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Bard's Popular Spiegeltent Returns for SummerScape 2009

Mark Primoff

Bard's Popular Spiegeltent Returns for SummerScape 2009

“At Bard SummerScape, you can picnic at tables in or outside the Belgian Spiegeltent, a mirrored cabaret with tasty, reasonably priced salads, sandwiches, and local wines. Add to that the ingenious, themed programming of Leon Botstein, and there is guaranteed to be something appealing.”

American Record Guide

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY – When Bard SummerScape opens for its seventh season on July 9, the popular Spiegeltent – conveniently located a short walk from the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center – will open for the fourth year in a row, providing a thrilling and visually sumptuous venue for a wide variety of entertainment, as well as a tasty menu of food and drink, throughout the seven-week festival (July 9 – August 23).

The Spiegeltent (“Tent of Mirrors”) has something for everyone, and will be available to SummerScape visitors every day there’s a Festival event (with two exceptions*). Weekend Afternoon Family Fare is attractively priced and sure to please children of all ages, with such popular favorites as the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus returning for another madcap season. On Friday and Saturday nights there’s Evening Cabaret – featuring colorful entertainment with a downtown edge, from the likes of chanteuse Justin Bond and verbal chameleon Taylor Mac – and the post-performance SpiegelClub, a late-night bar and dance floor with music spun by New York City and local DJs.

Thursday Night Live (8:30–11 pm), hosted by SpiegelMaestro Nik Quaife and WKZE Radio Archaeology DJ Raissa St. Pierre, features local Hudson Valley talent as well as New York City-area bands, singers, musicians, and poets. You can enjoy Dining at the Spiegeltent – indoors or outside in the beautiful gardens – with casual summer fare served each week at lunchtime on Saturday and Sunday (1–3 pm)and dinnertime on Thursday through Sunday (5:30– pm*). And, after a busy and stimulating weekend at SummerScape, chill at the Sunday SpiegelLounge (5:30–11 pm), where friends can enjoy the ambiance of the Spiegeltent in a convivial atmosphere featuring great music mixes, drinks, and small plates – but no live music! Program details for all Spiegeltent offerings follow below .

The Village Voice remarked on the appeal of the Spiegeltent’s “wooden floors, mirrored walls, stained-glass panels, and red velvet ceiling,” while the New York Times calls it “agreeably funky.” The Spiegeltent is the place for families or couples seeking a sumptuous and remarkable environment to eat, dance, enjoy comedy or cabaret, and refresh themselves throughout SummerScape. And join the closing party on August 23! Bard has led the ranks of motivated presenters here and abroad in welcoming the new, edgier generation of sexy neo-cabaret stars and wildly irreverent acrobats, jugglers, and performance artists to their Spiegeltents. Bard’s Spiegeltent is an essential stop for anyone visiting the “adventurous and ambitious” (New York Observer) SummerScape festival.

* The Spiegeltent will be closed for regular dining on July 11 and August 14.The Spiegeltent will be open on Saturday evening, July 11 from 5:30 pm exclusively for the 2009 SummerScape Gala Benefit – a festive dinner before the performance of Linda Childs’s Dance at the Sosnoff Theater; and a post-performance party with the company and special guests as well. Individual Gala tickets are $500 and $350. A ticket for the performance AND the post-performance party is only $175. On Friday, August 14, the Spiegeltent will host the Bard Music Festival Opening Night Dinner. Contact Andrea Guide at 845-758-7414 for information and tickets.

The Spiegeltent at SummerScape 2009 proudly presents:


Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30 pm, July 18 – August 9

Tickets $15 ($5 children from age three)

For audiences of all ages. Entertainers of every stripe – singers, dancers, musicians, magicians, comedians, and combinations thereof – perform afternoon shows for one and all.


Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 “Amy G. on a Roll”

Amy G., the roller-skating comedienne extraordinaire, is just back from a world tour that took her from the Sydney Opera House via the German variety circuit, London’s West End, and France’s “Just for Laughs” Festival to a couple of runs on Broadway at New York’s New Victory Theater (Daredevil Opera Company’s “Cirkus Inferno” and Anti-Gravity’s “Crash Test Dummies”). Amy G. is definitely on a roll. The showgirl clown takes the audience on a trip around the world and into the heart of dreams. Featuring Amy G. on roller skates, ukulele, and the high seas of adventure, with Vin Scialia on drums and straight face.

“Expert and inspired” (New York Times); “Virtuoso clowning” (Seattle Times); “A comic actress of great gifts” (New York Press)


Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26 Cirque Voilà!

