• August 26, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

qboro: Arts, Culture & Living

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Love at first sight, fights and a long goodnight

A touch of the Elizabethan Renaissance has arrived in our midst, thanks to the Queens-based startup theater troupe known as Rude Grooms, which is presenting William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” at various locations in a corner of the borough through Aug. 25.A 90-minute, minimalistic version of the famous tragic love story, the production officially opened Friday evening at Astoria Park, with several dozen spectators of all ages in attendance.

Works of all kinds shine in LIC Arts Open shows
Posted: August 22, 2019

Ten years ago, Caroline Bergonzi lost her father, a doctor who, she said, liked the feeling of being around a garage and working with metal, a fascination that found him spending a great deal of time repairing cars.

Bergonzi seems to have inherited this affinity, which she has put to creative use.

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Workouts for the chick-a-boomer generation
Posted: August 22, 2019

“It’s hard getting up in the morning,” said Debbie Thalblum, “but when I get here, I never regret it.”

“Here” is the weekly Zumba Gold class in Forest Park at the Seuffert Bandshell taught for the last three years by Maria Gonzalez.

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Shorebird Festival celebrates avian life on the bay
Updated: August 22, 2019 - 11:56 am

Don’t worry — if you don’t have binoculars, you can borrow a pair from the National Parks Service. You’re going to want to see these beauties as close up as you can.

It’s the 14th Annual Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival, and awaiting you are osprey, great egrets, barn owls, great blue herons and plenty more of our feathered friends as well as the beauty of the estuary itself.

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Shrek stars in a setting as magical as his story
Posted: August 15, 2019

Big, bright and beautiful ... those are the words used to describe the world in the opening number of “Shrek the Musical,” being performed through Aug. 18 by St. Gregory’s Theatre Group in Bellerose.

Those same adjectives may be applied to the production itself, which is a feast for the eyes, thanks largely to the creative minds of two of its designers, Todd Wilkerson and Marjorie Wilkerson, a husband and wife team responsible for the eye-popping set and costume designs, respectively.

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Thursday 08/15/2019
The magic of the music of ‘Sesame Street’
Posted: August 15, 2019

While “Sesame Street” has been teaching generations of children their letters and numbers with skits and colorful characters, the often understated tools have been the music and songs.

And with the late Jim Henson demanding nothing but the best — and with 50 years of material — how could one possibly choose when forced to select only the most classic songs for a “Sesame Street” musical retrospective?

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Thursday 08/08/2019
Love is magical in ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Updated: August 15, 2019 - 12:08 pm

It’s a tale almost as old as time, but “Beauty and the Beast,” a musical being performed by The JC Players through Aug. 11, remains an enchanting fairy tale, a story of how love can change people and overcome just about anything.

In this version, a stage adaptation of the Disney film of the same name, the music by Alan Menken adds immeasurably to the telling. The simple lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice help to reveal the characters’ innermost thoughts, while Linda Woolverton’s book is frequently touching.

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Different cities share a similar spirit
Posted: August 08, 2019

Simone Caprifogli came to New York City from his native Bologna, Italy, in 2004 looking to improve his English and experience a bit of adventure.

But the graphic artist and photographer also found an adoptive home.

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A story of a student and the teacher who helped
Updated: August 08, 2019 - 4:00 pm

Santiago Rizzo wrote “Quest — The Truth Always Rises” with his late teacher, Tim Moellering.

Rizzo was a troubled child with an abusive stepfather and a penchant for spraying graffiti everywhere.

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Thursday 08/01/2019
A fun midsummer’s night in Queens
Updated: August 08, 2019 - 12:05 pm

Few things could be more appropriate — or pleasurable — than seeing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on a midsummer night,  especially when it’s performed under the stars.

And, thanks to Hip to Hip Theatre Company’s Free Shakespeare in the Parks, now in its 13th season, you have ample opportunity to do so over the next few weeks.

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Art and sci-fi from Latin perspectives
Posted: August 01, 2019

A traveling exhibit at the Queens Museum challenged artists from South and Central America and the Caribbean to offer their alternative takes on the past, present and future, using any device that science fiction has given us to tell their stories.

“Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas” is a traveling exhibit from the University of California, Riverside. It also had an exhibit at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and this past spring has been featured at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria and sites in Manhattan.

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Catch a free movie at night in your neighborhood park
Posted: August 01, 2019

Love movies and city parks? You’re in luck. The Parks Department is hosting Movies Under the Stars events at green spaces all over Queens.

Best of all, the flicks are free. One thing, though: It’s recommended that you get to the events a little early to get a great spot.

