Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch

A book launch party for "Wynn Place Show: A Biased History of the Rollicking Life & Extreme Times of Wynn Handman and The American Place Theatre" by Jeremy Gerard (Smith and Kraus Publishers) was held December 16, 2013 at The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South, NYC. Stars attending the book launch celebration were Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and Frank Langella. Scroll down for photos from the event!

The book tells the astonishing story of the company where such future stars Dustin Hoffman, Frank Langella, Faye Dunaway, Michael Douglas, Sam Shepard, Patti Smith, Joel Grey, Olympia Dukakis, Morgan Freeman, Eric Bogosian, Bill Irwin, John Leguizamo and Aasif Mandvi did some of their most significant early work under the guidance of director and acting teacher Wynn Handman.

The extraordinary cast of characters includes Handman's co-founder Sidney Lanier, a cousin of Tennessee Williams and soon-to-be ex-Episcopal priest; Hollywood legend Myrna Loy, a lifelong supporter of Handman and the American Place; Dr. Jonathan Miller, who directed his first play for the American Place before going on to become one of the world's leading opera directors; and writers such as the poets Robert Lowell, William Alfred and Anne Sexton, whose stage work originated at the American Place, the first "downtown" theater uptown near the center of the commercial theater.

With a wealth of interviews and accompanied by the wonderful photographs of Martha Holmes, "Wynn Place Show" captures a time when, for over 25 years, the American Place Theatre was the hottest game in town, prefiguring the rise of such non-profit companies as the Manhattan Theatre Club and Playwrights Horizons.

Author Jeremy Gerard recently concluded a long stint as chief drama critic for Bloomberg News. He has written about the lively arts for more than 30 years as Broadway reporter for the New York Times, chief drama and television critic for Variety and culture columnist for New York Magazine.

Photo Credit: Gerry Goodstein

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Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
Wynn Handman, Richard Gere, who appeared at The American Place Theatre in plays by Sam Shepard, and author Jeremy Gerard

Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
Wynn Handman and Richard Gere

Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
John Leguizamo, an acting student of Wynn Handman, offers a tribute to him.

Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
Author Jeremy Gerard

Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
Author Jeremy Gerard

Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
Wynn Handman (right) with his son-in-law, Harold Ickes

Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
Wynn Handman

Photo Flash: Richard Gere, John Leguizamo and More at WYNN PLACE SHOW Book Launch
Wynn Handman, Frank Langella and Jeremy Gerard

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