Life Lessons From One Of New York’s Nightlife Legends
Truman Capote famously said “New York is a diamond iceberg floating in river water.” And one of the town’s greatest gems is Susanne Bartsch. Dubbed “The queen of the night” for decades she has produced the most uniquely creative shindigs, not only just in New York, but around the world from Tokyo to Paris. Born in Switzerland, this patron saint of style moved to New York City in 1981 and has been there ever since.
Famous for her flair for bringing all kinds of people together, Bartsch provides a place for men and women to escape their everyday lives and have a transformative experience, or at the very least experience a rip-roaring good time. Her latest venture is the pull-out all-the-stops cabaret extravaganza Bartschland Follies. The alluring and intimate show is every Friday in The Club Car in the glamorous McKittrick Hotel, home of the iconic show Sleep No More. Expect a madcap night where the opera meets a high fashion burlesque circus.
Jeryl Brunner: How would you describe Bartschland Follies?Susanne Bartsch: Bartschland Follies is a modern-day Cabaret. In my humble opinion it is replete with all of the style, wit, ambiguity, sexiness and sophistication that makes the Bob Fosse film [Cabaret] such a timeless classic. There is always something outrageous and unexpected at Bartschland Follies. That is why The McKittrick Hotel is the perfect partner and home for the show. Strangely and eerily as well, the times in which we're living are beginning to feel very ominously like a parallel of Weimar culture. So "Come to The Cabaret!" Or in this case, The Follies! It’s art imitating life imitating art, on an endless loop!
Brunner: In Bartschland Follies you have the most talented burlesque performers. How did you go about selecting them?Bartsch: I have built a large network of amazingly talented artists and performers through my various events. And I have been working with most of them for many years. The Follies is my opportunity to share this special community with the community! They are the crème de le crème of the avant-garde performance art and burlesque scene. Not just in New York but in the world.