Stageworks Media Presents Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth By Cynthia von Buhler, Directed by Wes Grantom


For Immediate Release

Contact: Bill Coyle / COYLE ENTERTAINMENT
coyleentertainment@gmail.com / 917-279-6044


300 dpi press images: http://imgur.com/a/Fsgki#0





Stageworks Media
Presents

Cynthia von Buhler's
Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth

Directed by Wes Grantom
Written by Cynthia von Buhler and Mat Smart

Long-running immersive theater piece 
SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE: THE BLOODY BEGINNING
Starts a new chapter . . .
This time delving into the sibling rivalry between
John Wilkes and Edwin Booth.

At The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South

Three Special Monthly Performances
Saturdays: March 1st, April 5th, and May 3rd at 8:00 pm

Stageworks Media is pleased to announce Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth by Cynthia von Buhler.  A new chapter to Ms. von Buhler’s Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning, which has over the past two years become one of the city's most unique, interactive, and surreal theatre experiences, Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth brings von Buhler’s unique brand of immersive theater to the legends of John Wilkes and Edwin Booth.  Directed by Wes Grantom (Eager to Lose at Ars Nova), Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth will play monthly performances (on the first Saturday of the month) at The Players Club (16 Gramercy Park South) beginning in March 2014.  For tickets and more information, visit www.speakeasydollhouse.com

Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth is an immersive time-traveling theatrical experience, set in the renowned Players Club -- the former home of Edwin Booth -- which explores the sibling rivalry between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth.  Set in 1919, the various characters presented in Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth include John Drew (the then-president of The Players Club) and John Singer Sargeant, as well as the ghosts of Edwin and John Wilkes Booth.  Like the original, Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth also features live jazz, moonshine and burlesque. 

According to Speakeasy Dollhouse creator Cynthia von Buhler, “My research on the Booth family has led me to believe that Abraham Lincoln was murdered as a result of sibling rivalry, and not because of John Wilkes’ love of the confederacy. Edwin Booth, a staunch Lincoln supporter, was honored by the president -- and even saved Lincoln’s son Robert from being crushed by a train shortly before the president’s assassination.  Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth encourages audiences to roam Edwin Booth's former mansion in search for the truth. Utilizing Shakespearean themes, longtime conspiracy theories, and surreal vignettes, Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth weaves together a story of the brothers' troubled lives.”

Artist and author Cynthia von Buhler is the creator of Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning, an immersive theatrical hit that explores the murder of von Buhler’s Italian immigrant grandfather, Frank Spano.  A speakeasy owner, Spano was shot and killed on a Manhattan street in 1935.  Though the shooter was caught, his case was inexplicably dismissed, leaving the question of motive forever unanswered. Long haunted by the mystery, von Buhler, whose mother was born the day her grandfather died, began interviewing family members about the killing and scouring autopsy reports, police records, and court documents. Inspired by a 1940s investigative technique called "nutshell studies," von Buhler first recreated the crime scene in an elaborate dollhouse diorama (which can be explored on location during each performance).  Von Buhler brought her miniature set to life in Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning, which was first intended to be a one-night theatrical staging (via a successful Kickstarter campaign). It has since become a hot underground theater ticket, going from monthly performances to weekly performances as it consistently sold out, and extended its run repeatedly over the past two years. 

Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth is the first show of its kind to be staged at The Players Club, which was founded in 1888 by Edwin Booth, America's pre-eminent Shakespearean actor, and 15 other incorporators (including Mark Twain and General William Tecumseh Sherman).  Located in a Greek Revival townhouse facing historic Gramercy Park, modeled after London's famed Garrick Club, The Players was the first American club of its kind.  Its purpose:  "The promotion of social intercourse between members of the dramatic profession and the kindred professions of literature, painting, architecture, sculpture and music, law and medicine, and the patrons of the arts . . ." Today, leaders from a variety of professions in the arts, business, and commerce enjoy The Players' unique spirit of conviviality  and discourse.  Edwin Booth's bedroom remains on a top floor of the club, undisturbed since his passing in 1893.  2014 marks the 125th anniversary of The Players Club.  

Cynthia von Buhler’s Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Brothers Booth, directed by Wes Grantom, will be presented at The Players Club (16 Gramercy Park South) monthly on the following Saturdays in 2014: Saturday, March 1st  at 8pm; Saturday, April 5th at 8 pm; and Saturday, May 3rd at 8 pm.  Tickets (advance only) are priced at $75 (general admission) and $125 (VIP, which includes exclusive access beyond the staircase to the third floor, VIP-only scenes, and lounge and cocktail service).  Tickets are now available by visiting www.speakeasydollhouse.com or through Brown Paper Tickets.