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Thursday 07/25/2019
‘Bye Bye Birdie’ takes flight in Douglaston
Updated: August 01, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Outside, the temperature was stifling as Broadway Blockbuster Productions presented its opening night performance last Friday of the musical comedy, “Bye Bye Birdie,” at The Theatre at The Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, where it runs through July 27.

Inside, more than three dozen young and highly-charged performers did some sizzling all their own.

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JAMS Festival: Still new after all these years
Posted: July 25, 2019

For 22 years, the Jamaica Arts and Music Summer Festival has been about the biggest, most eclectic summer block party in the borough.

Just the way Cultural Collaborative Jamaica intends to keep it.

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Dare you take a walk down ‘The Dover Road?’
Posted: July 25, 2019

Everything old is new again.

At least it seems that way under the guiding hand of area resident Johnny Culver, a theatrical director whose latest endeavor is “The Dover Road,” a 1921 comedy by A.A. Milne, which will be presented by The Gingerbread Players in Forest Hills for three performances only, beginning Aug. 2.

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Thursday 07/18/2019
A new page for ‘Newsies The Musical’
Updated: July 25, 2019 - 11:42 am

With a large pool of energetic and talented dancers on hand, director/choreographer Christine Breviario is bringing “Newsies The Musical” to the stage as this summer’s attraction at Holy Child Jesus Teen Drama Group in Richmond Hill. The show opens a four-performance run on Aug. 1.

The dance-heavy show is a “bucket list kind of thing for me,” Breviario said, while keeping an eye on the on-stage action during a recent rehearsal. She has been an avid fan of the movie for years.

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Whale watchers have a Queens connection
Updated: July 18, 2019 - 12:40 pm

The American Princess Cruises captain unselfconsciously bellowed “There she blows” upon first sight of a humpback whale on an afternoon cruise last Saturday. After an hour or so of peaceful cruising, the call was more charming than cliche, and the passengers rallied to the rail.

In the distance, a carbon dioxide vapor spray flew up out of the flat, calm waters.

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Parody king coming to Forest Hills Stadium
Updated: July 18, 2019 - 12:39 pm

Homer Simpson once said, “He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life.”

Fans haven’t grown tired of him. Yankovic is one of four artists with a Top 40 single in four different decades. Michael Jackson, Madonna and U2 are the others.

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Thursday 07/11/2019
You just might click your fingers to these numbers
Updated: July 18, 2019 - 12:13 pm

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, and, as evidenced in “The Addams Family,” the hit musical comedy now drawing large crowds to Maggie’s Little Theater in Middle Village, they’re a hell of a lot of fun to be around. The show runs through July 19, and it is well worth catching.

With a book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, the show is based on now-iconic characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams. Under the attentive direction of Amanda Montoni, the current production is fast-paced and sometimes quite funny, particularly in the longer and more diverting first half.

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Eclectic movie mix screening in Astoria
Posted: July 11, 2019

Like musicals? Are superhero movies more of your thing? Or a coming of age comedy? How about gangster films?

There’s something for everyone this summer courtesy of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition Inc.

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Get back to your roots at Socrates on Saturdays
Posted: July 11, 2019

In an effort to create opportunities for connecting directly with the community and empowering healthy food choices along the way, Socrates Sculpture Park offers a new program called Back to Our Roots, which includes a wide array of workshops, demonstrations and other activities.

The park, located on the East River waterfront in Long Island City, is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. until sunset. No reservations are required for a visit.

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Wednesday 07/03/2019
Flight dreams for all taking off at NYSCI
Updated: July 11, 2019 - 12:03 pm

Imagine you could take an elevator on a cable to a space station.

Imagine you could design and fly the next generation of aircraft.

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Self-produced plays at The Secret Theater
Updated: July 03, 2019 - 4:57 pm

The ominous warnings should be enough to guarantee a crowd: “Some subject matter may be offensive or triggering. Some plays include physical violence and gun shots. Discretion is advised.”

This is the 2019 edition of the annual LIC One-Act Festival, a series of self-produced plays presented by The Secret Theatre in Long Island City from July 10 through Aug. 17.

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Free, fun concerts coming up at Astoria Park
Updated: July 03, 2019 - 4:57 pm

Summer is finally in full effect. And the Central Astoria Local Development Corp.’s Waterfront Concert Series is one great way to spend some upcoming Thursday nights. Each performance is at 7:30 p.m. on the Astoria Park Great Lawn. They’re all free.

Love swing era classics? You’re in luck: the Swing Time Band is playing July 11. It’s performed for the series in previous years and is eager to return.

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