A strange thing happens when you travel just over an hour’s train ride north of the city. Namely, shit gets eerie. Buildings shrink into the trees, mountains, and even farmlands that make up the beautifully atmospheric Hudson Valley. Still a series of quiet and suburban hamlets, the area is not all that different from the place Washington Irving so often wrote about. Even if you can’t make the trip, celebrate the master of early American storytelling with a nod to his most famous tale. The Headless Horseman Variety Show will give a nod (or not) to pop-culture depictions of Sleepy Hollow’s phantom — from the creepy Christopher Walken–played Hessian who stalked Johnny Depp through a Burtonian wonderland to the AK-47–toting demon at the center of Fox’s hit show. Elizabeth L. Bradley, editor of a new Penguin Classics edition of Irving’s stories, will lecture on “Kanye West’s Sleepy Hollow” between phrenological demonstrations by Colin Dickey (head required). Enjoy Irving’s favorite treat — beer and doughnuts — with complementary Ichabod Ale by Holland Brewery. We’re told that the horseman himself will even make an appearance.
Thu., Oct. 16, 8 p.m., 2014