Larry Owens, Ari Shapiro & More Set for the Spiegeltent at Bard SummerScape 2024

Productions run June 28–August 17.

By: Apr. 24, 2024
Larry Owens, Ari Shapiro & More Set for the Spiegeltent at Bard SummerScape 2024
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The Fisher Center at Bard has revealed SummerScape 2024’s Spiegeltent programming, June 28–August 17. The platform for cutting-edge artistry and revelry annually brings summer weekends of dazzling performances, dancing, and drinks to the Hudson River Valley. This year, it returns with a lineup of acclaimed artists curated by Caleb Hammons, breaking new ground in drag, comedy, theater, and music with their performances in the majestic handmade mirrored pavilion. The season will be emceed by world-renowned live artist and Spiegeltent favorite Adrienne Truscott.
 
Highlights include:
 
Drag superstar Monét X Change kicking off Spiegeltent programming with the intimate, poignant, and hilarious performance Life Be Lifin’, directed by fellow Drag Race alum BenDeLaCreme, June 28 & 29

Larry Owens, acclaimed for his performance in the debut production of A Strange Loop, makes his Spiegeltent debut with a brand-new hour of stand-up comedy and music, July 5

The world premiere of All Things Considered host and cabaret performer Ari Shapiro’s Thank You For Listening: An Evening of Songs and Stories, an adaptation of his best-selling memoir The Best Strangers in the World into an evening of stories and songs, July 6
The return of the popular Thursday evening Bluegrass on Hudson series, with performances by East Nash Grass (July 11), Sam Reider & The Human Hands (July 18), Sierra Hull (August 1), Lily Henley & Duncan Wickel (August 8), and Jake Blount Band (August 15)

New York, New York, Susanne Bartsch’s cabaret vaudeville performance, emceed by Murray Hill and featuring Joey Arias, Mrs. Smith, and many more, July 12 & 13

Music from Wabanaki bassist, composer, and songwriter Mali Obomsawin, an artist “ask[ing] vital questions about the reception and expression of Indigenous and traditional music” in a “proud, vital marriage of folk and far-out jazz improv” (The Guardian); co-presented with the Center for Indigenous Studies at Bard, July 19

School Pictures, the “completely wonderful” and “gently riveting” (Vulture) song-poem performance by Milo Cramer ’12, directed by Morgan Green ’12, July 20

A performance from Michela Marino Lerman’s band Love Movement, celebrating Max Roach and his collaboration with Abbey Lincoln, on his 100th birthday, July 27

Jasmine & Cigarettes, a musical tour of the hippie era from Justin Vivian Bond, August 2 & 3

Sandra Bernhard’s Sandyland Live, the latest performance from the no-holds-barred comedian, actress, and singer, August 9 & 10

Sunny Jain, whose, performing his album Wild Wild East, August 16

Nona Hendryx, celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Lady Marmalade,” closing out the summer in her fifth appearance in the Spiegeltent, August 17 and many others! (See below section for the full list of Spiegeltent performances and events)
 
A marvel of engineering derived from a beloved nineteenth-century Belgian tradition, the Spiegeltent is a glittering mirrored pavilion with an interior of carved wood surfaces, parquet floor, beveled mirrors, stained-glass windows, and sumptuous velvet canopies. Since 2006, it has enchanted guests with boundary-breaking and entertaining performances in the Fisher Center’s awe-inspiring setting.
 
On Fridays and Saturdays, for patrons 21 and up, the Spiegeltent festivities continue long after performances end with Spiegeltent After Hours; the space remains open until 12:30 am, with dancing, DJs, and food and drink at the Spiegeltent Garden Bar.
 
Spiegeltent programming is part of SummerScape 2024, which runs June 20 – August 18, with eight weeks of live music, opera, dance, and theater. SummerScape, a “hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure” (New York Times), serves as an incubator for adventurous works that often go on to have extended lives and make significant impacts on the performance landscape in New York and around the country and world. This year, in addition to Spiegeltent offerings, it includes world premieres from work from two iconic New York companies—Urban Bush Women’s  SCAT! The Complex Lives of Al & Dot, Dot & Al Zollar (June 28–30) and Elevator Repair Service’s Ulysses (June 20 – July 14)—that continue to push their distinct styles to new heights in milestone performances; a full staging of the opera Le prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer, directed by Christian Räth, with the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein (July 26 – August 4); and the 34th Bard Music Festival Berlioz and His World (August 9–18).
 
2024 Spiegeltent Performance Descriptions and Schedule

Monét X Change

Life Be Lifin’
Friday, June 28 at 8 pm
Saturday, June 29 at 8 pm
With the ability to make audiences cry as quickly as she makes them laugh, entertainment spitfire Monét X Change makes her Spiegeltent debut with Life Be Lifin’. Known for her immaculate lip-syncing skills, comedic chops, and (mostly) pitch-perfect live singing voice, X Change gets surprisingly vulnerable in Life Be Lifin’, which takes audiences on a journey through the drag star’s adolescence, her college years studying opera performance, worldwide stardom via RuPaul’s Drag Race, and beyond. Directed by fellow standout Drag Race alum BenDeLaCreme, X Change has crafted a revealing story about the search for her inner voice, dramatic at one turn and side-splitting the next.

Larry Owens

Larry Fights A.I.
Friday, July 5 at 8 pm
 
Larry Owens (Abbott Elementary, A24’s Problemista, A Strange Loop) makes his Spiegeltent debut with a brand new hour of stand-up comedy and music. In the current battle of arts and entertainment, who will win—Larry or Artificial Intelligence? Using his unique blend of characters, stand-up, and song, Owens hilariously defends human self-expression as our global birthright. This new musical comedy hour from Drama Desk and Obie Award winner sharply explores pop culture, the history of performance, and the future of entertainment.
 
Featuring music production by Jen Goma.
 

Ari Shapiro

Thank You for Listening: An Evening of Songs and Stories
World Premiere
Saturday, July 6 at 8 pm
 
 
He has been named Journalist of the Year. He has sung in some of the world’s most storied venues, from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. Now, one of America’s most recognized and beloved storytellers debuts his new cabaret solo show at the Spiegeltent. Hilarious and moving, Thank You for Listening: An Evening of Songs and Stories adapts tales from Shapiro’s best-selling memoir, The Best Strangers In the World, into an evening of stories and songs about the power of listening to forge connections. Audiences will leave feeling more hopeful about the world around them…and may never listen to All Things Considered quite the same way again.

Featuring music direction and piano/guitar accompaniment by Henry Koperski.

Choro das 3

O Brasil de Jobim
Sunday, July 7 at 3 pm
 
This trio of three sisters from São Paulo, Brazil, are highly regarded as some of the best choro musicians in the world. Returning to the Spiegeltent after an enchanting performance last summer, the virtuosic family trio carries on a 100-year-old tradition known as the first Brazilian genre of popular music.
 
Choro das 3’s appearance at the Spiegeltent is made possible with support from the Thendara Foundation.
Susanne Bartsch presents
New York, New York!
With Murray Hill, Joey Arias, Mrs. Smith, and more!
Friday, July 12 at 8 pm
Saturday, July 13 at 8 pm
 
Nightlife legend Susanne Bartsch returns for a sixth season with her risque cabaret vaudeville extraordinaire, full of flavor from all walks of life. With a knockout lineup of performers, New York, New York! is a wake-up call direct from the city that never sleeps.
 
This event contains nudity and adult content and is recommended for mature audiences only.
 
Emcee: Murray Hill
Featuring: Joey Arias, Lola Von Rox, Kriss Von Rux, Julie Atlas Muz, Neon Calypso, Monkey, David Puck, Mrs. Smith, Opera Gaga, Leonid the Magnificent, Ann Artist, and more TBA!
Music: DJ Amber Valentine
Mali Obomsawin
Friday, July 19 at 8 pm
 
Wabanaki bassist, composer, and songwriter Mali Obomsawin’s music flies in the face of Western tropes that insist Indigenous cultures are monolithic, trapped in time. Highlighting centuries of clever adaptation and resistance in her own community, Obomsawin points toward abundant horizons for Indigenous peoples.

Mali Obomsawin is co-presented with the Center for Indigenous Studies at Bard.

Milo Cramer and Morgan Green

School Pictures
Saturday, July 20 at 8 pm
 

Faith hates reading, Jane lost her flashcards, and Javier sees no point in studying because of climate change. This playful collection of poem songs, written and performed by Milo Cramer ’12—a former tutor—paints intimate portraits of ten NYC students fighting to get into competitive schools. Directed by fellow Bard alum Morgan Green ’12, School Pictures is a charming musical journal of keen observations that builds to a sweeping meditation on inequality, learning, parenting, and the cruelty of puberty.

