• December 17, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

qboro: Arts, Culture & Living

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Amid Noguchi stones, a bamboo sphere has a pulse

A plump woven bamboo sphere, evoking a bird’s nest or dumpling, sits amid the Noguchi Museum’s collection of stone giants. Upon closer look, there’s a subtle surprise: It moves.Swelling like an undulating jellyfish or a slowly inhaling lung, “Breathing Sphere” is a creation of Dutch artist and designer Maria Blaisse , presented to Noguchi by the design researchers at slowLab in Amsterdam.

Ja Rule, Fat Joe to perform in Queens Saturday
Posted: December 11, 2014

Queens native and hip-hop icon Ja Rule doesn’t get too many opportunities to say “Holla Holla” to the borough he grew up in.

“There’s not too many spots in Queens to perform at,” he said.

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Is a chair still a chair without Luther there?
Posted: December 11, 2014

Luther Vandross’ smooth voice is one of the most recognizable in R&B in the world. Starting off as a background vocalist for such superstars as Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and David Bowie, Vandross went on to become a solo artist who has sold more than 25 million records worldwide and won eight Grammys.

While the singer died tragically in 2005 from a heart attack, singles including “Here and Now,” “A House is Not a Home” and “Never Too Much” allow for Vandross’ legacy to continue.

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Stand up and use art to change the world
Updated: December 11, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Across the country this month, there have been numerous protests and demonstrations on a variety of topics.

Whether it’s a group of concerned citizens holdings signs that condemn President Obama’s recent immigration announcement or a group of young activists holding their hands up and blocking the entrance to the Queens Midtown Tunnel, thousands of Americans are exercising their rights.

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Look out Queens, here comes Santa Claus!
Posted: December 04, 2014

Now that millions of Americans have finally come out of their turkey comas, the holiday season has officially started.

While Queens residents decorate their homes with lights and holly, the big man himself will be making appearances all over the borough to listen to the wishes and dreams of children in every neighborhood.

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Thursday 12/04/2014
The ‘Unwavering Truth’ of neurofibromatosis
Updated: December 05, 2014 - 9:45 am

The vast, echoing halls of the Queens Museum currently harbor a small, intimate exhibition that takes visitors through invisible journeys of life with neurofibromatosis type 2.

NF 2 is a genetic disorder in which tumors generate and perpetuate across the surface of skin, the nerves, brain and spinal cord.

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’Top Five’ is a top film of 2014
Updated: December 05, 2014 - 5:23 pm

While it might be an overstatement to call “Top Five” a hip-hop homage to Woody Allen’s well-received comedic films of the 1970s, there is little doubt about his influence in Chris Rock’s new film. Allen is known for starring in, writing and directing his movies, and that is what Rock is doing in this, his most personal film to date.

Like most of Woody’s films, this one is shot entirely in New York City (Rock even visits Brooklyn and Queens, the latter being something Woody would never do!) There is a lot of Woodyesque observational humor (however a lot of it is sexual in nature and far more risque than Allen ever delved into). Finally, Rock’s character is a comic named Andre Allen and I have to assume that the choice of that surname is not a coincidence.

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Wednesday 11/26/2014
Brace yourself: Wintercon is coming to Queens
Updated: December 04, 2014 - 12:06 pm

Frank Patz loves attending comic and science fiction conventions, but has always had to travel outside of Queens to attend them.

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this in Queens,” the Jackson Heights resident said. “Queens has always needed its own comic-con.”

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An unrecognized film genius honored in Astoria
Posted: November 26, 2014

When considering French cinema, almost guaranteed is discussion of French New Wave, but the presence of Jean-Luc Godard, his gun and his girl is so large that a shadow is cast over prior filmmakers and films.

Lost in this fold is Jean GrÈmillon and his collection of subtle-yet-enthralling tales that rock back and forth in a cinematic current film historians dub “poetic realism.”

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Colombian culture done right at Thalia Theatre
Posted: November 26, 2014

Colombian culture is hard to pin down. With each region — Andes, plains, Pacific or Atlantic coast — comes a different flavor.

“Colombia Musical Review” attempts to take the audience on a dance tour of each region and, in turn, the culture it brings to the table.

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Thursday 11/20/2014
Martha Redbone’s musical aura is complex and diverse
Updated: November 26, 2014 - 11:16 am

The meeting of cultures can result in a beautiful collaboration or a messy hodgepodge of noise. But for Martha Redbone, the mix of cultures that influence her music is an entire entity unto itself.

Her sound is not composed of pieces pasted together as an experiment, instead is like a metamorphic rock that has been compressed and formed into an unique object.

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You need a strong constitution for ‘Death Comedy Jam’
Posted: November 20, 2014

Is there anything better than watching stand-up as you sip free Tecate beer? “Death Comedy Jam” performers and audience members answer with a resounding no.

Hosted by competent, charitable comics Justin Williams and Akash Bhasin, the monthly stand-up show manages to embrace much of the wonderful world of hack comedy in just a few hours.

