• October 22, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

qboro: Arts, Culture & Living

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A beautiful mistake takes root in Flushing

On the third floor of a commercial building in Flushing sits an artistic oasis waiting to be discovered.The newly opened Hwang Gallery has the sleek look of a seasoned art space, but offers an opportunity few galleries in the area have been able to — provide a place for Asian and Asian-influenced artists to share their work.

Crime, war, song and dance in Queens theater
Posted: October 16, 2014

An unusually varied fall and winter community theater season is about to get under way on stages across the borough.

The schedule kicks off on Oct. 18 with Theatre Time Productions’ “Night Watch,” a suspense thriller by Lucille Fletcher. The play, under the direction of Kevin Vincent, enticingly suggests that “a murder has just been witnessed ... or has it???”

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All fun and games at the SculptureCenter
Posted: October 16, 2014

Along with the recent expansion and renovation of the SculptureCenter, curators Ruba Katrib and Camille Henrot have brought the wacky, weird and silly to the building with the new exhibit “Puddle, Pothole, Porthole.”

While the SculptureCenter only increased in exhibition space by 700 square feet, the expansion is a welcomed one and adds a sense of openness that the older facility didn’t quite have.

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Michael Keaton’s ‘Birdman’ is a flight worth taking
Updated: October 20, 2014 - 9:52 am

Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is an actor who is facing a dilemma that frequently befell anyone who played a superhero in either film or television. The ability to find new work after you’ve completed your run seems to be inversely proportional to the popularity of the role that made you rich.

Rather than accept a life of appearing at one entertainment convention (such as the recent New York Comic Con) after another and making easy money by appearing on panels and autographing glossies, Riggan wants to be relevant and not remembered merely for playing a popular cinematic comic book hero, Birdman. To accomplish that end, he helps finance a Broadway show in which he’ll star, based on Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”

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On The Brink
Updated: October 16, 2014 - 12:16 pm

To be on the brink of something is often an unwelcome sensation, and yet, it can also result in people accomplishing the unthinkable and overcoming obstacles they may not have otherwise thought possible.

The Conception Gallery, which recently settled in the renowned Falchi Building in Long Island City, has effectively taken the sensation of being on the edge and translated it into a series of pieces through its new exhibition, “BRINK.”

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Thursday 10/09/2014
Alicia Silverstone, embarrassment and Spam
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 5:01 pm

“Embarrassment is proof of pain,” Sam Haft says.

It’s also the manna of funny, flawlessly demonstrated in the preceding hours of an organic, magnetic comedy show.

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Welcome to the world of Xavier Le Roy
Posted: October 09, 2014

At the Museum of Modern Art PS1 in Long Island City, in a white box of a room, three performers move silently. The “routines,” each different, resemble a variety of things, from a flow of yoga poses to street performance art and yet they are all tied to one man — Xavier Le Roy.

“Hi, my name is Andrew and that was my retrospective of a 1994 Xavier Le Roy piece,” a young man wearing loose-fitting clothes murmured in my ear.

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The verdict is in, 'The Judge' is worth seeing
Updated: October 13, 2014 - 11:43 am

It’s easy to see why Robert Downey Jr. was drawn to “The Judge” as both an actor and as a businessman. This is the first film emanating from his production company, Team Downey, that is run by him and his wife, Susan. It’s easy for the audience to care about the many characters in the film and the writing is first-rate even though you feel that you’ve seen a lot of what’s on the screen many times before. It’s also a chance for Downey to be the lead in the kind of role that is tailor-made for him; namely the lone wolf who marches to his own beat and gets to snap off one-liners and settle scores in the process.

Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a shark-like Chicago defense attorney who charges top dollar fees but can back it up as he is generally able to get his rogue’s gallery of clients “not guilty” verdicts because of his cross-examination abilities and his oratory skills in a courtroom. In the memorable opening scene shot at Chicago’s Cook County Court House, prosecutor Mike Kattan (versatile actor and Forest Hills native David Krumholtz) asks him how it feels to help the guilty get off scot-free. “The innocent can’t afford me!” he says in a matter-of-fact tone standing in front of a urinal.

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Thursday 10/02/2014
Astoria uncovered in animated video piece
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 10:36 am

Ezra Wube’s video installation “A Memory of Astoria” is only minutes long and yet took months to finish.

The Brooklyn resident, originally from Ethiopia, spent time walking the streets of Astoria to explore the community that surrounds the Museum of the Moving Image.

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Professional companies to go all out this fall
Posted: October 02, 2014

From an evening with Johnny Mathis and a taste of Gilbert and Sullivan to the astounding athleticism of Momix and a new adaptation of a Dickens classic, there’s something in store for everyone as the fall season gets under way at the borough’s top professional performance venues.

Queens Theatre’s dance series kicks off with three performances by Momix on Oct. 11 and 12, employing little more than light, shadow, props and the human body to create a multimedia experience.

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Visit locations from your favorite TV shows
Posted: October 02, 2014

It’s no secret that New York City is a popular area to film in. From television shows to feature films, using the city as a backdrop is attractive to many directors and producers, and Queens has become a hotbed for production.

