©Cynthia von Buhler 2018
Speakeasy Dollhouse, the production company that brought immersive experiences like The Brothers Booth, The Illuminati Ball, and Midnight Frolic to New York City, is now inviting guests to travel back to 1926 and investigate the mysterious death of famed magician Harry Houdini in their latest production, The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini. This new interactive performance, written and directed by Speakeasy Dollhouse founder Cynthia von Buhler and based on her noir comic book series from Titan Comics/Hard Case Crime, follows private investigator Minky Woodcock as she goes undercover as Houdini’s assistant on her first case. In order to bring this spectacular show to life, Speakeasy Dollhouse is seeking support via a Kickstarter campaign.
©Cynthia von Buhler 2018
The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini follows fictional private investigator Minky Woodcock and real life figures from history like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believes Houdini is not merely a magician but has supernatural powers, and Bess Houdini, who suspects her husband is cheating on her. At the show, audience members will be assigned a character who they will follow and through whose point-of-view they will witness Harry Houdini’s final days. Guests may find themselves attending a séance, helping the magician rehearse backstage, sipping absinthe in a speakeasy, spying on an affair in a hotel room, witnessing an attempted murder, visiting Houdini in his hospital room, or viewing his body in the morgue. All attendees “travel via train” to watch Houdini’s final month of performances, including his iconic Water Torture Chamber act, in Rhode Island, Montreal and Detroit. The show will feature incredible magic tricks and authentic recreations of spiritualist demonstrations.
©Charles Ardai 2018
Supporters of the Kickstarter campaign. will receive gifts such as signed copies of von Buhler’s book, an invitation to a post-show book release party, and tickets to the performance which is set to open in late September at Theatre 80. Money from the Kickstarter campaign will be used to help off-set the upfront costs of this ambitious play, such as paying for the venue, rehearsal space rental, and costumes, and props like the Water Torture Chamber that is being built by Richard Sherry in Canada.
Artist and author Cynthia von Buhler created Speakeasy Dollhouse in 2011 to explore the murder of her own Italian immigrant grandfather, a speakeasy owner named Frank Spano, who was shot and killed on a New York City street in 1935. Long haunted by the mystery of his death, von Buhler obtained news articles, autopsy reports, police records, and court documents, and recreated the crime scene in an elaborate dollhouse diorama. In Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning, von Buhler brought her miniature set to life at mobster Meyer Lansky’s former speakeasy, The Back Room.
If you are or become and Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend the dress rehearsal and book launch for free!