Click the heading above to view performing arts events this month in Queens. Click the following links to go directly into one of these Queens Neighborhoods: Astoria, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Long Island City and Sunnyside.
Langston Hughes’ Dream Weaver
A One Man Show At The York Performing Arts Center
November 12, 2013 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz. I had the pleasure of attending David Mills’ one man show at the York Performing Arts Center on Saturday. The show was about the life and times of Langston Hughes, likely the most celebrated poets of the Harlem Renaissance.
David Mills has an interest in and connection to Langston Hughes that transcends the bounds of my vocabulary. David had lived in Langston Hughes house in Harlem on 127th Street for three years, touched the typewriter keys that Langston had pounded away on to make a living and to express himself, and has read a plethora of the written material left behind by one of the great African American authors of the early and mid 20th century.
To deliver a successful one-man-show, with only a simple chair as the prop, takes both talent and a gift ...
Click here to read the rest of our report about the performance of Langston Hughes in Queens as delivered by David Mills at the York Performing Arts Center.
A Moving Performance Of Four People's Lives
November 5, 2013 / Long Island City LIC Neighborhood / Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz. I had an opportunity to experience the play Pirira just before it opened on October 10th. The original script production is being performed at the Chain Theater in LIC through this weekend, ending November 10th.
It's rare when a play draws tears to the ducts, providing a sort of cathartic release - very much in response to a command performance, as well as from the emotional grist buried beneath the surface in our own lives. Actress Flor De Liz Perez is shown in the photo above right performing in the dress rehearsal of Pirira.
The play is staged in two locations, halfway around the world. One of the locations is in a flower shop in New York, while the other is in the backroom of an American charitable organization in Malawi in Africa. The actors are ... click here for a full review of the play Pirira produced by 167 Theatre.
City Council Meeting: Democracy or Farce?
The Highly Interactive Virtual Reality Play
The play is the brainchild of a producer / writer who came up with the idea while attending a city council meeting on Portland, Oregon.
The writer lives in Brooklyn and has a residency with an arts group in Manhattan. He began attending City Council Meetings in NYC and around the nation, and soon his idea began to take form. He invited a couple of friends to help him flush out the idea, and we saw a very good sketch of the most interactive performance I've seen, at the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center.
We'll have more on this sometime soon. It was well worth the visit and there's a lot of real life analogies / things to consider that came out of it.
Jamaica & The Performing Arts
Dance Out Loud Receives Thunderous Applause
March 16, 2013 / Jamaica NY / Dance in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the Dance Out Loud benefit for the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. It was held at the renovated First Dutch Reformed Church, which is now the 400 seat Jamaica Performing Arts Center. The First Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1858, and made a landmark in the mid 1970’s after a community effort saved it from being demolished in 1975. After twenty years of limbo and renovations, the building was reopened as the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in 2009. But I digress.
Tonight we would watch some of the best dance companies in the NYC metro area perform a variety of original works, a pleasure that is difficult to find anywhere – even in Manhattan.
Click here to read the rest of our report on the Dance Out Loud benefit dance performances at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, including a photo slide show of the performances.
Virtual Arts TV Shows Their TITS
Wired Arts Fest Celebrated in Queens
March 8, 2013 / Theater in Queens / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. I attended a Virtual Arts TV performance, entitled TITS, on February 19th at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City. The performance was part of a twelve-day event entitled Wired Arts Fest. Wired Arts Fest is one of the first of its kind, and by the looks of things, appears to not only have legs, but great TITS as well.
TITS, the show, is the brainchild of Ege Maltepe who is a Turkish actress from Turkey who now resides in NYC. The comedy lecture takes on one of huMANity’s favored subjects: TITS. It seems Ege stumbled upon the American [and perhaps global] fascination with this part of the female anatomy while joking around. She found that both women, as the owners, and most men; have something between a fascination and obsession with TITS.
And so she created Professor G, the main character in this one-woman comedy lecture. Click this link to view the Virtual Arts TV Queens performance of TITS, including photos of the performance [NOT FOR CHILDREN].