For information contact Stageworks Media at info@stageworksmedia.com or 212-960-8323.

# # #


SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE, NEW YORK CITY’S INDIE IMMERSIVE THEATRE HIT CELEBRATES ITS SECOND ANNIVERSARY


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact:  Bill Coyle / COYLE ENTERTAINMENT

**FOR PRESS PHOTOS – go to http://imgur.com/a/jOJFP


STAGEWORKS MEDIA
PRESENTS

CYNTHIA VON BUHLER’S
SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE

NEW YORK CITY’S INDIE IMMERSIVE THEATRE HIT
CELEBRATES ITS SECOND ANNIVERSARY

TICKETS NOW ON SALE THROUGH DECEMBER 14TH

Based on a true NYC murder case, SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE
immerses audience in a surreal, Prohibition-era time capsule
featuring live jazz, burlesque, mobsters, moonshine and more.

Transporting audiences to an era of mobsters, moonshine, and murder, Cynthia von Buhler’s SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE, one of the city's most unique, interactive, and surreal theatre experiences, proudly celebrates its two-year anniversary this month.  Performing to sold-out audiences since October 2011, SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE brings an actual unsolved Prohibition-era murder to life in the downtown building that once served as mobster Meyer Lansky’s hangout. SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE is performed weekly (Saturdays at 5:00PM) at “Spano’s Club” (a.k.a. The Back Room) located at 102 Norfolk St. (near Delancey St.).  Tickets (advance only and starting at $55.00) are available by calling 1-800-838-3006 or online at brownpapertickets.com.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE was created by artist and author Cynthia von Buhler, whose Italian immigrant grandfather, a speakeasy owner named Frank Spano, was shot and killed on a Manhattan street in 1935.

Though the shooter was caught, his case was inexplicably dismissed, leaving the question of motive forever unanswered. Long haunted by the mystery, von Buhler, whose mother was born the day her grandfather died, began interviewing family members about the killing and scouring autopsy reports, police records, and court documents. Inspired by a 1940s investigative technique called "nutshell studies," von Buhler first recreated the crime scene in an elaborate dollhouse diorama (which can be explored on location during each performance).

Von Buhler brought her miniature set to life in SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE, which was first intended to be a one-night theatrical staging (via a successful Kickstarter campaign). It has since become a hot underground theater ticket, going from monthly performances to weekly performances as it consistently sold out, and extending its run repeatedly over the past two years.

The SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE experience begins with a series of emails featuring actual 1935 news articles, court documents, and autopsy reports. Audience members also receive special instructions to show up dressed for a 1930’s night on the town at a secret address, including the password they will need to enter. Upon arrival, an audience member has their palm read by a fortune teller, and is assigned a role ranging from shooting a mobster to aiding in an autopsy.  Once they step through the tiny door, they are transported into a perfect replica of a speakeasy, where they can eat cannoli, sip hooch disguised in coffee cups, play cards with gangsters, enjoy burlesque performances – and witness a shooting, funeral, murder investigation, and trial.

Each show explores a different motive behind the murder, from jealousy over a suspected affair to a Mafia hit. As audience members meander through a speakeasy bar, a private alleyway, a bakery, and more, they are privy to conversations and whispered snippets from cast members about the victim's marital infidelities, mob connections, and other clues. The piece is constantly evolving based on new scenarios sparked by spontaneous interactions between cast members and guests, who are encouraged to become full-fledged participants in the unfolding drama.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE is more than just a play – it is a time capsule that transports audiences to the scene of a riveting crime and then invites them to live fully in that world, erasing the boundary between themselves and the performers," said von Buhler.

The cast of SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE includes noted jazz violinist Russell Farhang in the starring role as Frank Spano, Nino Giaimo (Uncle Nino from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and “The Show with Vinny”) as undertaker Dominick Grimaldi, burlesque star Kat Mon Dieu as Lena Doino, jazz musician Howard Fishman as bandleader Henry Azelrod, and soprano Katie Kat as Millie Nelba.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE has attracted a roster of guest performers that has included bestselling author Neil Gaiman, musician Amanda Palmer, downtown theatre icon Edgar Oliver, and others. New guest performers will be announced shortly.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE is presented by Stageworks Media. It is performed on Saturdays at 5 PM (5 – 7:30 PM) at “Spano’s Club” (a.k.a. The Back Room) located at 102 Norfolk St. (near Delancey St.).

