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Taking a Chance on Love

Updated: Mar 6


Brian Drutman with Michael Gerbino at Meet Your Fellow Players
Brian Drutman with Michael Gerbino at Meet Your Fellow Players

I became a member of The Players in April 1994. A prospective member was expected to provide the admissions committee with five letters of recommendation from current members. The candidate’s proposer or seconder was also expected to accompany the candidate to the admissions interview and formally present them. Wearing my best suit that day, I was told to wait in the library until the committee called me in.  

 I was alone.  My seconder apparently had some domestic issue at home and was told by his spouse that he could not leave the house. My proposer was “missing in action.” (It was later disclosed to me that he had been drinking the night before.)  This caused some grumbles and raised eyebrows among the committee members but I was nonetheless invited into the Berman Room to “meet the gang.”

I was already familiar with several committee members from my previous visits to the club -- the actors Werner Klemperer and Richard B. Shull, the Illustrator Lee Falk and the musicologist Robert Lissauer.  They greeted me cordially but seriously. We had a lengthy conversation on a variety of topics including the state of theater, the plays I had recently seen, my varied interests (music, architecture, New York history). 

Finally, Lee Falk, the Chairman, cleared his throat and declared, “Mr. Drutman, we come to the $64,000 question.”   The committee chuckled.  This was the standard question and the one I had been told in advance to expect. “Why do you wish to become a member of The Players?" 

“The Players?” I questioned. “Oh. My apologies. I thought this was The Explorer’s Club.”   

Perpetuating the joke, I stood up, walked out of the room and headed for the stairs. As I was going down, frightened thoughts raced through my mind:  Am I overplaying this gag? How far down the stairs should I go?  When I reached the landing, I saw Bob Lissauer at the top of the railing. 

 “Drutman!” he shouted.  “You’re In!”

My beginning of 30 years of camaraderie, friendship, laughter and pleasure at The Players.

Blog Contributor
Brian Drutman; Photo by Michael Gerbino

Brian Drutman, music producer and man about town, is also the indispensable accompanist for the singalong at Meet Your Fellow Players every month. He is a member of The Players Hall of Fame and sits on the Board of Directors of The Players Foundation for Theatre Education.


Linda Porto
Linda Porto
Mar 04

Love this story and we Players love you Brian!


Carl Rutberg
Carl Rutberg
Mar 01

Boy, is the Players is a better place for it.

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