Pin It

The Greatest Show In Hudson 

Stephanie Monseu, a founder of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret, grew up a gymnast, ballerina, artist, and singer in a rock band. Being multitalented certainly wasn’t a curse, but she wished for a way to mix all her interests . Fifteen years ago, Monseu found that outlet when she met her partner, Bindlestiff’s co-founder, Keith Nelson. Nelson introduced her to the world of the circus. Monseu  describes it as “both athletic and artsy. It allows you to place metaphor and movement together in a way that sports alone doesn’t do.”

Artistic expression wasn’t the only attraction to the circus life. Remarking on the folk history of variety arts, Monseu explains, “Circus was widely accessible to people of all income ranges. It employed the vernacular, it wasn’t illustrious, highly polished, highfalutin art. It was earthy and gritty and that sort of charmed us.” In 1995, Monseu and Nelson combined their energy and talents to create Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret. They took their own fusion of circus, cabaret, burlesque, sideshow, and vaudeville across the country and around the world. From 2002 to 2004, they ran “the last vaudeville house in Times Square.” Simultaneously, Monseu and Nelson worked (and still work) to educate the community about variety arts and provide youth programming.

In 2005, Monseu and Nelson bought a house in Hudson, giving Bindlestiff a new home. Monseu calls the city a diverse, vibrant artistic “galaxy” with a place for everybody. She’s thrilled about the circus’s upcoming performance at Hudson’s newest venue, Club Helsinki, which she believes will come to the forefront of the city’s creative community. The show will be a blend of local performers and Bindlestiff New York City favorites, expected to include strange and bizarre feats by Online-Diploma-Holder Sideshow Chris, Harvest Moon, the “Sultry Siren of Burlesque,” an accapella performance by Lady Moon, and live music. As always, Monseu and Nelson will perform as Ringmistress Philomena and Mr. Pennygaff, fire eating and swallowing swords. Not wanting to give anything away, Monseu says, “we try to orchestrate a roller coaster ride for the audience. There’s going to be some really thought-provoking, artistic boundary pushing.”

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabert performs June 30 at Club Helsinki in Hudson. Doors open at 8pm. $20.;

click to enlarge Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret will perform at Club Helsinki in Hudson on June 30.
  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret will perform at Club Helsinki in Hudson on June 30.

Speaking of...

  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret performs June 30 at Club Helsinki in Hudson.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Parting Shot: Magnus Agustsson

    The Agustsson Gallery shows not only the artist's work for whom it's named, but also paintings by local, New York City, and Boston artists. Both the paintings and Augustsson's sculptures are available for purchase. The Agustsson Gallery in Kingston will hold an open on June 6 from 5-9pm.
    • Jun 1, 2015
  • Phoenicia Art Studio Tour (July 17-19)

    This weekend-long event spanning all dozen or so hamlets in the town of Shandaken will take place from July 17 to July 19.
    • Jul 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Visual Art

  • Columbus Day Weekend happenings at Omi!
  • Columbus Day Weekend happenings at Omi!

    Opening receptions for Nicole Cherubini and Remy Jungerman, Oct. 8 at 2 PM in the gallery; Kahn+Selesnick update Freya Powell's zeotrope with new imagery; Steam Canoe installation is underway, and Ward Shelly + Alex Schweder take a final spin in ReActor!
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • On the Cover: Laura Battle
  • On the Cover: Laura Battle

    Laura Battle's drawing Antonyms .
    • Oct 1, 2016
  • Arty, but Crafty
  • Arty, but Crafty

    "Byrdcliffe's Legacy: Handmade in the 20th Century" examines the creative history of Woodstock through October 9.
    • Oct 1, 2016
  • More »

Related to Visual Art

More by Lisa Parisio

  • Notorious B.A.R.D.

    A preview the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's season; including "Bomb-itty of Errors."
    • Jul 28, 2010
  • Hudson Valley Restaurant, Bar & Market Openings

    A guide to notable local debuts.
    • Jul 28, 2010
  • While You Were Sleeping

    John Boehner suggests raising the retirement age to 70; decision on whaling practices reaches stalemate; BP still the Defense Department's largest fuel supplier; and two billion dollars of stimulus money to be used for solar panel plants.
    • Jul 27, 2010
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets