It’s in Queens
#MonthlyPicks | December ’17 by Brian Gill
Local residents chime in on their favorite places to eat, learn, walk, and have fun. This month’s picks are by Brian Gill.
Flushing Town Hall, built in 1862 and designated a landmark in 1967, is the performance home for Queens Opera Theatre with its stunning 308-seat concert hall and theater. Brimming with history, it was a popular venue for traveling light opera and theatre productions. P.T. Barnum (“There is a Sucker Born Every Minute”) was the Northern Boulevard space’s impresario for some time and presented Tom Thumb as its star performer. Backstage today, there are still signs of its former incarnation as a jail. The iron jail door adorns the star’s dressing room.
Queens Opera Theatre, NYC’s newest professional opera company and a Flushing Town Hall Space Grantee, will present its inaugural performances of The Gift of the Magi, composed by Peter Ekstrom, on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 pm and Monday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 pm. The classic O. Henry short story, set to music and lyrics, tells the story of a young couple in New York City on Christmas Eve in 1905. They loved each other so much that each one sold his/her most prized possession in order to afford to buy the other a Christmas present. Their special sacrifices and gifts bring a touching reaffirmation of their unselfish love. All ages welcome to celebrate this heart-warming holiday production, which is ideal for the family. Learn more and buy tickets.
Dirty Pierre’s, a cozy restaurant located at 13 Station Square in Forest Hills, is one of our favorite places to spend a Sunday. Delicious food and drinks with a locally famous brunch menu, burgers on English muffins, and mussels. My wife and I also enjoy Reef (108-02 72nd Ave.) in Forest Hills, a wonderful seafood restaurant with a maritime vibe and a great wine list.
Back in Forest Hills, Austin Street is a busy, modern corridor that acts as the shopping center for the neighborhood. It is near the West Side Tennis Club, the former home of the U.S. Open Grand Slam Tennis Championships, and Forest Hills Stadium.
Brian Gill is Co-founder and Executive Director of Queens Opera Theatre. The San Antonio native’s career includes stints with Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Schimmel Center at Pace University, Grand Teton Music Festival, and The Fantasticks on Broadway.