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TONY AWARD NOMINEE
TO PLAY IN
CYNTHIA VON BUHLER’S
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
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 Brundibár 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, 1920′s 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 646-221-5239, or email email@example.com
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