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Mark Primoff


“The hottest venue in town . . . Packed to its stained-glass
and polished beams every night”
―The Sunday Mail, Edinburgh (about the Edinburgh Festival Spiegeltent)

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — From June 29 to July 30, the 2006 Bard SummerScape Festival will present five glorious weeks of events in the “SpiegelPalais”, featuring an exciting mix of cabaret, family events and informal dining for SummerScape audiences.

Bard’s SpiegelPalais is one of the few remaining Spiegeltents owned and operated for generations by the Klessen family in Belgium ( These exquisite rotundas are made of carved wood, canvas, and glass, with ornate interiors that feature a shining parquet dance floor, beveled mirrors, stained-glass windows, and ballooning velvet canopies. In their heyday, Spiegeltents toured the lowlands of Europe as traveling dance halls, wine-tasting marquees and cabaret venues.

These famed “palaces of mirrors” were so called for the myriad glittering mirrors that made possible discreet eye contact with other visitors. The mirror tents became the domain of night owls and a symbol of the wild fin-de-siècle period in France and Belgium. Both Marlene Dietrich and Josephine Baker made their debuts in spiegeltents.

For five weeks during the SummerScape Festival at Bard College, U.S. audiences will have the opportunity to experience the charm and appeal of a Spiegeltent. European and Australian festivals have embraced the concept of a Spiegeltent anew, infusing it with a modern-day sensibility. Spiegeltents have become the social center of many major international festivals, serving as the central gathering point for audiences and artists, and an intimate venue for cabaret.

Tambra Dillon, director of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, and the guiding force in introducing the SpiegelPalais to Bard, says:

"Our SpiegelPalais will be a place for Fisher Center audiences to go before or after our many performances. They can grab a beer and a bite, catch a cabaret act, and meet the artists. SpiegelPalais performances this summer range from an opening-night authentic Hungarian gypsy band to DJ Spooky's hip mixes. And during the day, families are encouraged to join in the fun for performances by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, and Czech puppeteers. Lots of Jane's ice cream for one and all!

Spiegeltents are the heart of many European festivals – the hub for discourse and informal shows – and are a unique gathering place for audiences going to or coming from other performances. We believe our SpiegelPalais events will bring in new audiences – it's a great introduction to the many performances on offer in this year's SummerScape Festival.

The SpiegelPalais is like a carousel without the horses. This Belgian import is unlike any other venue and will surprise and excite American audiences.

As for refreshments, SpiegelPalais will be serving steamed lobsters, grilled hamburgers, and other summer fare; Magic Hat beer; local wines from Millbrook Vineyards & Winery; and Jane's Ice Cream, along with other summer favorites from the grill. Don't miss it when you come to Bard this summer – it's open Thursday-Sunday for five weekends."

The schedule of evening events for SummerScape's weekends, June 29 - July 30 (Thursday-Sunday) is: 5:30–7:30 pm Dining; 8:30 pm Cabaret; 10:00 pm SpiegelClub. Tickets: $25 (General Admission)

Schedule of cabaret events in the Bard SpiegelPalais – 8.30pm
(subject to change)

Romano Drom, June 29 & July 1
This Romanian band dispels the image of ubiquitous fiddle and cimbalom players found in every “gypsy” restaurant from Budapest to Queens. The band offers a muscular barrage of impassioned singing, backed by driving rhythms on guitar, violin, accordion and percussion. The music is steeped in the Romany traditions that inspired Liszt – the subject of the 2006 Bard Music Festival – to compose such folk-inflected works as his Hungarian Rhapsodies.

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, June 30 & July 2
The New York Times said of the BFC Cabaret: "It's old-fashioned variety entertainment of the sort Ed Sullivan so astutely scooped up, but with twists."
Bindelstiff brings together elements of circus, sideshow, vaudeville, burlesque, and cabaret to provide a stage for some of the most talented performing artists in the world. Jugglers, clowns, acrobats, and trapeze artists share the stage with musicians, magicians, dancers, daredevils, and more. Each show features a unique combination of acts, and all promise a legendary lineup of circus feats, sideshow marvels, and world-class entertainers.

“Blue” Gene Tyranny, July 6
The most versatile keyboardist in new music, “Blue” Gene Tyranny has played a creative role in the music of everyone from Iggy Pop to Laurie Anderson to Robert Ashley. "Tyranny is plainly a very fine pianist and composer ... Humorous, without being flippant or self-consciously urbane, and wonderfully evocative, Tyranny creates a head music which doesn't exclude the heart ... Tyranny assiduously avoids conventional ideas of structure and narrative." – Jazziz

Guy Klucevsek, July 7
“Forget everything you thought you knew about the accordion.” – Seattle Weekly
“Klucevsek combines poker-faced wit and imagination with command of his instrument, forcing you to rethink the accordion’s limitations.” – Downbeat
“His criminal infractions on The Blue Danube deserve to replace the original.” – Village Voice
“A remarkable performer on a remarkable instrument ... Klucevsek writes the world’s most abnormal 'normal' music ... wheezing like the Godzilla of accordions. No other composer on the scene is so untouched by fashion.” – Village Voice (Kyle Gann)

DJ Spooky and Bora Yoon, July 8
DJ Spooky solo, July 9
DJ Spooky, aka That Subliminal Kid, collaborates with leading contemporary violinist Bora Yoon to explore the intersection of classical strings and DJ technique. The piece is a hip mix of heavy beats and string melodies from two of the leading lights in New York’s contemporary music scene.

