The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Comes Alive, More Than Ever 

The flaps of the circus tent whipping from the winds coming over the Hudson River was a perfect, though most likely unintended, special effect during a preview performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving’s ghost story, published in 1820, remains a classic among American literature and this year, The Westchester Circus Arts performs the iconic tale through October, the perfect time of year when the days grow shorter, and the wind kicks up – just as it did under the big top in Sleepy Hollow. 

Katrina, Lady I Red (Photo courtesy of The Legend)

With a “cirque theatre performance,” three of the main characters swing about the stage in an “aerial ballet” telling the story about an innocent schoolteacher who falls under the spell of the seductress, Katrina, and is out to win her hand. Standing in his way is another suitor, Brom Bones, and the two end up in a battle that is more a gymnastic dance than street brawl, as a dark spirit spirals his way across the flowing drapes hanging from the circus top.  

Dark Spirit (Photo by MJ Hanley-Goff)

Through the use of holograms, Washington Irving and the Headless Horseman make appearances throughout the 90-minute show, to create a total immersive experience. The Westchester Circus Arts began exploring the concept of holograms as part of the cirque performance, paving the way for the hologram technology to portray the animal acts that audiences love. Carlo Pellegrini, of the Westchester Circus Arts group, who also created, produced, and wrote The Legend, says, “Come out, buy tickets, grab some popcorn and tell us if our concept has come alive.” 

Tent (Photo courtesy of The Legend)

The show runs through October 16, under the circus tent at 60 Continental Street, Sleepy Hollow. SleepyHollowLegend.com

More Hudson Valley Fall/Halloween Events.

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Tours, daytimes or lantern evening tours. Through November 5.

The Blaze (Photo by Emily Goff)

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, more than 7,000 hand-carved and illuminated jack o’lanterns light up the fall skies. Through November 20.

Statue of Liberty (Photo by Emily Goff)

Ghost Tours of the Tarrytown Music Hall, a stop on the Haunted History Trail of New York, considered a vessel between the dead and the living. Throughout October.

Lyndhurst After Dark, experience the spirit of the season at this Victorian mansion and explore the dark side of its history. Weekends October 21-23, 27-30.

Top photo credit: Emily Goff

About MJ Hanley-Goff (138 Articles)
MJ Hanley-Goff has been contributing to Woman Around Town since its inception in 2009. She began her career at Newsday in the early 90’s and has continued writing professionally for other New York publications like the Times Herald-Record, Orange Magazine, and Hudson Valley magazine. Former editor of Hudson Valley Parent magazine, she also contributed stories to AAA’s Car & Travel, and Tri-County Woman. After completing her novel and a self-help book, she created MJWRITES, INC. to offer writing workshops and book coaching to first time authors, and college essay writing help to students. MJ is thrilled and honored to write for WAT for the amazing adventures it offers, like reviewing concerts, people, authors, events, and tourist attractions in New York, and around the world. “I enjoy drawing attention to the off-the-beaten path kinds of stories,” she says. “It’s great big world out there, with so many talented and creative artists, doers, and thinkers.”