Bright Light Bright Light

ENJOY UPSTATE: A Dance Party with BLBL
with Kim David Smith and more!
Friday, July 26 from 9 pm – 12:30 am
 
Championed by Cher, Elton John, and Scissor Sisters, the “completely irresistible” (Guardian) Bright Light Bright Light—Welsh Valleys-born and NYC resident Rod Thomas—returns to the Spiegeltent to lead a magical dance party with a soundtrack featuring effervescent pop tracks from his upcoming fifth studio album, Enjoy Youth. With a troupe of fabulous performers in tow, expect laughter, expect camp, expect drama, but most of all—expect to dance.
Michela Marino Lerman’s Love Movement
Max 100: A Celebration of Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln
Saturday, July 27 at 8 pm
 
Based on Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln’s seminal album, We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, Max 100 is a celebration of Max Roach on his 100th birthday and his collaboration with the incomparable Abbey Lincoln. Led by the “brilliant” (New York Times) Michela Marino Lerman, Michela’s Love Movement is an ensemble comprising some of the most creative, world-renowned tap dancers and musicians. Winner of the Hoofer and Flo-Bert Awards, Michela Marino Lerman is a globally sought-after tap dance artist, performer, choreographer, bandleader, educator, and all-around creative spirit, and the only female lifetime honorary member of the famed Copasetics.
 
Michela Marino Lerman tap/band leader
Orlando Hernández tap
Roxanne King tap
Russell Hall bass/music director
Charenee Wade vocals
Ebban Dorsey saxophone
Jeff “Tain” Watts drums
Miki Yamanaka piano
Summertime Swing
with Eight to the Bar and Got2Lindy Dance Studio
Sunday, July 28
6 pm • Doors Open
6:30 pm • Dance Instruction and Lindy Hop Performance by Chester’s Cool Kats and Kittens
Through 10 pm • Dancing
 
Spiegeltent favorites and local swing impresarios Linda and Chester Freeman of Got2Lindy Dance Studios return for a night of swing dancing to the fabulous music of Eight to the Bar. Influenced by American roots music, Eight to the Bar is known for its outstanding instrumentalists and colorful mix of tunes and vocals that will have you up and swinging in no time!
Justin Vivian Bond
Jasmine & Cigarettes
Friday, August 2 at 8 pm
Saturday, August 3 at 8 pm
Mx. Justin Vivian Bond returns to the Spiegeltent to perform songs of joy, sensuality, and freedom from the tumultuous decade between 1964–74. With a set list featuring music by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan, the “immortal angel of cabaret” (Time Out New York) takes you on a transcendent musical journey through the hippie era—a time defined by the anti-war movement, the rise of feminism and queer liberation, and increasing demands for racial and social justice.

Matt Ray musical direction and keys
Nath Ann Carrera guitar
Claudia Chopek violin
Bernice “Boom Boom” Brooks drums
Mike Jackson bass
 
Mx. Justin Vivian Bond’s appearance at the Spiegeltent is made possible with support from Carolyn Marks Blackwood and Amanda Joy Rubin.
Sandra Bernhard
Sandyland Live
Friday, August 9 at 8 pm
Saturday, August 10 at 8 pm
 
Sandy is on the road again, crossing highways and byways, reflecting on America and points far beyond. Come along on the ride, kids. Sandyland is a place to escape and visit destinations you’ve never been to before. With Sandy as your guide, a whole new world is going to open up, jam-packed with observations, witty asides, and musical explosions with the Sandyland Squad Band. Kick back and pack light. It’s going to be one hell of an adventure.
Drag Story Hour
with Angel Elektra & Shay D’Pines
Sunday, August 11
2 pm • All Ages
6 pm • Adult Only
 
Dazzle your imagination at the Spiegeltent with Drag Story Hour! Westchester drag divas Angel Elektra and Shay D’Pines provide an enchanting blend of storytelling, performance, and inclusivity by bringing beloved tales to life in a magical setting. In spaces like this, kids are able to see royal beings who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves.
 
Angel Elektra and Shay D’Pines will host two captivating Drag Story Hours—one tailored for kids (2 pm) and another just for adults (6 pm).
Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East
Friday, August 16 at 8 pm
 
 
Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East (released on Smithsonian Folkways in 2020) encompasses myriad facets of Jain’s identity both as a first-generation South Asian-American and as a global musician, from his own family’s immigration story to his eclectic musical upbringing. In recasting the immigrant—steeped in the courage to leave a familiar homeland for a new beginning—as the modern-day cowboy and cowgirl, Jain sources musical inspiration from the scores of Bollywood classics and Spaghetti Westerns, Punjabi folk traditions, jazz improvisation, and rollicking psychedelic styles.
 
