“Enter the Spiegeltent – the tent of dreams – and you will never be the same again.” – Edinburgh Fringe magazine
he opening of the 2011 Bard SummerScape festival on July 7 signals the return of the authentic, one-of-a-kind Belgian Spiegeltent, the luxurious “tent of mirrors” that has proved a sensation since 2006, when its introduction to Bard marked the first time one of these fabled old-world structures appeared in America. The New York Times pronounced it “agreeably funky,” while the Village Voice praised its “wooden floors, mirrored walls, stained-glass panels, and red velvet ceiling.” Conveniently situated near the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center, the Spiegeltent affords a sumptuous and magical environment to enjoy cutting-edge cabaret and musical performances – almost all of which sold out last year – plus family fare, late-night dancing, and tasty refreshments, throughout the seven-week festival (July 7–August 21).
Originally from Europe, where such tents and the special entertainment they host have been a tradition for the past century, the Spiegeltent is a marvel of engineering, comprising 3,000 detachable parts, with a spellbinding interior of carved wood surfaces, parquet floor, beveled mirrors, stained-glass windows, and splendid velvet canopies. On weekend afternoons and evenings, the theater-in-the-round – encircled by audience members seated at booths and tables – is the stage for a variety of performers, from cabaret acts and musicians to dancers and jugglers. Before and after performances, the Spiegeltent provides the ideal setting to enjoy light fare, meals, and drinks chosen from the best offerings of the Hudson Valley’s rich array of farms, orchards, dairies, wineries, and breweries.