THE GIRL WHO HANDCUFFED HOUDINI
starring Pearls Daily as Minky Woodcock and Vincent Cinque as Harry Houdini
The New Immersive Theater Experience by Speakeasy Dollhouse
September 26, 2018 - November 10, 2018
Theatre 80, 80 St Marks Place, Manhattan
All full price tickets include a copy of the hardcover graphic novel signed by the director/author/illustrator Cynthia von Buhler.
Exploring the mysterious death of Harry Houdini, THE GIRL WHO HANDCUFFED HOUDINI immerses audiences in a surreal Prohibition-era time capsule featuring magic, séances, absinthe and more.
Pearls Daily (Minky Woodcock)
Vincent Cinque (Harry Houdini)
Robyn Adele Anderson (Bess Houdini)
Lord Kat (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Luka Fric (Bennie Woodcock)
E. James Ford (J. Gordon Whitehead)
Delysia La Chatte (Nurse La Chatte)
Eden Atencio (Margery of Boston)
Ryan Salvato (Sam Smiley)
Celeste Hudson (Lady Marler)
Mat Leonard (Jim Collins)
Audrey Allen (Lady Allan)
Tess Richie (French Maid)
Will Davis (Jack Price)
Jesse Long (Cop)
Anna Stefanic (Bellhop Usher)
Cynthia von Buhler (Producer, Co-Director, Writer and Set Designer)
PJ Mead (Associate Producer, Co-Director and Business Manager)
Produced by Speakeasy Dollhouse.
Transporting audiences to 1926, the year Harry Houdini died, Speakeasy Dollhouse unravels the mystery of his untimely death. Written and directed by Cynthia von Buhler and based on her comic book series from Titan Comics/Hard Case Crime, The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini follows private investigator Minky Woodcock on her first case. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believes Houdini is not merely a magician but has supernatural powers; Bess Houdini suspects her husband is cheating on her. Minky goes undercover as Houdini’s new assistant, and when the great illusionist dies, Minky’s investigation leads her to the darkest of secrets…
Audience members will witness Harry Houdini’s final days through an immersive theater experience in which they are assigned a character to follow and then view events through that character’s point of view. They might 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. VIP guests follow Harry Houdini or Minky Woodcock, receive the best seats in the house for the stage portions of the show, and are invited onstage to inspect the Water Torture Chamber. Audience members are encouraged to come back again to follow other key players and see alternate facets of what actually led to Houdini’s fateful death. Evidence is revealed, but the truth is left up to the theatergoer to decide.
Replete with incredible magic tricks and authentic recreations of spiritualist demonstrations, the production offers up a meticulously detailed slice of Houdini history.
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. The Bloody Beginning, which ran for five years, soon became a hot underground theater ticket, selling out regularly and attracting a roster of guest actors from Broadway and hit television shows such as FX’s The Americans and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. In 2012, von Buhler’s investigation was featured in The New York Times (Using a Dollhouse to Recontruct a Murder, 77 Years Later). Von Buhler followed The Bloody Beginning with two other immersive plays, The Brothers Booth (2014), an investigation of the Lincoln assassination staged at his assassin’s brother’s mansion on Grammercy Park, and Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (2015), an exploration of the death of Ziegfeld Girl and silent film star Olive Thomas staged at a long-hidden Broadway theater uncovered in Times Square.