Paul Wildbaum and Michael Menes, a.k.a. Cirque Voilà!, present the “Crème de la Crème” at the Spiegeltent this year, in a show especially designed for family audiences. The Master Clown (Wildbaum) trades performance pieces with juggler and physical-theater master Menes. Wildbaum’s tramp-style clown hails from the traditions of vaudeville, magic, mime, and musical circus. And Menes bends the laws of gravity and physics as he challenges his audience’s imagination in strange and hilarious ways.


Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2 – Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Frisky sword-swallowing, pie-throwing, plate-twirling neo-vaudeville fun is provided by this wacky group, back for the third SummerScape in a row. Cirkus cofounders Stephanie Monseu and Keith Nelson head up a crew of talented performers who continue to entertain and amaze audiences.


Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 – Ben Robinson

This bullet-catching master illusionist isn’t your run-of-the-mill magician. He’s the entertainer of choice at events large and small, from birthday parties to corporate retreats. See a master illusionist in action!



Casual summer fare, à la carte – burgers from the grill, fresh salads, gourmet ice cream, micro-brews, and more, sourced locally whenever possible. Dine from 5:30 till 8 pm indoors or al fresco in the Spiegeltent’s lovely garden, with drinks and small plates available throughout the evening. Bard’s Box Office takes dinner reservations: 845-758-7900.



Colorful entertainment with a downtown edge (PG-13)

Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm, July 10 – August 22

Tickets $25


Colorful entertainment with a downtown edge on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Spiegeltent – dedicated to cabaret for hip audiences. This year’s lineup includes such performers as the acclaimed chanteuse Justin Bond; Taylor Mac, a “breathtakingly real and unconditionally unmissable” (Time Off)  sequined, ukulele-playing performance artist; Cynthia Hopkins and her band, Gloria Deluxe, “a triumph of disciplined thinking, narrative fluidity, and musical accomplishment” (New York Times); and Amy G., perhaps the world’s only roller-skating comic cabaret act. Returning this year are the “irreverent, sacrilegious, lascivious” (New York Times) Wau Wau Sisters and Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.


Friday, July 10 – Justin Bond

A drag show combining cabaret, witchcraft, punk attitude, and neo-folk glamour, this show promises tears, glitter, and a rollicking good time! Bond, star of John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus and half of the Tony-nominated performance-duo Kiki and Herb, has been touring with his band to wild acclaim and rapturous applause. “Mr. Bond’s fabulosity is matched by a trenchant wit, and his over-the-top stories are smartly edged with politics, sexual or otherwise” (New York Times). “A transatlantic cabaret messiah” (Time Out London)


Friday, July 17 – Wau Wau Sisters

Sassy, witty burlesque and acrobatics – you can look, but you better not touch! Tanya Gagné and Adrienne Truscott, the eye-popping Wau Wau Sisters, return to charm and scandalize Spiegeltent audiences with their sassy, witty burlesque routines. Combining sexy allure and drop-dead comic timing, these ladies are equal parts seduction and slapstick.


Saturday, July 18 – Amy G.

The world’s best (and probably only) comic cabaret act on roller skates has earned raves around the world for her show “Round She Goes.”

“Possibly the funniest thing I've seen on this or any other stage” (Adelaide Advertiser); “An out-and-out star, and in total command of an audience, measured by her rollerjinks” (Irish Times); “Delights and astounds in equal measure. Cheeky and winning ... She’s bound to skate her way into your heart” (Dublin Metro)


Friday, July 24 – Taylor Mac

A flamboyant chameleon of music and sociopolitical tirades, the visual and vocal phenomenon uses gender-bending surrealism to explore the human condition and challenge the contemporary culture of fear.


Saturday, July 25 – Cynthia Hopkins & Gloria Deluxe

Time Out New York: “For those who like their alt-country heavy on the theatricality.” Gloria Deluxe is Cynthia Hopkins on accordion, guitar, and saw; Kristin Mueller on drums; Josh Stark on upright bass; Philippa Thompson on violin, washboard, and spoons; Karen Waltuch on viola; and everyone on vocals. In the band’s first performance outside New York City, it opened for Patti Smith at MASS MoCA, in one of the museum’s outdoor theaters.


Friday, July 31 – Lemon AndersEn

A hip-hop poet known for his Tony Award-winning work in Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam, Lemon Andersen appeared with Denzel Washington in the recent film Inside Man. He’s working on his memoir, which is being developed by the American Place Theatre’s “Literature to Life” program and directed by Wynn Handman. Urban Latino magazine called Andersen the “next up-and-coming star.” He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.