Johannes Dokchtor Faust– A Petrifying Puppet Comedye, July 13, 14 and 16
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
“Vit Horejs (pronounced HOR-shezz), the founder of the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater, has adapted Faust with old-fashioned artistry – he and his fellow puppeteers use century-old wooden marionettes – and contemporary humor ” – New York Times

Carl Hancock Rux: Good Bread Alley, July 15
The sound of Rux’s Good Bread Alley brings to mind Son House, Bob Dylan, and Nico and the Velvet Underground, as well as the Southern-fried soul of Bill Withers. “Rux . . . is a Sunday morning preacher conjuring Saturday night’s fever, a Pentecostal Dadaist who works songs to spasm and collapse.” – Village Voice

Ben Neill, July 20
Ben Neill is a composer, performer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. Through his use of interactive computer technologies, Neill creates a unique musical and visual universe, melding the worlds of electronic music, popular culture and visual media.

Mikel Rouse: Music for Minorities, July 21
"Music as memorable as the best pop, but better made. This is a profound and considerable achievement." Los Angeles Times
Music for Minorities is a stunning, unforgettable display of polyrhythm and counterpoint filtered through the influence of Delta blues. Video images are combined with the various stories and insights of numerous personalities interviewed in Louisiana and New York to create an illustration of memory: the views of the Silent Minority. Rouse plays guitar and sings live, accompanied by a recorded soundscape of percussion and multiple guitars as he weaves stories and interacts with synchronized video.

Wau Wau Sisters, July 22
Winner of the 2004 Best Cabaret Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Wau Wau Sisters combine aerial and circus skills with saucy songwriting and the hilarious use and misuse of props, propriety, cocktails and cliche to make for a night of titillating fun. Big on talent, tricks and tan lines, they can mix martinis in a handstand. There's no trick these sisters can't turn for the right price.

Maria Tecce, July 23 and 27
"WOW. And read that again, WOW. A sensual angel on stage…" The Times (of London)
Originally from Boston and now firmly based in Dublin, Maria has garnered acclaim as one of Ireland’s foremost vocalists and plays to packed houses all over Europe. “. . . if cabaret legend Marlene Dietrich was the Queen of the ‘Spiegeltent’ when it toured in the 1930s, then Maria Tecce is unquestionably its new crowning glory . . .”
— Frankthemonkey

One Ring Zero, July 28
“One Ring Zero’s ethno-pop could have been played in the background of a Balkan-embassy party in the 1930s, but that’s not all there is to the band: The songs on its ambitious As Smart As We Are – which features lyrics by literary figures including Paul Auster, Rick Moody and Margaret Atwood – touch on They Might Be Giants whimsy, Residents-style unease, Tom Waits clank and Marianne Faithful melancholy.” –Time Out New York

Betty, July 29
Betty is an all-woman, five-piece band that’s been harmonizing punk, pop and politics for two decades. The band’s unique sound is a blend of tight harmonies layered over rocking guitars and a solid rhythm section. “Betty Rules,” their Off-Broadway hit, is touring America, and Betty’s controversial new theme song for Showtime Television’s most popular show, The L Word, have catapulted this beloved cult band to wilder international recognition.

Either / Orchestra, July 30
"One of the jazz world's most gifted and adventurous big bands, blessed with strong individual soloists who subsume themselves to an even stronger collective sound, one that can embrace supple Latin jazz, sinewy blues, sly funk and slippery world-beat rhythms." Washington Post

After hours, it's the SpiegelClub, Thursday to Sunday at 10pm
Offering a late-night bar with entertainment, the SpiegelClub will be the place for audiences and artists to meet over a drink or a casual bite and enjoy the SummerScape evenings. DJ Josh Abrahams will mix it up each night with a blend of his own music and a rotating roster of special guest artists.
Admission: $10 at the door (subscription and other discounts do not apply)


Saturdays and Sundays, July 1&2, 8 &9, 15 & 16, 22 & 23, 29 & 30
Performance times below
Tickets: $15 for adults,
$5 for children 12 and under

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, July 1 at 1:00 and 3:30 pm; July 2 at 3:30 pm
All ages
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus has developed a rabid cult following in New York City and across the
United States for its vaudeville daredevilry with a downtown bent. With untold tricks up their proverbial sleeves, the Bindlestiffs bring their Wild West Jamboree to the Hudson Valley, but the fun doesn’t stop there: fire eating, sword wallowing, trapeze, original music, and magic tricks are all woven into these virtuosic, alternative circus shows.

LAVA Troupe, July 8 at 1:00 and 3:30 pm; July 9 at 3:30 pm
Ages 3 and up
Newsweek called LAVA “an exhilarating circus of women on the move”.
Artistic director Sarah East Johnson combines her background in ballet, modern dance, circus, and – of all things – geology, to challenge conventional ideas about gender, strength, and courage. LAVA combines high-energy dance with gymnastics, trapeze, and acrobatics to create superhuman formations devoid of gimmicks and reliant upon the performers’ mutual trust of each other.