Dancing In The Ether
Dance Entropy Explores The Continuum of Time & Space
February 21, 2013 / Dance in Queens / LIC Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. I received a rare treat on Wednesday morning when I went to preview the dance performances planned for this weekend at Green Space in LIC. The weekend celebration includes five dance pieces, three of which are being premiered and two of which have been performed and perfected.
I was one of only a handful of people in the audience, as the dancers did one last rehearsal before their opening performance Thursday evening February 21, 2013. The photo above was taken at the dress rehearsal performance of Skimming the Surface by Dance Entropy at Green Space in LIC.
Click here for a short description of each performance and a slide show of Skimming the Surface by Dance Entropy at Green Space in LIC, as well as a bit longer exploration into one of the new pieces. The report also includes a couple of interviews with the dancers.
Dance & Theater in Queens News - Briefs
News Briefs About Dance & Theater Events in Queens
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Flamenco Dancing In Queens
American Bolero Brings To Queens The Dance & Music Of Old Spain
March 16, 2012 / Astoria / Dance in Queens / Queens Buzz. I went to watch the American Bolero Dance Company perform Tablao Flamenco on Friday night. There were eleven performances by a panoply of dancers and musicians, who sensually revived the heart and soul of ancient Andalusia and colonial Spain.
The performances were exciting to watch. The dancers’ hard heels struck the wooden stage floor, in a staccato rhythm. And as the taps resounded in the air ... the cantadores emoted the melodies of Spain's Medieval past, filling the theater with vibrations of the spirit.
The dancers’ fast-footed movements, belied the beautiful tranquility of their lithe upper torsos and slender arms, flowingly extended up into the air, entrapping us as we watched. In the photo to your right is Gabriela Granados, dancing the flamenco in Astoria.
Click here to read the rest of our review of Tablao Flamenco – flamenco dancing in Queens.
Astoria Performing Arts Center
Astoria Performing Arts Center - Children Of Eden
May 4, 2010 / Astoria / Queens Buzz. I just returned from watching a dress rehearsal of Children Of Eden which is about to open at the Astoria Performing Arts Center [APAC] at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Astoria. I’ll start by clarifying the relationship of APAC to the Good Shepherd Church, which is something I had previously pondered.
APAC Offices Are Located In Good Shepherd Church
The Good Shepherd Church is the home to the United Methodist Church which owns and runs the church. The church apparently shares the space with the United Methodist Korean Church as well as rents some space to the Astoria Performing Arts Center. To our knowledge, the church and APAC are not affiliated.
Latino Cultural Festival Begins
Outdoor Theater In Astoria, Flushing / Indoor LIC
July 29, 2010 / Queens Buzz. This weekend, generally clear skys, with highs in the low 80's [lows in mid 60's] with a 40% chance of rain on Sunday. Thursday night in Flushing, Queens Theatre In The Park kicks off it's annual Latino Cultural Festival at 8 pm with Contra Tiempo, Urban Latin Dance Theatre. The festival opening will be followed by a party that runs until 12 midnight [theater]. The Latin Cultural Festival runs through August 8th. Also the last performance of the International Theater Festival begins at 6.30 pm Thursday night at LPAC in LIC [theater].
On Friday in Flushing the Queens Museum Of Art continues its passport Fridays, with an outdoor dance / music performance and a film about Taiwan [art]. In LIC on Saturday night starting at 5 pm there's an Alex Chilton festival, including readings, a screening and a concert [theater]. Also in LIC, beginning Saturday afternoon, PS1 continues hosting its Warm Up parties in their courtyard [art]. On both Saturday and Sunday in Astoria Park, the Curious Frog Company will perform A Midsummers Nights Dream at 1 and 4 pm respectively [theater].
For details of these and other events, click into the Queens Events link on the tool bar above. Also note that this weekend there are three wine tastings [Thurs / Fri / Sat] in LIC and Astoria, the details of which may be found in the Members Calendar along with several other member posted events.
Queens Theatre In The Park
Queens was treated to its 8th bi-annual Legislative Revue at Queens Theatre In The Park in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens NY. The Revue features local government officials a number of theatrical and musical skits.