With Kaufman Studios in Astoria, Silvercup Studios in Long Island City and many other independent studios around the borough, the most diverse area in New York has been featured in some of the most popular shows and movies in recent years.

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Thursday 09/25/2014
More than pieces come together at Chocolate Factory
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 12:11 pm

Sexuality is a free-flowing individual experience that, even in the era of the Kinsey scale and various orientations, is constantly being wrangled and pinned down by society in attempts to concretely define it.

In Marissa Perel’s piece “More Than Just a Piece of Sky,” the analysis of sexuality as an experience and as a label is conducted through free-range dance and calculated language.

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Discover Jamaica Bay with talks and walks
Posted: September 25, 2014

The summer may be over, but Jamaica Bay is still a great place to enjoy the outdoors — and take the opportunity to learn more about Queens’ largest body of water.

This fall, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge will take a look at Jamaica Bay from various perspectives. The refuge has lined up a panel of experts who will examine the bay from different vantage points and perspectives for its fall Herbert Johnson lecture series, a homage to the first manager of the refuge from the 1950s.

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Celebrate Carnival at new York College exhibit
Posted: September 25, 2014

While the Europeans started Carnival — a series of celebrations usually done just before Lent — the people of the Caribbean Islands took it to the next level.

In a new photo exhibit at York College, photographers Mario Picayo of Cuba and Mariano Hernandez of the Dominican Republic take viewers on a colorful adventure to experience Carnival.

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Thursday 09/18/2014
Eat at Queens restaurants all week long
Updated: September 25, 2014 - 11:15 am

As the leaves change color and the warm summer wind turns into a cool autumn breeze, restaurants around the borough are draping crisp white table cloths and lighting votive candles in preparation for restaurant season.

“During New York City Restaurant Week last year, there was only one Queens restaurant that participated and that was Water’s Edge,” Rob Mackay, spokesman for the Queens Economic Development Corp., said. “A lot of our restaurants can’t afford to participate in the citywide one, but for Queens Restaurant Week, it gives smaller restaurants the opportunity to showcase their food.”

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Bringing ‘Talk Radio’ to the stage once again
Posted: September 18, 2014

Eric Bogosian’s “Talk Radio,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist when it had its off-Broadway premiere in 1987, made it to Broadway some 20 years later in a well-received production that starred Liev Schreiber.

It is now being given a rare local performance by the Variations Theatre Group at The Chain Theatre in Long Island City.

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An unusual take on natural history museums
Posted: September 18, 2014

It’s a museum without a permanent home but it’s one that aims to address the intersection of social, political and natural history.

The Natural History Museum serves as a new sort of self-aware museum that exposes not only climate change and other natural phenomena, but also calls into question how much man’s influence on nature should be displayed in other natural history museums.

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Thursday 09/11/2014
An artistic playground lies in Long Island City
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:49 am

The annual Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition is back at Socrates Sculpture Park and, as usual, the 15 artists featured created pieces that are weird, thought-provoking and even a little controversial.

The EAF is all about providing lesser-known artists with a platform to share their work and to build upon the park’s goal to present socially aware and inspiring art in a public realm.

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Dorsky displays post-9/11 ‘[IN] Securities’
Posted: September 11, 2014

When the World Trade Center collapsed, New York City and the rest of the nation were permanently shifted.

“Post 9/11, this world changed dramatically — [our world] didn’t feel as safe,“Dorsky Gallery curator, Marie Mathews-Berenson, said, “Artists all over the world, not just the United States, faced many more cataclysmic effects [after this].”

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‘Midsummer’ a solid show with few flaws
Posted: September 11, 2014

Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of those plays that is done over and over again. Its magical essence and roots in comedy make it one of the Bard’s most approachable plays.

The Wombat Theatre Company has taken a shot at it, and while it may not be a home run, many pieces of the production make it worthwhile.

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Thursday 09/04/2014
Queens Museum celebrates culture in neighborhood plaza
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Even the occasional roar of the passing 7 train couldn’t dampen the vivacious energy at August’s Oye Corona celebration.

On Saturday, the multicultural festival filled Corona Plaza with a steady, diverse stream of music with roots in Mexico, Bangladesh, Puerto Rico and the United States. The event attracted a crowd with eclectic cultural performances, an exercise class, arts and crafts stations and a positive message of unity across communities.

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Queens Council on the Arts celebrates the golden age
Posted: September 04, 2014

Calling all artists!

Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide wants to hook you up with groups of industrious senior citizens to see what kind of magic you can weave together.

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Breaking barriers one clown act at a time
Posted: September 04, 2014

Circus shows are generally pretty shallow. Of course, there is tremendous talent behind the contorting acrobats and silly clowns, but most circuses do not approach the show with the intent to create substantial and meaningful thoughts and discussions among audience members.

Circus Amok has broken that tradition.

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Thursday 08/28/2014
Climb aboard the 7 for culture and history
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:52 am

For thousands of New Yorkers, taking the train is about as ordinary as having coffee in the morning. The subway is a part of the city’s culture, so what better way to experience New York than to do as the locals do?

Lucky 7 Subway Tours offer tourists and residents the opportunity to ride through seven neighborhoods and learn some history along the way.

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