Johannes Dokchtor Faust – "A Petrifying Puppet Comedye"
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
July 15 at 1 and 3:30 pm; July 16 at 3:30 pm
Ages 5–105
Some adults might remember Faust as a boring morality-play back in college, but Vít Horejs and his band of puppets turn it into a spectacle for the whole family. The New York Times said, “Not…a very sober 'Faust' … Traditional Czech marionette theater added…Pimprle, a fool to whom Faust was often the straight man … A squat, rotund marionette who introduces himself by saying 'I am only a little schlemiel.'”

Hans Christian Andersen's Hans Clodhopper
Theatre2thousand (Denmark)
July 29 at 1:00 and 3:30 pm; July 30 at 3:30 pm
Ages 6 and up; performed with English translation
Franz Liszt was an avid fan of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, and Andersen shared Liszt’s love of music, once saying: “When words fail, music speaks!” Denmark's Theater2thousand takes this motto to heart in its musical dramatization of one of Andersen’s most beloved stories.

In the Resnick Theater Studio:

The world-renowned children’s theater company Gruppe 38 brings an Andersen classic to life with its retelling of The Little Match Girl. It’s a sad story, but one that carries a joyous message of eternal hope and love.

Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl
Gruppe 38 (Denmark)
August 5 at 1:00 and 3:30 pm
August 6 at 3:30 pm
Ages 5 and up; performed in English

Opera Talks

Genoveva Opera Talk, July 23 at 11am
With Leon Botstein and Kasper Bech Holten
Free and open to the public

Offenbach! Opera Talk, July 29 at 11am
With Albert Innaurato
Free and open to the public

SpiegelPalais Food and Beverage Menu

Dinner Menu
5:30 – 7:30pm, Thurs – Sun

New England Lobster Dinner $25.00
Steamed 1 ¼# Lobster, Corn on the Cob, Homemade Potato Salad or Cole Slaw, drawn butter & lemon

Traditional Fresh Lobster Roll $15.00
Served with choice of Homemade Potato Salad or Cole Slaw & Pickle

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich $11.00
with Lettuce, Tomato & Homemade Tartar Sauce served with choice of Homemade Potato Salad or Cole Slaw & Pickle

Prospect Hill Naturally Raised 1/3# Angus Burgers $9.00
Served on a Portuguese Roll with Lettuce, Tomato and Choice of Homemade Potato Salad or Cole Slaw & Pickle

Bratwurst with Beer Braised Onions & Mustard $9.00
Served on a Roll with Choice of Homemade Potato Salad or Coleslaw & Pickle

Fresh Mozzarella and Heirloom Tomato Sandwich $8.00
with Fresh Basil and Balsamic vinegar on toasted Focaccia Roll
Served with Choice of Homemade Potato Salad or Coleslaw & Pickle

Traditional Hummus and Field Green Salad $5.00
Served with herbed pita points

Homemade Potato Salad $3.00
Homemade Coleslaw $3.00
Corn on the Cob $3.00

Berry Shortcake $6.00
Jane’s Ice Cream $4.00

Late Night Menu

Assorted Nuts and Almonds - $4.00
Bistro Olives - $4.00
Artisnal Italian Cheese Plate - $12.00


Magic Hat Beer- $4
Millbrook Wines - $4-6/glass, $22-28/per bottle
Soft Drinks and Water - $2
Coffee and Tea- $2

Chronological list of SpiegelPalais events

Cabaret: Romano Drom, the Hungarian Gypsy Band, 6/29
SpiegelClub: DJ Josh Abraham, 6/29-7/29
FamilyFare: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, 7/1-1/2
Cabaret: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, 6/30
Cabaret: "Blue" Gene Tyranny, 7/6
Cabaret: Accordionist Guy Klucevek, 7/7
Cabaret: DJ Spooky, 7/8-7/9
FamilyFare: LAVA, 7/8-7/9
Cabaret: Marionettes' Faust, 7/13-7/16
Family: Marionettes' Faust, 7/15-7/16
Cabaret: Carl Hancock Rux, 7/15
Cabaret: Ben Neill, 7/20
Cabaret: Mikel Rouse, 7/21
Cabaret: WauWau Sisters, 7/22
Cabaret: Maria Tecce, 7/23 and 7/27
Cabaret: One Ring Zero, 7/28
Cabaret: Betty, 7/29
Cabaret: Either / Orchestra, 7/30
Family: Andersen's Hans Clodhopper, 7/29-7/30
Family: Andersen's The Little Match Girl, 8/5-8/6

Tickets for “Spiegelpalais” and all other Bard SummerScape events are on sale now and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at (845) 758-7900, or online at

Special support for Spiegel programs is provided by The Danish Consulate General in New York, Magic Hat Brewery, The Hungarian Cultural Center, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Millbrook Winery, and The American-Scandinavian Foundation.

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This event was last updated on 07-27-2006