Sunny Jain drumset, dhol
Allison Shearer saxophones, flute
Shubh Saran guitar
Almog Sharvit bass
Ben Parag vocals
 

Nona Hendryx

Lady Marmalade 50th Anniversary
Saturday, August 17 at 8 pm
 
Lady Marmalade is 50 and still struttin’ her stuff! Nona Hendryx makes her fifth appearance at the Spiegeltent, this time celebrating the semicentennial of Labelle’s #1 worldwide hit that changed the course of pop music.
 
Outfitted in out-of-this-world costumes and singing stratospheric vocals, Nona Hendryx and the Mamafunk Band close out the summer with a funky rockin’ trip down memory lane to Labelle’s singular theatrical performances.
Bluegrass on Hudson
Trunks, roots, and branches
Thursdays at 8 pm
 

About the Series

A series celebrating the contemporary bluegrass and roots music of America, featuring the next generation of talent carrying the tradition forward for a new time. Bluegrass on Hudson is curated by Ruth Oxenberg and Rob Schumer.
 
Presented in association with Fourth Stream House Concerts.

           

East Nash Grass 
           

Thursday, July 11 at 8 pm
 
East Nash Grass strikes a surprising balance between undeniably hard-driving bluegrass and introspective songwriting with earnest narration.
 
Featuring a who’s-who of Nashville’s hottest young pickers, the joy and passion these musicians feel towards the genre is infused in every note they play and every word they sing.
 

Sam Reider & The Human Hands

Thursday, July 18 at 8 pm
 
Irresistible melodies, joyful improvisation, and otherworldly sounds collide in what Songlines Magazine has dubbed a “mash-up of The Klezmatics, Quintette du Hot Club de France, and the Punch Brothers.”
 
Led by Latin Grammy-nominated accordionist, pianist, and composer Sam Reider, The Human Hands features some of the brightest names in bluegrass and jazz.
 
This summer, the group returns to the Spiegeltent to perform music from their forthcoming album, The Golem and Other Tales (to be released June 2024), which combines elements of gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and chamber music. The album features an original suite of music based on the medieval Jewish legend of the golem, a magical clay man who is brought to life.
 
Sam Reider accordion, piano
Eddie Barbash alto saxophone
Duncan Wickel violin
Andrew Ryan bass
Roy Williams guitar
 

Sierra Hull
           

Thursday, August 1 at 8 pm
 
Called to the Grand Ole Opry’s stage by Krauss at just 11 years old, Hull has established herself as a master of her instrument, a two-time Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter, and a six-time recipient of IBMA’s Mandolin Player of the Year (the first woman ever to receive this distinction).
 
A pioneer for acoustic music throughout her already impressive multi-decade career, she has graced the country’s most iconic stages, including Carnegie Hall and the White House.
 
Her virtuosic abilities have garnered respect from genre-defining trailblazers, friends, and collaborators such as Alison Krauss, Sturgill Simpson, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Béla Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, and Brandi Carlile.
 

Lily Henley & Duncan Wickel

Thursday, August 8 at 8 pm
 
“Carrying the voices of women through history, and her work in American roots music, [Lily Henley’s album On Oras Dezaoradas] is a fascinating and beautiful release.”—The Guardian

Lily Henley and Duncan Wickel (Rising Appalachia) play folk music that spans cultures and continents with strong commitments to both tradition and experimentation. Together, they provide a “creative take on centuries-old songs that is both fresh and familiar” (Songlines Magazine).

Jake Blount Band

Thursday, August 15 at 8 pm
 
“Blount is a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist…with a hauntingly gorgeous voice and a bottomless, scholarly knowledge of American musical history.”—The Los Angeles Times

A powerfully gifted musician and a scholar of Black American music, Jake Blount speaks ardently about the African roots of the banjo and the subtle yet profound ways African Americans have shaped and defined the amorphous categories of roots music and Americana.

Blount’s latest album, The New Faith, is a towering achievement of dystopian Afrofuturism—and his first album for Smithsonian Folkways. The New Faith is spiritual music, filled with hope for salvation and righteous anger in equal measure. The album manifests our worst fears on the shores of an island in Maine, where Blount enacts an imagined religious ceremony performed by Black refugees after the collapse of global civilization due to catastrophic climate change.