Saturday, August 1 – Bindlestiff Family Cirkus – “PG-13”

Not your Family-Fare Bindlestiff: this is frisky, naughty fun – Bindlestiff has brought the circus arts to every type of stage and audience imaginable, and some unmentionable. Its shows have ranged from family fare to musical parodies and burlesque spectacles. Bindlestiff has been keeping the variety arts alive through performance and teaching in New York City and beyond for more than 15 years.


Friday, August 7 – Eszter Balint

Jon Pareles of the New York Times says of this singer/songwriter: “Her songs are full of characters on the run. Miss Balint has her own film-noir sensibility as a songwriter. She puts arty twists into back-alley Americana. ... But the cleverness is not the point. She slips inside her characters to project their restlessness and longing.” Critics from the New Yorker and Billboard have praised her two albums, Flicker and Mud, and she has made recordings with Michael Gira, Marc Ribot, John Lurie, and others. Also an actress, Balint had a starring role in the seminal indie hit Stranger Than Paradise, directed by Jim Jarmusch, and was featured in Steve Buscemi’s Trees Lounge.


Saturday, August 8 – Ben Robinson

Not your run-of-the mill “magician”!  Best known for catching bullets in his teeth, Ben Robinson claims to have “expert knowledge of how people perceive reality,” with which comes the “ability to chart and change people’s perceptions.” New York-based Robinson has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, at Lincoln Center, and as the entertainer at events large and small, from birthday parties to corporate retreats to the base camp of Mount Everest. See a master illusionist in action!



Fronted by bandoneón wizard Hector Del Curto: “Tango lives or dies by the quality of its accordion-like bandoneón – Hector Del Curto is a splendid player” (New York Times).


Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22 – A Night in the Old Marketplace

Music by Grammy Award–winning klezmer giant Frank London and his band, mixing Jewish, jazz, classical, rock, and world beats in a unique adaptation of a Yiddish theater classic. The kaleidoscopic love story – which involves both raising the dead and trying to remake the world – is told through irreverent, playful, poignant song. Glen Berger narrates the multimedia concert, performed by an eclectic band of eleven outstanding singers and musicians, under the direction of Alexandra Aron.


Thursday night live

On Thursdays at 8:30 pm, from July 16 – August 20, check up on the newest and hottest Hudson Valley and NYC-area talent. Tickets $10 at the door.


Thursday, July 16

Courtney Lee Adams, Jr. – a captivating roots-rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, with PERROTTA – a Woodstock-based trio featuring dreamy vocals, guitars, and drums.


Thursday, July 23

JACK GRACE BAND – Country-tinged honky-tonk, bossa nova, mariachi, and everything in between.


Thursday, July 30

MUSTY CHIFFON – This Hudson-based drag queen’s repertoire covers the ’60s to the ’00s – with MOTHER FLETCHER – who dishes out dancey ska, reggae, dub, and funk.


Thursday, August 6

MELODY AFRICA – West African music and dance from New Paltz, via Senegal and Guinea.


Thursday, August 13

BRADFORD REED AND HIS AMAZING PENCILINA – A one-man orchestra of sound, with BUCK-IT – a punk-rock trio from Kingston, and LADY ESTHER GIN – the 7’4” Queen of the Catskills.


Thursday, August 20

BIG SKY ENSEMBLE – A tuba-driven collective that’s a little bit marchin’, a little bit New Orleans second line, a little bit Sun Ra…


For tickets, visit or call the Box Office at 845-758-7900.



Friday and Saturday late-night bar and dancing under the disco ball to DJ-spun tunes: pop, hip-hip, funk, jazz, swing, ’80s and more, from 10 pm till 1 am, July 10  – August 22.

$5 admission at the door (waived for SummerScape ticket holders)



Sundays from 5:30 pm (tent closes at 11 pm)

July 12 – August 16

The Spiegeltent is the place to wind down on summer Sunday evenings.

Free admission



Casual summer fare, à la carte: burgers from the grill, fresh salads, gourmet ice cream, micro-brews, and more, sourced locally whenever possible. Dine indoors or al fresco, with drinks and small plates available throughout the evening. The Box Office takes dinner reservations: 845-758-7900.


Don’t forget the SummerScape Closing Party, on Sunday, August 23 from 8:30–11 pm!




For tickets and further information on all Bard SummerScape 2009 and Bard Music Festival events, call the Fisher Center’s Box Office at 845-758-7900 or visit

Seating for all Spiegeltent events is general admission.


High-resolution photos available at


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This event was last updated on 06-25-2009