Tickets to SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE are now available for performances through December 14th (no performance on Thanksgiving weekend, Sat, November 30th).  Tickets are available in advance only (prices start at $55; Packages and VIP tables are available – up to $145 per person).  Tickets can be purchased by phone at 1-800-838-3006 or online at brownpapertickets.com.

For inquires, call 212-960-8323, or email info@stageworksmedia.com.


# # #

TONY AWARD NOMINEE EUAN MORTON TO PLAY IN CYNTHIA VON BUHLER’S SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact:  Bill Coyle / COYLE ENTERTAINMENT

To download press imageshttp://imgur.com/a/jOJFP

TONY AWARD NOMINEE
EUAN MORTON
TO PLAY IN

CYNTHIA VON BUHLER’S
SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE

NEW YORK CITY’S INDIE IMMERSIVE THEATRE HIT
NOW CELEBRATING ITS SECOND ANNIVERSARY

PRESENTED BY STAGEWORKS MEDIA

MR. MORTON AND MEMBERS OF
GRANDPA MUSSELMAN & HIS SYNCOPATORS
TO APPEAR
NOVEMBER 16, NOVEMBER 23, AND DECEMBER 7

Based on a true NYC murder case, SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE
immerses audience in a surreal, Prohibition-era time capsule
featuring live jazz, burlesque, mobsters, moonshine and more.

Transporting audiences to an era of mobsters, moonshine, and murder, Cynthia von Buhler’s SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE brings an actual unsolved Prohibition-era murder to life in the downtown building that once served as mobster Meyer Lansky’s hangout.   For three upcoming Saturday performances - November 16, November 23, and December 7 – Tony Award nominee Euan Morton will step into the DOLLHOUSE to play the role of bandleader “Henry Azelrod,” performing with members of the jazz band Grandpa Musselman & His Syncopators. 

Presented by Stageworks Media, SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE -- one of the city's most unique, interactive, and surreal theatre experiences -- has been performing to sold-out audiences since October 2011.  Mr. Morton is the latest in a roster of guest performers that have visited SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE, including bestselling author Neil Gaiman, musician Amanda Palmer, downtown theatre icon Edgar Oliver, and others.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE is performed weekly (Saturdays at 5:00PM) at “Spano’s Club” (a.k.a. The Back Room) located at 102 Norfolk St. (near Delancey St.).  Tickets (advance only and starting at $55.00) are now on sale through December 14th.  Tickets are available by calling 1-800-838-3006 or online at brownpapertickets.com.

Euan Morton, a native of Scotland, received an Olivier Award nomination for originating the role of Boy George in the musical Taboo. He moved to New York in 2003 to reprise the role on Broadway, earning Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations, as well as the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. His other New York stage appearances include Sondheim on Sondheim and the 2007 revival of Cyrano De Bergerac on Broadway; as well as the Off Broadway productions of Measure For Pleasure at The Public Theater (2006 OBIE Award), Tony Kushner's adaptation of Brundib├ír at the New Victory Theatre, Howard Katz (opposite Alfred Molina) at the Roundabout Theatre, the 2009 American premiere of Leaves of Glass, and the Keen Company’s current revival of The Film Society.  Regionally he has appeared in the historic Ford's Theatre's production of Parade (Helen Hayes Award, best actor), as well as in productions at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA; the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.; Berkeley Rep; Kansas City Rep; Theatreworks in Mountain View; the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Bay Street Theatre.  Euan can be heard on various cast recordings and released his debut solo CD NewClear in 2006, followed by Caledonia-the Homecoming in 2011. He has appeared in concert in New York City at the Oak Room at the Algonquin, Town Hall, the Metropolitan Room, the Zipper, Joe's Pub and Birdland, as well as at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA and The Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C., and many other venues all over the country.  This December he will play his first NYC concert in over two years at 54 Below, where -- backed by Grandpa Musselman & His Syncopators – he’ll perform a repertoire of turn of the century ragtime, 1920s jazz and depression era swing by composers such as Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE was created by artist and author Cynthia von Buhler, whose Italian immigrant grandfather, a speakeasy owner named Frank Spano, was shot and killed on a Manhattan street in 1935.

