Cynthia Hopkins: Musical chameleon
Who is Cynthia? what is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair and wise is she;
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admiréd be.
Apologies to William Shakespeare, but those lines of his came to mind as soon as I started thinking about Cynthia Hopkins. She’s the founder of the band Gloria Deluxe and the raconteur who created The Accidental Trilogy, a mind-blowing theatrical series in which she morphs and time-shifts in an apocalyptic tale of amnesia, love, loss and the end of the world. The series has been seen locally at St. Ann’s Warehouse.
This Saturday, Cynthia and Gloria Deluxe takes the outdoor stage on NYC’s Roosevelt Island for the latest installment in the Roosevelt Live concert series. I can’t really predict who Cynthia will be on Saturday. Chances are it won’t be Cameron Seymour or any of the other characters from her trilogy. But will she be Cynthia? And if she is, will we really know for sure? Who cares? It’ll be great fun. You can count on a theatrical, foot-stomping afternoon of rock-inflected alt-country from Gloria Deluxe. And if the weather holds — and as I write this, weather.com is predicting a partly cloudy day with a high of 82 degrees — it will be the perfect way to kick off the Labor Day weekend.
Here’s some background on Cynthia and the band, from her concert bio:
Cynthia Hopkins and Gloria Deluxe – In the spring of 1999, Cynthia Hopkins formed a band in order to record some songs and make an album. The album and the band were both called Gloria Deluxe. The album was released that September and since then, Gloria Deluxe has played at the Bowery Ballroom (opening for David Byrne), the 2001 Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, Pete’s Candy Store, Tonic, and Joe’s Pub, among numerous other venues, In the band’s first performance outside of New York City, they opened for Patti Smith at MASS MoCA, in one of the museum’s outdoor theaters. Gloria Deluxe is Cynthia Hopkins on accordion, guitar, and saw; Kristin Mueller on drums; Josh Stark on upright bass; Philippa Thompson on violin, washboard and spoons; Karen Waltuch on viola; and everyone on vocals.
SHOW DETAILS: 4 pm, Saturday, Sept. 5. Roosevelt Live, Riverwalk Commons, Roosevelt Island. (It’s a short walk from the Roosevelt Island on the F line. Click here for a map) Gloria Deluse opens, followed by Ethan Lipton and his orchestra, a lounge act. Free.