Dance & Theater In Flushing & Corona
Jerry Stiller At Queens Theatre In The Park
Jackson Heights 3 AM
Third Of A Trilogy About Jackson Heights
January 18, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Performing Arts in Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. I just returned from previewing Jackson Heights 3 AM. It’s the third of a trilogy put together under the direction of Ari Kreith of Theatre 167 about the Jackson Heights neighborhood. The play is as mixed as the neighborhood, combining comedy, tragedy and romance to portray the late-night life in the multi-ethnic neighborhood of Jackson Heights.
The cast of actors and actresses did a great job of caricaturing a wide swath of late night personas, as they drew us into the post midnight hours along Roosevelt Avenue; journeying into some of the drama and humor that might generally accompany a late night voyage into NYC urbanity in northwestern Queens.
Click here to read our review of Jackson Heights 3 AM by Theatre 167.
theatre 167 in jackson heights
You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase
March 14, 2011 / Jackson Heights / Dance & Theater / Queens Buzz. I was able to preview the new play, You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase, now in progress at 167 theatre in Jackson Heights. It's an original work written by about seven people. The producer came up with the approach to collecting material for the play, and then in collaboration with a dramaturg, worked with the group to shape it.
The story revolves around a young woman from Ecuador who decides to visit her grandmother in Jackson Heights to see if she would like to live here. She meets an American on the plane [see photo] and before they depart, their suitcases get switched. We follow both of them into the magical world of Jackson Heights, watching their encounters with the Indian / Bengali phone salesman, the Chinese or Korean dry cleaner ...
Click here to read our report about You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase by theatre 167, including a photo slide show of the play which runs last three weekends in March 2011 at PS 69 in Jackson Heights.
Jackson Repertory Theatre
167 Tongues Strikes Theatrical Gold
May 7, 2010 / Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. I just returned from experiencing something truly wonderful. I saw a play entitled 167 Tongues, which opens on May 7th and runs three weeks under the auspices of the Jackson Repertory Theatre at PS 69. Better buy your tickets now, because this is something that could quickly catch fire and with only 99 seats available per night, they could go quickly.
167 Tongues By The Jackson Repertory Theatre
So let’s start at the beginning, which was Wednesday night when I arrived to watch the play. When I found they weren’t in costume I asked to return the following night as the final rehearsal was to be done in costume. But before I left I took several mental notes, which gave rise to consternation about what I was to experience the following evening.
Click here to view a review of 167 Tongues by the Jackson Repertory Theatre.
Black Wall Street At York College PAC
Coming To Grips With The Whole Of Our Nation's Past
January 7, 2013 / Jamaica NY Neighborhood / Performing Arts in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the theatrical production of Black Wall Street at the York College Performing Arts Center on Saturday. The play is about the prosperous, African American Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921; and based on a historical book entitled Death in the Land of Promise.
The play centers around an incident in an office building elevator which lead to a white attack on the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, leaving somewhere between 30 and 300 dead [some of whom were shot in the back] and most homes in the neighborhood were burnt to the ground. After two days of house burning, gunfire and looting, the Governor of Oklahoma stepped in and declared martial law. But it was too late. The damage had already been done.
The play is a production of Shades of Truth Theatre Company, which produces and performs original works that tell largely untold tales of the African American experience. Click here for our report and slide show of Black Wall Street.
Rent At York College Performing Arts Center
May 4, 2012 / Jamaica NY / Dance & Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz. The York College Performing Arts Center is hosting performances of the musical, Rent, through May 13th. I had the opportunity to attend a performance of it last weekend, which includes an all-star cast of eighteen actors and actresses, most of whom have affiliations with York College.
The play is scripted along the same lines as the century old Italian opera, La Boheme. La Boheme is based upon a French novel entitled Scenes of the Bohemian Life, which was about the life of ‘starving artists’ living on the left bank of Paris during the tuberculosis epidemic of the late 1800’s. Rent is an updated version of that storyline - about starving artists living in the east village of New York City during the AIDS epidemic of the 1990’s.