Jake Blount’s music is rooted in care and confrontation. On stage, each song he and his band play is chosen for a reason—because it highlights important elements of the stories we tell ourselves of our shared history and our endlessly complicated present moment. The more we learn about where we’ve been, the better equipped we are to face the future.

Jake Blount fiddle, vox, banjo
Nelson Williams bass
Augustus Tritsch electric guitar, banjo, uke
 
Spiegeltent After Hours
Fridays and Saturdays, June 28 – August 17
                       
$15 at the door or free with same-day ticket to any performance 
Spiegeltent Garden Bar opens at 6:30 pm, weather permitting
Entry available from 10:30 pm – 12 am; Spiegeltent closes at 12:30 am
Open to patrons age 21 and up
 
Full lineup to be announced.
 
Special Events at the Spiegeltent
Enhance your experience of SummerScape with special events at the Spiegeltent.
           

Summer Kick-Off

Saturday, June 30 at 4:30 pm
 
Let’s celebrate the official start of summer in Annandale—the opening of SummerScape 2024! We are excited to kick off our annual festival of premiere productions that include music, theater, opera, and dance.
Join us in the iconic Spiegeltent for a light meal, and raise a glass with the world-class Urban Bush Women and Elevator Repair Service companies.

Opera Premiere Party

Friday, July 26 at 5 pm
 
Before the curtain rises on the much-anticipated new production of Le prophète, join like-minded opera aficionados for a sip with some savories and sweets. SummerScape Opera is always a grand spectacle and crowd-pleaser. This opening night party with insights from the creative team is also not to be missed!
 
Community Partnerships
This summer, the Spiegeltent is the vibrant setting for three celebratory events hosted by local arts and education organizations—Upstate Films, the Red Hook Education Foundation, and La Voz Magazine.
 
Upstate Films’ 2024 Jubilee
            Confidentially Yours
Friday, June 15 at 6 pm
Taylor and Burton. Grant and Hepburn. Sinatra and Monroe.

Join Upstate Films in a trip down memory lane for a night of storytelling and excitement. Hear revelatory, salacious, and moving private letters from Golden-Age Hollywood and beyond, read aloud by a cast of actors, comedians, and writers. Enjoy dinner and cocktails, a live auction, and more, all accompanied by a stellar house band.

All proceeds benefit Upstate Films.

Red Hook Education Foundation

Masquerade Ball
Friday, June 21 at 6:30 pm
Tickets: $120
 
The Red Hook Education Foundation presents its annual fundraising gala at the Spiegeltent. Get ready to dance the night away in your most mysterious, fascinating, and decadent outfit. As always, there will be fantastic food, festive cocktails, great music, and scintillating company in a world-class venue.
 
The mission of the Red Hook Education Foundation is to enhance public education for students in our community by funding programs that promote equity and inspire excellence. RHEF is run entirely by volunteers who raise funds to benefit the students at Red Hook schools in diverse areas. This event is the Foundation’s largest source of support and has helped raise over $650,000 to help fund programs, activities, and equipment for students in our school district.
 
All proceeds benefit The Red Hook Education Foundation.
 
 

The Twentieth Anniversary of La Voz Magazine

with Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra
Saturday, June 22, at 6 pm
Tickets: $35–$50
 
La Voz celebrates 20 years in print! Experience an unforgettable evening filled with live music by the renowned Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra, electrifying dance beats on the Spiegeltent dance floor, special tributes to honorees who serve the Hispanic communities of the Hudson Valley, a silent auction, and more.


Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra is a 12-person award-winning ensemble that has brought its own original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, such as Salsa, Cha-Cha, Bomba, Plena, and Latin Jazz to hundreds of festivals, performing arts centers, and events throughout the world.
 
All proceeds benefit La Voz magazine.
 
 
Eat and Drink at the Spiegeltent
 
The Spiegeltent Garden (weather permitting) offers beer, wine, and light food to all SummerScape patrons from 6:30 pm until 12 am on Fridays and Saturdays and some Thursdays. Ticket holders for Spiegeltent programs can enjoy a light fare and a full bar from 7 pm until 12 am. Food and beverage options for Sunday events vary.
 

Ticketing


Tickets are on sale to Fisher Center donors on April 30 and to the general public on May 8 at fishercenter.bard.edu and 845.758.7900. Tickets start at $25. Save 25% when you choose three or more SummerScape events.




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