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Plays are ripe for harvesting at Chain Theatre
Posted: November 20, 2014

“Do you always talk when you’re on guard?” the dueling instructor asks. “Inigo Montoya does it,” the student replies in “Renaissance Dueling Club,” the first play performed at the Chain Theatre’s Harvest Festival, which opened on Thursday Nov. 6. The play parodies stories of epic duels fought for amusingly absurd reasons and often with surprising outcomes.

It’s just one of the five very different full-length and one-act plays featured in the festival.

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“Horrible Bosses 2"
Updated: November 21, 2014 - 2:32 pm

The 2011 comedy “Horrible Bosses” was not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it found an audience because of a simple, yet rather underutilized, storyline: namely that a lot of workers have bosses who are either unappreciative or are bullies. The only film that I can recall where that was a central theme was the 1980 Dolly Parton vehicle, “9 To 5.”

Whereas “9 To 5" was a smart comedy, “Horrible Bosses” was pure slapstick, as three buddies who are being humiliated at work plot to kill their respective bosses. It was more “Three Stooges” than “The Sopranos.”

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Thursday 11/13/2014
Radiator Gallery explores the dance between humans and nature in new exhibit
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Cake frosting, chewing gum, wood and a photograph: these seemingly unrelated objects stir up a different thought, memory and association for everyone.

But when the familiar is taken and distorted, reshaped or turned on its head, does a person perceive it any differently?

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Take a look in a book at the Queens Museum
Posted: November 13, 2014

Curious Queens residents who can’t decide between participating in an art event at the Queens Museum or checking books out of the Queens Library will soon be able to do both in one place.

The Queens Museum is moving forward with plans to install a 5,500-square-foot circulating branch of the Queens Library system on the ground floor.

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‘CrossCurrent’: Where calligraphy meets graffiti
Posted: November 13, 2014

Outside of Flushing Town Hall, guests awaited the performance of “CrossCurrent.”

Inside were dozens of Asian-American families, friends and communities uniting for an emerging collaboration of classical music and modern dance with inspiration largely drawn from their culture.

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Thursday 11/06/2014
Comfort women exhibit is gut-wrenchingly beautiful
Updated: November 13, 2014 - 12:26 pm

On the paper are stone faces of women who were forced into prostitution.

They stare blankly ahead, their faces battered and tired, as if they’ve grown so accustomed to being objectified, they’ve become numb.

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A thoroughly entertaining night of song and dance
Posted: November 06, 2014

The story of Millie Dillmount, a small-town girl from Kansas who makes her way to New York City, first garnered widespread attention in 1967 in a motion picture musical called “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Some 35 years later, it resurfaced as a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, which featured a similar plotline but an almost completely new score.

Now, the show has made its way to the Queens community theater stage — its first time in the borough — courtesy of the F.S.F. Community Theatre Group.

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A pack of weirdos on controversial topics
Posted: November 06, 2014

In the basement of The Creek and the Cave in Long Island City is a podcast that keeps it really real. “Legion of Skanks,” featuring stand-up comics Big Jay Oakerson, Dave Smith and Luis J. Gomez, is a weekly audio show recorded live in front of an audience at the comedy club.

“Legion of Skanks” is nominally a comedy podcast, and it can provoke convulsive, sobbing laughter. It also dabbles in social commentary, not always successfully.

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A unique taste of Europe and soul in Rosedale
Posted: November 06, 2014

Deep in Rosedale, among the chain fast-food restaurants and corner bodegas, sits Pa-Nash, a restaurant that takes Manhattan chic, European culinary technique, Morrocan style and soul food familiarity, and bundles it into a pleasantly unusual experience.

Opened by Annette and Noel Runcie, Pa-Nash takes the phonetic spelling of the French word “panache,” meaning style and class.

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Thursday 10/30/2014
From pointe to ‘Star Crap,’ dance grows in Queens
Updated: November 06, 2014 - 12:05 pm

Over the past decade or so, Queens has developed into a more established area for the arts. Music, visual art and theater venues have popped up all over the borough, especially in Long Island City.

But one of the more popular art mediums, dance, has had less of a presence in one of the most diverse places in the world.

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Panel discusses how to secure the ‘homeland’
Posted: October 30, 2014

“Temporary displacement is really forced migration, and is only true politically,” Deborah Gans, principal architect of the Gans Studio and professor at Pratt College of Art and Design, said during a panel discussion at Dorsky Gallery.

She and other members of the panel articulated the issues created from natural disasters: the destruction of residences and relocation of communities as part of a series of workshops and events inspired by the gallery’s newest exhibit, “Homeland [In]Security: Vanishing Dreams.”

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Brazil takes the spotlight in new film series
Posted: October 30, 2014

Compared to other countries, Brazil is still green in the film industry. Movies were made there as early as the 1890s, but Brazilians didn’t really take to cinema as a form of entertainment and expression until the 1970s.

Twenty years later, there was a decrease in state funding, causing a halt in filmmaking. The dry spell was short-lived and in the mid ’90s, Brazil saw a burst in film production and the country began its rapid climb in prestige for cinematic production by such groups as the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — which hosts the Oscars each year.

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