Though the shooter was caught, his case was inexplicably dismissed, leaving the question of motive forever unanswered. Long haunted by the mystery, von Buhler, whose mother was born the day her grandfather died, began interviewing family members about the killing and scouring autopsy reports, police records, and court documents. Inspired by a 1940s investigative technique called "nutshell studies," von Buhler first recreated the crime scene in an elaborate dollhouse diorama (which can be explored on location during each performance).

Von Buhler brought her miniature set to life in SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE, which was first intended to be a one-night theatrical staging (via a successful Kickstarter campaign). It has since become a hot underground theater ticket, going from monthly performances to weekly performances as it consistently sold out, and extending its run repeatedly over the past two years.

The SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE experience begins with a series of emails featuring actual 1935 news articles, court documents, and autopsy reports. Audience members also receive special instructions to show up dressed for a 1930’s night on the town at a secret address, including the password they will need to enter. Upon arrival, an audience member has their palm read by a fortune teller, and is assigned a role ranging from shooting a mobster to aiding in an autopsy.  Once they step through the tiny door, they are transported into a perfect replica of a speakeasy, where they can eat cannoli, sip hooch disguised in coffee cups, play cards with gangsters, enjoy burlesque performances – and witness a shooting, funeral, murder investigation, and trial.

Each show explores a different motive behind the murder, from jealousy over a suspected affair to a Mafia hit. As audience members meander through a speakeasy bar, a private alleyway, a bakery, and more, they are privy to conversations and whispered snippets from cast members about the victim's marital infidelities, mob connections, and other clues. The piece is constantly evolving based on new scenarios sparked by spontaneous interactions between cast members and guests, who are encouraged to become full-fledged participants in the unfolding drama.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE is more than just a play – it is a time capsule that transports audiences to the scene of a riveting crime and then invites them to live fully in that world, erasing the boundary between themselves and the performers," said von Buhler.

The cast of SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE includes noted jazz violinist Russell Farhang in the starring role as Frank Spano, Nino Giaimo (Uncle Nino from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and “The Show with Vinny”) as undertaker Dominick Grimaldi, burlesque star Kat Mon Dieu as Lena Doino, and soprano Katie Kat as Millie Nelba.

SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE is presented by Stageworks Media. It is performed on Saturdays at 5 PM (5 – 7:30 PM) at “Spano’s Club” (a.k.a. The Back Room) located at 102 Norfolk St. (near Delancey St.).

Tickets to SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE are now available for performances through December 14th (no performance on Thanksgiving weekend, Sat, November 30th).  Tickets are available in advance only (prices start at $55; Packages and VIP tables are available – up to $145 per person).  Tickets can be purchased by phone at 1-800-838-3006 or online atbrownpapertickets.com.

For inquires, call 212-960-8323, or email info@stageworksmedia.com.

# # #

Recent Publicity


Television

Cynthia von Buhler and Speakeasy Dollhouse were featured in "A Gurney for Grandpa" (Season 3, Episode 16) on the Science Channel (Discovery) television show Oddities. Buy the episode HERE for $1.99. Or, watch PART ONE and PART TWO on YouTube.
Cynthia enters the store and explains her project to Evan and Mike.

Cynthia and the actors at the speakeasy.

Evan reveals the gurney to Cynthia.

Film


Inside the Speakeasy Dollhouse, The Documentary
Of Dolls & Murder, directed by Susan Marks and narrated by John Waters is a documentary about Francis Glessner Lee’s crime scene investigation dollhouse dioramas. Marks has recently finished "Inside the Speakeasy Dollhouse" which is a sequel to "Of Dolls & Murder." You can now order the film when you buy your tickets!



Reviews






 









Three pages are missing here. .












Interviews



This is the seventh installment in a new series called Keepers of Curiosity, featuring interviews with intrepid performers, artists, writers and culinary-minded individuals with a thirst for discovery and innovation. The series is brought to you by Hendrick's Gin. To read the other interviews in this series, click here.






The Artist Murder Investigator: Cynthia von Buhler

Playwright and award-winning artist Cynthia von Buhler uses the power of performance to explore unsolved mysteries.