Click to the Queens Events calendar and then click the theater link to obtain performance times and ticket information. And click here to view our review and photo slide show of Rent at the York College Performing Arts Center.
The Wedding ... Community Theater With Redemptive Theme
Can One Marry A Billionaire And Still Keep Their Sense of Self?
December 12, 2011 / Jamaica / Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz. Saturday afternoon I made my way to the York Performing Arts Center in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens to see a new play entitled The Wedding.
The play was written by Beverly Morrison Caesar for Arts in Christian Theatre [ACT] which is associated with the Pentecostal Church on Guy Brewer Blvd. Beverly’s plays contain a redemptive message and are performed by volunteers from the church and surrounding community.
I spoke to Beverly about how the play originated and how she combined theater, pantomime and a fashion show all in one grand performance. Click here to read more about The Wedding at the York Performing Arts Center in Jamaica Queens.
Jamaica Center For Arts & Learning
Jamaica NY / Queens Buzz. The Jamaica Center For Arts & Learning, also known as JCAL, is a community cultural center that has been serving the Jamaica community for nearly forty years. The center offers classes and performances to help educate children and foster appreciation for the arts and learning.
The Play For Rent Runs This Week
New Theatrical Production at LaGuardia in LIC
October 22, 2012 / LIC Neighborhood / Dance & Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended one of the dress rehearsals of For Rent last week at LaGuardia Community College in LIC. It was the second time I had seen the play and it gets better with each viewing. The play is a working project of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center.
The play is set in modern day Istanbul, the thriving capital of Turkey, and quite possibly one the next members of the European Union. Istanbul has become the New York of its country - where extreme wealth resides side by side with extreme poverty. Rather than ignore or hide these people's plight, this play dives right into their midst; with all the violence, sex and fragility that permeates their impoverished lives. In the photo to your left is Sadik, the boss, with Ferhan the cheat in For Rent at LPAC in LIC.
Art Imitates Reality in the 'Museum'
Play Portrays People in Art Museum & Parallels Visits to PaintCan Studios during LIC Art Open
May 15, 2012 / Sunnyside / Performing Arts in Queens / Queens Buzz. The Museum was the first play written by Tina Howe back in 1976. It’s a mix of comedy and satire depicting the scene in an art gallery on the last day of a controversial artist’s show. The play includes about forty characters who come through the gallery to see the show before it ends.
The ‘set’ is a large artist studio in the PaintCan, which is the affectionate name given the third floor of 10-10 44th Road. The PaintCan is the home to about a dozen or more artists’ studios containing a range of artwork and artists that were easily worth the visit themselves. We’ll post a separate report on the PaintCan in the coming day.
Maids – Final Installment
Mutation From Original Themes, Into Exploration Of Time
November 5, 2011 / Long Island City / Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz. I just returned from watching the final installment of Maids. Maids was a four production work put on by the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center [hereafter referred to as LPAC] in Long Island City. While the germ of the work was based on a Jean Genet play, the play only served as the starting point for what was an experimental work created by Handan Ozbilgin, Assistant Artistic Director of LPAC.
It’s been said, that “art should make one feel uncomfortable”. One of the goals of art is to challenge one’s perspective, move one out of their comfort zone, get one to see things in a different light and make one think about things. And so it was tonight that … click here to read the rest of our review of the final installment of Maids – experimental theater in LIC Queens.
Dance Festival Mixes Motion & Art
Green Space Blooms Festival
April 8, 2011 / Long Island City / Dance & Theater / Queens Buzz. I attended the first evening of the Green Space Blooms dance festival Friday night. It’s the fifth year of the Queens modern dance festival, which runs through April 17th at Green Space in Long Island City [see Queens Events for details].
There are about thirty dancers and choreographers involved in the festival, making it the largest event of this nature in the Queens thus far this year. On opening night, three dance companies performed their works, only one of which I photographed, out of costume at their rehearsal.
Click here for our review of the Green Space Blooms dance festival 2011 in Queens.
