by TOWNES COATES
Here’s a midcentury report from the Bulletin that has it all: a Players legend that one member tells and another tactfully disputes; the era of fifteen daily newspapers in New York, but a polite distance between the club and reporters; a firsthand account of the night when our founder (and his bedroom) entered immortality; and, for good measure, a bit of debate about light fixtures.
Some stories of that night we still hear—the handkerchief supposedly waved from Mr. Booth’s window at the hour of his death, the cry of a crowd standing vigil—do not appear here.
Samuel Hopkins Adams was a newspaper reporter, muckraking magazine journalist, and novelist of both respectable subjects and, under the pseudonym of Warner Fabian, titillating stories of sexually liberated flappers. He was a Player from 1905 until his death in 1958.
Townes Coates is a producer and writer. He is Chair of the Managing Committee at The Players. Drop him a line here.