What do you do?I investigate murders, specifically those related to significant events in history. This began with Speakeasy Dollhouse, a look into my grandfather’s 1935 murder. Shortly after Prohibition ended, my grandfather, who was a bootlegger, was shot on the street in Manhattan. No living members of my family know why—and my grandmother took these secrets with her to the grave. When I began my research, nothing was known about the killer, his motive, or the trial.
Since I make dollhouses for my children’s books, I decided to create scenes from this unsolved mystery using my own handmade sets and dolls. Utilizing evidence from autopsy reports, police records, court documents, and interviews, I built a miniature speakeasy, a hospital room, a child’s bedroom, a pre-war apartment, and Ellis Island. I also created lifelike dolls with moveable limbs to live in these sets.
I wrote a storyline for the actors to follow, but in order to achieve a level of realistic spontaneity I invite audience members to interact with the actors. I use these interactive productions to delve deep into the psyche of the characters and their motives. In doing this, I satisfy my own curiosity and entertain people by engaging theirs.
How would you describe your work?Transmedia storytelling. I like to tell stories using multiple forms of media, with each element making distinctive contributions to a user’s understanding and participation in the story universe. I make living worlds, where even the senses are engaged through sound and smell.
With Speakeasy Dollhouse, I have created my own life-size dollhouse. The actors and audience are my dolls. Each actor is following a script, but everyone is allowed—and encouraged—to improvise. Meanwhile, all of this is happening in a historic building that actually used to be a real-life speakeasy. We even encourage the building’s ghosts to become a part of the action.
What are you most inquisitive about?I’m inquisitive about everything. I’m constantly asking questions and I like talking with people who are more knowledgeable than I am. My husband is a walking encyclopedia. I’m most curious about living things and the choices they make. This runs the gamut from wondering why a wife might cheat on her husband to why a moth is drawn to a flame. Obviously, they are seeking something. I want to understand every detail of their drive.
What curiosity does your work satisfy?
In the process of investigating my grandfather’s murder through Speakeasy Dollhouse, I have uncovered many details. But every time I uncover something, a new shroud of mystery is revealed. We may never know the truth, and that is OK. The real beauty of being curious is that you always want to keep seeking because you’ll never know everything.
What drives your curiosity?I’m agoraphobic. I’m afraid and untrusting of people and unknown environments. The more I know, the more I feel a comforting control over my situation. I also think that most people are fearful. If I understand them, I can set them at ease too.
Is your work for now or later?The plays are for now—but the books and films they lead to are for later.
Where do you mine inspiration?I mine inspiration from the tunnels and caves of my memory. Specifically for Speakeasy Dollhouse I was inspired by Frances Glessner Lee, who was a key figure in crime scene investigation. To train investigators in assessing visual evidence, Lee created the Nutshell Studies, which were dollhouses that students could examine from every angle. Inspired by these miniature crime scene sets, I decided to create the scenes from my family mystery using my own handmade sets and dolls. This seemed like the perfect way for me to start my sleuthing.
What’s your next project?I’m writing and co-producing an immersive, historical play about sibling rivalry and the shooting of Abraham Lincoln. The play will be held in a gorgeous Manhattan mansion with strong connections to the murder. It is set in 1919 and will be filled with ghosts, bootleggers, burlesque girls, and circus performers. It opens in February 2014.
How do you keep things curious?Artists tend to retain a healthy amount of their childlike innocence. Children are naturally curious. I write and illustrate children’s books. Children relate to me as a peer, not as an elder. I surround myself with two kinds of people: those with a childlike curiosity and those who have intelligent answers. My goal is to be both.
Learn more about Cynthia von Buhler and explore her Speakeasy Dollhouse.











The Book Trailer















(To obtain the video embed code click on the YouTube logo in the lower right corner of the video. This takes you to YouTube. Click on SHARE. Copy the embed code. Paste into your webpage or blog text. Image copyright: Cynthia von Buhler, 2012.)


Street Art

One hundred small wooden doors were placed all over New York City with QR codes in the peepholes. This guerilla art was done by our fans! See a door? Send us a photo!
Bowery BoogieBrooklyn Street Art and again HERE
Photo below by 

©
Jamie Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art.


















(To obtain the video embed code click on the YouTube logo in the lower right corner of the video. This takes you to YouTube. Click on SHARE. Copy the embed code. Paste into your webpage or blog text. Image copyright: Cynthia von Buhler, 2012.)


The Video That Started It All

(To obtain the video embed code click on the YouTube logo in the lower right corner of the video. This takes you to YouTube. Click on SHARE. Copy the embed code. Paste into your webpage or blog text. Image copyright: Cynthia von Buhler, 2012.)