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Speakeasy Dollhouse, an Immersive Murder Mystery, Comes to an Old Williamsburg Bank

(Photo: Courtesy of Speakeasy Dollhouse)

(Photo: Courtesy of Speakeasy Dollhouse)

Cynthia von Buhler has had death on her mind for a while. More specifically, for as long as she can remember she’s been obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding her own grandfather’s death. Frank Spano, von Buhler’s grandfather, was actually a bona fide 1930s bootlegger, and was shot and killed on the exact same day that von Buhler’s mother was born.

“The funeral happened in one room, and the birth of my mother in another,” she said.

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Head to a Greenpoint Church and Watch Some Cult Comedy

We’re gonna go ahead and guess it’s probably been a while since you’ve visited a church (unless you were enticed by the Jesus karaoke at that new “hipster” Bushwick church, that is). But tomorrow night Lucy Cottrell and Catherine Cohen will make it worth your while. The comedian-artists are hosting a New Age-like ritual (otherwise known as a comedy show) at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah in Greenpoint.

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This Week’s Performance: Scary Stories, Clowns, More Scary Stories

Whether you’re in the mood for scary stories, live nude bodies, or something completely different, there’s a show out there to tickle your funny bone or take your brain for a spin.

WEDNESDAY

afraidWhat Are You Afraid Of? 
Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave., Williamsburg. 8pm; tickets are $5 at the door.
Former child actress turned writer and comedian Mara Wilson hosts What Are You Afraid Of?, a comedy and storytelling show that explores fears and anxieties of all shapes and sizes. This particular show features a small but mighty lineup consisting of B+B favorite Sue Smith, Chemda, Susan Kent, and Wilson herself. Take a peek into these funny people and their frightened brains. Maybe you’ll find you have more fears in common than you thought.

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This Week’s Theater: Prohibition-Era Cyndi Lauper, Masculine Bodies, Garden Plays

From Cyndi Lauper drag cabaret shows to garden romps, here’s this week’s local (and affordable) theater and performance.

(photo: Daniel Albanese)

(photo: Daniel Albanese)

WEDNESDAY

Cabaret artist Salty Brine continues his residency at The Red Room on East 4th Street with HE’S SO UNUSUAL, a dazzling evening of song and scene that places Cyndi Lauper’s debut album She’s So Unusual into a world of Prohibition and perfectly-coiffed pansies. No stranger to taking on entire albums in one evening, Brine’s past “Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret” shows have included Joni Mitchell’s Blue and the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. There will be surprises, and there will definitely be impressive costumes.

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Shakespeare As You Like It: In a Park or in a Parking Lot

Last year's production of "Othello" in the parking lot. (Photo: Claire Taddei)

Last year’s production of “Othello” in the parking lot. (Photo: Claire Taddei)

After construction of Essex Crossing bumped it from its home last year, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot will relaunch just three blocks away, in a parking lot behind the Clemente Soto Velez Center. From July 9 to 26, The Drilling Company, led by Hamilton Clancy of Orange Is the New Black, will imagine “As You Like It” in a “Steampunk paradise,” and from July 30 to August 15, they’ll be doing free performances of “Macbeth.”

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Salty Brine Gives Abbey Road the Cabaret Treatment, and Pinkerton May Be Next

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Salty Brine, meet Ringo Starr.

For his new one-man show, East Village performer Salty Brine will take one of his favorite records and weave stories around the songs so the audience experiences the music in a new light. Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret premieres at the Red Room tonight with its first incarnation, based on the Beatles album Abbey Road.

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On Stage: Art Nerds, Bike Mechanics, Swinging Singles and Sad Clowns


Visual artist, performer, and gay stage icon Chris Tanner brings true-life tales, and, in his words, “humiliating stories of the sexual awakening of a nerdy art queen,” to the stage in Football Head. Tanner sings and tells the stories, accompanied on the stage by three doo-wop singers and collaborator Lance Cruce. The show is first and foremost about his family, intermingled with shame, guilt, and celebration thrown in for good measure.
La MaMa, East Village, begins June 20, tickets $10-$18
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The Schlep Sisters Celebrate Ten Years of Schtick

(Photos by Melody Mudd) Darlinda Just Darlinda (L) and Minnie Tonka (R) perform at their anniversary show.

(Photos by Melody Mudd) Darlinda Just Darlinda (L) and Minnie Tonka (R) perform at their anniversary show.

The Schlep Sisters, the burlesque duo of Darlinda Just Darlinda and Minnie Tonka, have celebrated ten years as a team, performing what they call “the sexiest slap-‘schtick.’” Their acts lean towards the ridiculous, with unison choreography and ditzy frozen smiles often  accenting music by The Barry Sisters. Themed shows take the oy-vey to the extreme, such as The Burning Bush vs. The Second Coming, which offered Jews and Christians a way to duke it out goodnaturedly about Passover vs. Easter—and featured an audience game of “Hide the Afikomen” using Tigger’s body for maximum hilarity.

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Theater This Month: Caribbean Carnivals, Activist Cats, Singing Bros

SmokeBreakForest artwork by director Diane Exavier

SmokeBreakForest artwork by director Diane Exavier

The shining star of downtown theater events this month is undoubtedly the Fringe Festival, but for Brooklynites and those who have panic attacks when faced with choosing from a 1,200 show set list, there’s a vibrant selection of other plays in the B+B domain this August. Read on for our picks.
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The 15 People You’ll Meet at Fringe Festival (Starting With Tom Cruise)

tomkatWith over 200 companies clamoring for attention at New York International Fringe Festival, it can be super tough to decide which of the 1,200+ performances to attend. But one thing’s for sure: gimmicks help a production stand out, and there’s no better gimmick (or “plot device,” if you prefer) than using a celebrity, dead author, or an Austrian shrink or two as your subject matter. Here now are 15 people who are serving as fodder for some of this year’s standout productions — from deities to Wilhelm Reich to a singing Sigmund Freud.
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