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Queens Chronicle

Community theater brings laughs and music to fall

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Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 10:30 am

Curtains are going to rise all over the borough as the community theater fall-winter season begins, promising a varied selection of entertainments including two big-scale Broadway musicals, a little-known straight play, a dash of William Shakespeare and a couple of holiday-themed productions.

Beginning Nov. 2, the Gingerbread Players will stage their seventh Shakespearean outing since the group’s founding in 1971 with the comedy “Love’s Labor’s Lost.” A battle of both wits and the sexes, the play has been described as the Bard’s “rehearsal for ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’“ a better-known work.

Under the direction of Dolly Guinther, the cast is headed by David Friedman as the King of Navarre and Joanna Guinther as the Princess of France.

The production will feature original contributions from lifelong Forest Hills resident William Ryden, a composer who has set many of Shakespeare’s words to music.

Performances will be at Saint Luke’s Church, at 85 Greenway South in Forest Hills, and will take place on Nov. 2 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 3 and 10 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $12; $10 for groups of six or more. For more information call (718) 268-7772.

Often referred to as the quintessential musical, “Guys and Dolls” will be the fall attraction at the Bay Terrace Jewish Center, courtesy of Theatre By the Bay, with opening night also set for Nov. 2.

Based on Damon Runyon’s Broadway fables, the show captures the feel of life in the thirties and features a score by the acclaimed Frank Loesser that includes such standards as “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,”

The large cast, directed by Lawrence Bloom, spotlights Eli Koenig as slick gambler Sky Masterson, Andria Amarosa as the reserved Sarah, John Canning as conniving Nathan Detroit, and Lila Edelkind as his long-suffering intended.

Performances will be at the Bay Terrace Jewish Center, located at 13-00 209 St. in Bayside, on Nov. 2, 9 and 16 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 3, 10 and 17 at 3 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 62 and older and children 12 and younger. For more information call (718) 428-6363.

Opening the same weekend is a musical that played more recently on the Great White Way, “Legally Blonde,” being brought to life by the FSF Community Theatre Group, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Based on the popular novel and movie of the same name, the show follows the adventures of sorority queen Elle Woods, to be played by Brittany Juilfs. After her boyfriend Warner, played by Christian Barnes, dumps her, she follows him to Harvard Law School hoping to win him back.

The creative team includes director Maryellen Pierce, musical director Paul Johnson and choreographer David Arzberger.

Performances will take place at the Free Synagogue of Flushing, at 41-60 Kissena Blvd., on Nov. 3, 10 and 17 at 3 p.m. and Nov. 9 and 16 at 8 p.m. Admission is $18; $15 for seniors 62 and over and children 10 and younger. For information call (718) 428-8681.

Douglaston Community Theatre presents the dramatic comedy “Daughters,” by John Morgan Evans — presented off-Broadway in 1986. The all-female ensemble cast includes Sharon Levine, Madelon Avallone and Hayley Alaimo.

Performances will take place at the Zion Episcopal Church Hall, located at Church St. off Douglaston Pkwy., one block north of Northern Blvd., on Nov. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 16 and 24 at 2 p.m. Admission is $17; $15 for seniors 65 and over and students with IDs. For more information call (718) 482-3332.

An early holiday attraction is “A Christmas Carol,” based on the Dickens classic, to be performed by the Parkside Players under the direction of Tom Williams. The cast is headed by Kevin Vincent, who plays Dickens as well as the infamous Scrooge in this play within a play.

Performances will be at Grace Lutheran Church at 103-15 Union Turnpike in Forest Hills on Nov. 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30. For more information call (718) 353-7388.

Bringing the season to a musical close will be a holiday concert from Theatre Time Productions. The production will be directed by the ubiquitous Kevin Vincent. Musical director will be Brett Roelofs.

Performances will take place at the Colonial Church of Bayside at 54-02 217 St. on Dec. 6, 7 and 13 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 14 at 3 p.m. Admission is $16; $14 for seniors and students over 12; $12 for children 12 and under. For more information call (347) 358-8102.

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