8_web_Maxine_Nienow the Players Club NYC Untapped CitiesCynthia von Buhler at the Players Club. Photo Credit: Maxine Nienow

What if John Wilkes Booth really assassinated Lincoln because of a sibling rivalry? The Brothers Booth, a new interactive play by Cynthia Von Buhler, creator of the Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning, will explore that possibility. Spectators will be encouraged to play along, observing the action and piecing together the clues as they explore The Players Club, founded by Edwin Booth in 1888. The Brothers Booth is a fantasy based on a number of truths about Edwin and his infamous brother, John Wilkes Booth. We met up with von Buhler at the Players Club to find out more about the play, which opens in March.  (more…)

11/06/13 10:00am

A dive bar is probably not the first place one would look to find New York City’s rich history. The following places, however, are not your average bars. Most of them were around when the Brooklyn Bridge first opened in 1883. Their walls are covered in history, echoing the ghosts they have acquired over a century. They have been characters in a number of movies and books, and are in countless photographs. Their famed patrons range from George Washington to Bob Dylan, as varied as the neighborhoods where they are located, but its the neighborhood residents that have breathed life into these watering holes over the last 100+ years.

The Bridge Cafe

bridge cafe-oldest surviving bars-water district-nyc
Almost the entirety of this street is in the process of reconstruction after Hurricane Sandy.  

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05/10/13 2:00pm

The Players_Club_New York City_Gramercy Park-5

We recently learned the distressing news that The Players Club, Gramercy Park’s members-only theater club, might be shut down due to financial mishandling. The Players, which we visited in February on a behind the scenes tour, recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, making it the oldest private club in New York City still in its original location.

The Players Club was founded in 1888 by Edwin Booth, a Shakespearian actor and brother of John Wilkes Booth, together with fifteen incorporators, including Mark Twain and General William Tecumseh Sherman. The Players occupies a beautiful five story Greek revival townhouse and members have access to a key that opens Gramercy Park. It was originally an all male club for actors to get to know society men. The club has an incredibly rich history, as evidenced by the many artifacts housed there, including Mark Twain’s pool cue, Booth’s costumes from Shakespearian dramas, and even the skull of an admirer that Booth used in Hamlet’s soliloquy. Portraits of the club’s members, including Carey Grant, Gregory Peck, Tommy Lee Jones, Liza Minelli, Jimmy Fallon, and many more hang on the wall by the staircase.

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