The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini @ Theatre 80

Pearls Daily as Minky Woodcock. Photo by Amy Hamblen

If you’ve ever had the thought: “I wish Harry Houdini was still around,” while flipping through your mental Rolodex of date ideas, now you’re in luck. Of course the great illusionist has long since died, but a new immersive play might just be the next best thing.

The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini, based on Cynthia von Buhler’s graphic novel and comic book series, is a close up, interactive take on Houdini’s performances, beliefs, and untimely death from peritonitis (or was it?). Guests choose which side of a séance they side with when purchasing their tickets as either spiritualists or pragmatists. From then on, they’re immersed in the detective work alongside seductive sleuth Minky Woodcock, a role that fits actress Pearls Daily, (who was recently on Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), as well as the slinky little numbers she shimmies about in (and out of) throughout the play.

The story moves quickly from scene to scene throughout three stories of an East Village townhouse. Guests, encouraged to dress for the times, are divided into small groups led by engaging cast members, and those who purchase a VIP ticket may find themselves being ushered around by The Great Houdini, himself, played by a convincing Vincent Cinque. From a hotel room to a speakeasy, each scene has a different flavor, from sexy to spooky, and sometimes both.

The sets are truly transportive and the acting is, at times, transcendent. The fun, intimate performance is well-suited for spending time with someone you want to intertwine fingers with for the evening while taking in the magic of it all.

Ticket and schedule information can be found at

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