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Play Boys

“Don’t I know you from Dalton?” The guys behind Play cater to private-school club kids who don’t entirely want to grow up.

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Lounge act: Alex Lasky, Vince Smith, and Andrew Levitas (seated) in their West Village club, Play.  

“It’s like someone’s uptown, high-tech living room and the parents are away,” says Alex Lasky, 31, one of three owners of Play, the new West Village lounge in the subterranean space formerly known as Halo. If that sounds like a Dalton alum’s idea of regressive fun, then Lasky (Taft) and his partners, Andrew Levitas, 26 (Dalton), and Vince Smith, 33 (Oak Park River Forest—it’s in Chicago), have succeeded. They like to dole out games (Bingo with models! Drunk Twister! Truth-or-dare!) to all their Play mates, mostly grads of Manhattan private schools who still use Daddy’s black AmEx to buy a $250 “bucket of fun” filled with mini hotel bottles of booze. When they’re not hosting, Lasky and Smith produce an on-demand TV channel called bthere, which provides “behind the scenes” party footage, while Levitas, a bi-coastal actor who’s been on The Nanny and Party of Five, takes care of the club’s celebrity wattage. Since Play opened last month, John Cusack, Jay-Z, and Shannen Doherty have stopped by (but what about Fran Drescher?). “I just wanted a place for me and my friends to hang out and not be worried about the normal garbage that goes along with going out in New York City,” says Levitas. Don’t worry, though—he hasn’t thrown out all the garbage: There’s still a velvet rope barricading a healthy line of C-listers from the door.


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