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Queens Chronicle

Vet performers take to the borough’s stages

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:30 am

The borough’s professional performance venues are likely to prove the adage “they just don’t make ’em like they used to” with an impressive lineup of veteran entertainers who will be turning up the heat during the cool months ahead.

Robert Klein, with a career that has taken him to Broadway, television and films, is perhaps best known for his comedy routines that feature anecdotes on everything from culture to romance. He will be making his third appearance on the main stage at Queens Theatre, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary season this year.

“Audiences are always excited to see Robert Klein,” Taryn Sacramone, the new managing director, said. “He’s a pro, a veteran. He’s stayed relevant throughout his career.”

Klein will give two performances, on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 29 at 3 p.m.

Lovers of classic comedy should also revel in another attraction coming to Queens Theatre — the stage adaptation of “The Graduate,” based on the novel and popular film that represent universal feelings of rebellion, frustration, love and redemption. The play will run Oct. 25 to 27.

Next on the docket are the Bronx Wanderers, who will be making a return visit to Queens Theatre on Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. with what they’re billing as “a rockin’ holiday show,” promising to play all their old favorites and, possibly, a seasonal song or two.

Other upcoming events at the theater include William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” from Feb. 14 to 16 and “An Evening with Groucho,” with actor Frank Ferrante portraying the young Groucho Marx from March 28 to 30.

Queens Theatre is located at 14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. For further information call (718) 760-0064.

Queensborough Performing Arts Center is set to pay homage to entertainers with “great longevity in this business,” according to Executive and Artistic Director Susan Agin.

Kicking off on Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. is “Pat Boone in Concert,” which will bring the legendary recording artist to the area for a rare live performance. Sometimes referred to as the original American Idol, Boone has sold over 45 million records and holds the Billboard record for spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts.

Broadway leading lady Michele Lee, also known for her Emmy-nominated role in the series “Knots Landing,” will be appearing at QPAC on Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. She will share the stage with The Broadway Boys, a group of male singers who have been heard on Broadway in such shows as “Wicked” and “Motown, the Musical.” According to Agin, the guys “bring a fresh look and excitement” to the scene.

Another former pop idol, with a career spanning five decades, is James Darren, whose impressive roster of musical credits includes 14 albums. He will take center stage at QPAC on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m., along with comedian-impersonator Sal Richards.

Looking ahead, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. will bring “Blue Suede Birthday — The Elvis Bash!” to QPAC, promising to “deliver an Elvis experience with a purity that will give you chills.”

“An Evening with Michael Bolton,” scheduled for QPAC on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m., is sure to be another highlight of the season, as the multiple Grammy Award-winner lifts his soulful voice on such songs as “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Lean on Me.”

QPAC is located at Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56 Ave. in Bayside. For further information on shows at QPAC, call (718) 631-6311.

JES Entertainment will present “Ronnie Spector in Concert” at the intimate LeFrak Concert Hall, part of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts on the campus of Queens College, on Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.

Spector, often dubbed “the original bad girl of rock ’n’ roll,” is a New York City native who is perhaps best known as the lead singer of the 1960s hit-making group The Ronettes.

According to Gary Fuchs, president of JES, Spector will be offering “not just a regular concert,” but one that will include home videos that will help to tell her life story.

Pop songstress Cyndi Lauper, a recent Tony Award-winner for her original score to Broadway’s “Kinky Boots,” will bring her “She’s So Unusual 30th Anniversary Tour” show to Colden Auditorium on the campus of Queens College on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. She will celebrate her debut album by performing it in its entirety, while sharing personal stories from the recording sessions.

Bobby Vinton, known to his legions of fans as “The Polish Prince,” will be presented by JES in concert at Colden on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. The singer, with over 75 albums to his credit, will be joined by a full orchestra and members of his family, including his son, who serves as his musical director, and his daughter, as one of his backup singers, according to Fuchs.

Neil Berg’s “100 Years of Broadway” will highlight music from some of the finest shows of the past century, including “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” The show date at Colden is Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

A staple in the world of rhythm ’n’ blues, Valerie Simpson, the surviving member of the popular duo Ashford and Simpson, will perform their music at LeFrak on Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. Songs promised include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.”

Queens College is located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.

For further information on shows at Queens College, call (718) 544-2996.

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