Sunday, November 16, 2014
I had a milestone birthday on October 24th, 2014. When I was a little girl my birthdays were usually Halloween themed. In keeping with this tradition I chose to be a life-size, edible Barbie cake this year. I invited 100 of my favorite people over to my new Manhattan apartment and we celebrated love, friendship, creativity and getting older (and yes, much wiser). The chocolate salted caramel cake was beautifully made by Michelle at Haute So Sweet. It was delicious (and I don't normally like cake). These fantastic photographs were taken by Maxine Nienow and my makeup was done by Susan D. Simons. Bespoke drinks were made by Bootleg Greg.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Lilliput, Works of art from Cynthia von Buhler’s The Dollhouse Museum (MyMicroGallery --Milan, Italy)
Artists: Anita Kunz, Cathie Bleck, Kathy Osborn, Walter Sickert, Dean Haspiel, Christina Carrozza, Molly Crabapple, Silent James, Esther Westwood, Katelan Foisy, Jen Ferguson, Cynthia von Buhler, Rita J. King, Zoë Williams, Aaron Lazar, Pamela Martin, Logan Riley, Bibiana, Scott Bakal, David Mack, Melissa Dowell, Michelle Vaughan, Paul Weiner, Dana McDonald and Kat Mon Dieu.
Curated by Cynthia von Buhler, Organized by Stefania Carrozzini.
Gallery: MyMicroGallery, Milan, Italy (owned by Stefania Carrozzini, International curator and art critic).
"Groundbreaking immersive theater."
"No ordinary theater experience."
- The Wall Street Journal
"An ornately turned-out, unique, and well-produced experience.”
"Thrilling and delighting all of the senses."
- The Huffington Post
“An ingenious project jam-packed with creativity."
- Show Business Weekly
CYNTHIA VON BUHLER’S
NEW YORK CITY’S INDIE IMMERSIVE THEATRE HIT
CELEBRATES ITS THIRD ANNIVERSARY
TICKETS NOW ON SALE THROUGH DECEMBER 13TH
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” 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 and has extended its run repeatedly over the past three 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 Pasha Pellosie 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, actress Alison Wright, actor/singer Euan Morton, 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 13th. Tickets are available in advance only (prices start at $55; Packages and VIP tables are available. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 1-800-838-3006 or online at brownpapertickets.com.
For inquires, call 212-960-8323, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Cynthia von Buhler's
The Brothers Booth
Directed by Wes Grantom
Written by Cynthia von Buhler
with additional material by Mat Smart
Long-running immersive theater piece SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE
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, 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, 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, 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 Edwin Booth's mansion, 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.