Maids 3:337 - Life As Theater
Kept Off Balance While Struggling To Find Meaning
February 21, 2011 / Long Island City LIC / Queens Buzz. I find myself being increasingly drawn into the four part experimental theater entitled Maids. I reviewed the first show last fall [use the search function to find it] and I just returned from having watched, witnessed or participated in the second show, which was held this past weekend.
The production explores a couple of themes, but its texture contains so many dimensions, that I can only begin to give you a sense of them in this review. The stage included the hallways of LaGuardia College, a loading dock and freight elevator, the back stage and the main theater. Having been to the first show in this series, I found myself beginning to get comfortable with the sense of discomfort one feels when we, in the audience, aren't completely anonymous.
Click here to read the rest of our review, including a slide show, of Maids 3:337 at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City.
Dance & Theater In LIC Long Island City
Experimental Theater / Maids At LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
Dance Entropy / Green Space At LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
White Box Festival At The Secret Theatre
The Tempest At The Secret Theatre
Three Sisters Vanishing At LaGuardia Performing Arts
The Geometry At The Chocolate Factory
Act V At Secret Theatre
24 Hours At LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
Rioult Dance Company At LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
Figgy Pudding Short Play Fest
Xmas Comedy at Café Marlene in Sunnyside
December 1, 2011 / Sunnyside / Theater in Sunnyside / Queens Buzz. Sofia Geier, founder of the Unity Stage Company, has put together a comedic treat of nine quick one act plays that draw upon holiday traditions, providing cheer by cynically poking fun at people, places and patches out of the spirit of Christmas past ... and present.
I attended one of their dress rehearsals several days prior to opening night. The plays included some sharp turns in the road and a small sag in the middle. But the general production quality, playwrights' humor and professional acting kept me amused for most of the hour and a half the plays ran.
Click here to read more about the Unity Stage Company’s nine one act plays in the Figgy Pudding Play Fest at Café Marlene running Thursday through Sunday, December 1 – 4, beginning at 8 pm.
Inside The Creative Process
John Jasperse Open Rehearsal At Topaz Arts In Woodside
May 2, 2011 / Sunnyside & Woodside / Dance & Theater / Queens Buzz. I visited Topaz Arts in Woodside Monday night, to observe an open rehearsal presented by John Jasperse & Company. Jasperse is a highly regarded contemporary choreographer and dancer. He is the creator of a number of award winning works, the most recent of which is Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking and Flat Out Lies. He is currently working on a new dance to be presented at BAM [Brooklyn Academy of Music] this fall as part of their Next Wave program. Next Wave showcases innovative dance, theater and music.
The open rehearsal began with Jasperse showing what are essentially draft dance pieces of his new work. There were a number of dancers involved in the project who performed while we watched and listened to the accompanying music on a portable player. As the event was an Open Rehearsal, the dancers weren’t wearing any costumes or outfits, but rather loose athletic clothing, the kind you’d expect to see them wearing while practicing.
Click here to read more about John Jasperse & Company open rehearsal at Topaz Arts in Woodside.
Thalia Theatre Bridges Cultural Divide
Sunnyside / Fall & Winter. I enjoyed a dance performance by the Mestizo Dance Company last Friday evening at the Thalia Theatre in Sunnyside. The show, which runs weekends through December 6th, is a panoply of colorful costumes, music by an accomplished eight piece band, all in support of an impressive performance by a full troupe of talented dancers. All tolled they performed nearly twenty dances from various parts of Latin America which the audience seemed to greatly enjoy.
Click here to view a story about the Best Of The Mestizos at Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside Queens.
Dance & Theater In Sunnyside & Woodside
Six Cylinder Love At Unity Stage Company
Chaos, Community & Culture At Topaz Arts
DANCE & THEATER IN QUEENS
Free Things To Do In Queens
Free Theater / Theatrical Performances In Queens
Queens NY / July 26, 2012. This report includes a list of some of the free things to do in Queens this summer, including free theater in Queens parks.
Click here to view a listing of the dates and times of free theater in Queens Parks 2012.
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