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The LEGEND, Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA

The Legend - Cirque Theatre
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The Legend - Zoe Isadora - photo by Margaret Fox

Seeing The LEGEND, the modern adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, performed in The Village of Sleepy Hollow, was the perfect way to get a jump start on Halloween! Created and performed by the talented team from Westchester Circus Arts, the legendary tale was told through holograms, aerialists, and acrobats, for a sensational, totally immersive experience. If you love Halloween, you must see The LEGEND, which runs until October23, 2022.


Washington Irving was born in New York City in 1783 and died in Sleepy Hollow, New York in 1859. He was a United States Minister to Spain, linguist, author, and essayist, whose short stories in The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. referred to as "The Sketchbook" written in 1820, include the stories of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Written over 200 years ago, the story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow still excites with the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.

Zoe Isadore, Mickey Lonsdale - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Zoë Isadora (Katrina) and Mickey Lonsdale (Rrom Bones)

To celebrate the bicentennial of Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Westchester Circus Arts and The Village of Sleepy Hollow wanted to do something different and dazzling. As the pandemic on 2020 curtailed the celebration, they went all out to celebrate in 2022 with the creation of The LEGEND performed by the Westchester Circus Arts, with its dedicated and talented aerialists and performers to tell the tale.

Zoe Isadore, Doug Stewart - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Doug Stewart (Haunting Spirit) and Zoë Isadora (Katrina)

We had the pleasure of experiencing The LEGEND on Friday, September 30, 2022, performed under the signature blue and yellow Westchester Circus Arts tent. Hauntingly narrated by the hologram of Washington Irving, this engaging tale had us on the edge of our seats with the hairs on the back of our necks sticking up as we watched the legendary tale unfold above and around us.

Justin Durham, Doug Stewart - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Justin Durham (Ichabad Crane) and Doug Stewart (Haunting Spirit)

The well-chosen cast includes Justin Durham as the superstitious Ichabod Crane, Zoë Isadora plays his beautiful love interest, Katrina Van Tassel, heiress to the Van Tassel fortune, Mickey Lonsdale plays Brom Bones, her assumed boyfriend, Doug Stewart is the Haunting Spirit, and Carlo Pellegrini plays the role of Katrina’s father, the wealthy Mr. Van Tassel.

Mickey Lonsdale - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Justin Durham (Ichabad Crane), Mickey Lonsdale (Brom Bones),
Carlo Pellegrini (Mr. Van Tassel)

What made their performances so engaging and dynamic is that the performers are well-versed in their disciplines (Mickey Lonsdale and Carlo Pellegrini: acrobatic and comedic arts, and Zoë Isadora, Doug Stewart, and Justin Durham: aerial arts, silks (aerial fabric), corde-lisse (ropes) straps, and aerial hoop (Lyra)). Mickey and Carlo have worked together for many years and their comedic timing flowed effortlessly eliciting laughter by the audience in all the right places. We love the contemporary cirques, and Westchester Circus Arts was truly brilliant, with the exhilarating aerial work performed by Justin Durham, Doug Stewart, and Zoë Isadora.

Zoe Isadore - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Zoë Isadora (Katrina)

Speaking with the cast after the performance, we learned more about the talented performers and their professional experience. Justin and Doug have worked together in the past, and their high-flying aerial work was entrancing to watch. Zoë Isadora was born to the aerial world (she is a 3rd generation aerialist) to the legendary family of aerialists, The Flying Wallendas, and her strength and talent was evident throughout her enchanting performance.

Justin Durham, Zoe Isadore - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Justin Durham (Ichabad Crane) and Zoë Isadora (Katrina)

The setting is the 1800s and down on his luck Ichabod Crane thinks things are improving for him when he is offered a teaching position in Sleepy Hollow, New York. There he meets the beautiful and wealthy Katrina Van Tassel and soon finds out that there is more than he had bargained for, becoming embroiled in a battle with Katrina’s assumed beau, Brom Bones, and so much more. Deftly and creatively told by a hologram of Washington Irving narrating, and with aerialists and acrobats, this tale is the perfect way to celebrate "fright night" and the 200th anniversary of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Zoe Isadore - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Zoë Isadora (Katrina)

The night we experienced The LEGEND, the tent was filled with a mixed-age audience (it is recommended for ages 10 and older), and excited murmurs were heard throughout the spectacular and mesmerizing performance with its gravity-defying aerial work that had our hearts pounding with excitement, and the acrobatic groundwork that added another essential element of surprise and daring to the nuanced performance. We loved experiencing The LEGEND so much, that we may want to return one more time before it closes on October 23, 2022.

The Cast - Justin Durham, Zoe Isadore, Mickey Lonsdale, Doug Stewart - The Legend


Justin Durham
Ichabod Crane
Zoë Isadora
Mickey Lonsdale
Brom Bones
Doug Stewart
Haunting Spirit
Carlo Pellegrini
Mr. Van Tassel

Zoe Isadore, Doug Stewart - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Zoë Isadora (Katrina) and Doug Stewart (Haunting Spirit)

The LEGEND runs until October 23, 2022, with performances on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Friday performances are at 7:30 pm and run 90 minutes. Saturday performances are at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and Sunday performances are at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Note: Recommended for ages 10 and up.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.sleepyhollowlegend.com.

Watch The LEGEND on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyIts-l9mnE

Zoe Isadore - The Legend - photo by Margaret Fox
Zoë Isadora (Katrina)

If you decide to experience The LEGEND, do plan to arrive earlier in the day and experience the charm of the Village of Sleepy Hollow, as there is much to see including visiting Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside, and there are unique events held throughout the month of October and November. For more information, please visit: www.visitsleepyhollow.com

The Cast and Debra C. Argen - The Legend - photo by Luxury Experience
Justin Durham, Zoë Isadora, Debra C. Argen,
Mickey Lonsdale, Doug Stewart

For more information on Westchester Circus Arts re: Circus Camps, Special Events, or Rentals, please visit: https://westchestercircusarts.com/

Until next time, keep enjoying and supporting the arts!

About Westchester Circus Arts

"Westchester Circus Arts is a woman-owned business, founded by circus artist, Hilary Sweeney. As an aerialist for over 15 years and counting, she is a living example of how transformational and empowering the Circus Arts can be. She believes people of all ages should not have to "runaway" with the circus or be born into a circus family in order to benefit from the artform. She created Westchester Circus Arts as a place where people can experience circus in the most direct way and discover what it can do for their own lives."

Westchester Circus Arts

"Westchester Circus Arts was founded to allow members of our community to experience firsthand how transformational and empowering the circus arts can be. We provide year-round afterschool program for kids, adult arts and fitness classes, summer camp, offsite and school programs. To learn more about our school, programs, and instructors, visit us at: https://westchestercircusarts.com/"

Westchester Circus Arts

The LEGEND Circus Tent on the East Parcel
60 Continental Street
Sleepy Hollow, New York 10591
United States
Telephone: +1-914-275-5711
Website: https://sleepyhollowlegend.com/
Website: www.westchestercircusarts.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestchesterCircusArts/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/westchestercircusarts/

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