It’s in Queens
#WeeklyColumn | It’s In Queens! | May 17 to May 23
It’s another “Pity Amazon” week with fantastic fun all around the borough. Staples like live music, dance, and theater get some serious enhancement with nerd comedy, art tours, plenty of food, a book festival, and even a 50th anniversary fete of the moon landing.
May 17, Apollo 11: First Steps Edition, Jan. 21, 2020. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with exhibitions, events, and never-before-seen footage of the historic day (July 20, 1969). New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
May 17, Fiddlers Green, 6:30 pm. This group mixes traditional folk music, humorous banter, and songs with easy choruses. Get ready for the hammered dulcimer, accordion, English concertina, and mandolin. King Manor Museum, King Park, 153rd Street and Jamaica Avenue.
May 17, Queensboro Dance Festival, 7 pm. A line-up of dynamic local talent. Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave.
May 17, National Chamber Music Month Celebration, 8 pm. Chano Dominguez and the Beijing Guitar Duo play new works composed thanks to Chamber Music America funding. Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.
May 17, Three Shows at Green Space, May 19. The Edgar Cortes Dance Theater and Dance Visions NY perform on May 17-18 at 8 pm. The Fertile Ground New Works Showcase hosts six troupes on May 19 at 7 pm. Green Space, 37-24 24th St., LIC.
May 18, Open Studios, May 19. Hundreds of artists open their studios from noon to 6 pm as part of LIC Arts Open’s annual program at various venues, including The Factory, The Plaxall, Raw Gallery, and The Secret Theatre.
May 18, Stand-Up for Science, 7:30 pm. A brainy comedy night with local scientists telling jokes for the first time ever as part of a nationwide outreach program that turns scientists into engaging speakers through training in comedy writing and performance. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
May 18, Queens College Choral Society’s 78th Annual Spring Concert, 8 pm. Sacred music from the 18th century with Brahms’s “Schicksalslied (Song of Fate)” and Mozart’s “Mass in C Minor.” Brahms’s work explores fate and human destiny; Mozart’s piece, left unfinished only a few years before his death, set new standards of brilliance for sacred music. Colden Auditorium, Queens College, vicinity of Horace Harding Expressway and Kissena Boulevard, Flushing.
May 18, John Singleton Memorial, 2 pm. The Black Filmmaker Foundation and the Black Film Critics Circle honor Singleton, who died on April 28. He was the first African American filmmaker—and the youngest director, at age 24—to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for his 1991 debut “Boyz in the Hood.” Film experts present and discuss scenes from this film, followed by a panel discussion. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District.
May 18, Scott Joplin Memorial Concert, 2 pm. Dalton’s Uptown Ramblers offer music by the famous Ragtime composer near his burial site with free BBQ and a pre-concert talk by Ed Berlin, the concert director. St. Michael’s Cemetery, 72-02 Astoria Blvd., East Elmhurst.
May 18, Bell Boulevard History Crawl, noon. Historian Jason D. Antos leads a journey through numerous points of interest along Bell Boulevard in Bayside. The stroll begins at the Cobblestone House at 36th Avenue and ends at the LIRR station.
May 18, Changes: The Energy of Music & Dance, 7:30 pm. Zhou Yi and the Ban Ban Chinese Music Society of New York use dance and music to explore ancient Chinese wisdom, the power of changes, the relationship between changeable small units, and big universal energy. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.
May 18, Queens Symphony Orchestra, 5 pm. The QSO Brass Ensemble plays music of the Spanish-American War in honor of the veterans buried nearby. Maple Grove Cemetery, 127-15 Kew Gardens Rd., Kew Gardens.
May 18, Maspeth Book Festival, 11 am. This first-annual event features panels, workshops, book signings, giveaways, and opportunities for young writers to receive constructive criticism. Martin Luther School, 60-02 Maspeth Ave.
May 18, Curator’s Tour, 1 pm. Senior Curator Dakin Hart leads a stroll through the exhibition “Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan,” which has almost 90 pieces stemming from the brief-yet-consequential friendship between Isamu Noguchi and Saburo Hasegawa. The Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd., LIC.
May 18, Sing, Sunset. This sixth annual outdoor movie series kicks off with this computer-animated musical on a 30-foot inflatable screen. Hunters Point Park, vicinity of Center Boulevard and Second Street, LIC.
May 18, Godspell, May 19. With songs like “Day by Day,” youngsters from Sunnyside and Jackson Heights use storytelling, games, and comic timing to share Jesus Christ’s messages of kindness, tolerance, and love. Shows are May 18 at 6 pm and May 19 at 3 pm. P.S. 212, 34-25 82nd St., Jackson Heights.
May 19, Bell Blvd Food and Music Fest, 2 pm to 6 pm. Pay $30 and sample from more than 35 restaurants on Bell Boulevard between 38th and 43rd avenues and on 41st Avenue. Cuisine options include Cajun, Chinese, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Tex-Mex, and Vietnamese.
May 19, Oratorio Society of Queens Spring Concert, 4 pm. W.A. Mozart’s “Requiem,” Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” and Vivaldi’s “Concerto No. 1, Spring.” Performers include David Close, conductor; Paula Jean Rocheleau, soprano; Ginger Inabinet, mezzo-soprano; Byron Singleton, tenor; and Nathan Bahny, bass-baritone. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs R. C. Church, 110-06 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills.
May 19, From Ruin to Rebirth, 2 pm. Historian R. Scott Hanson discusses the transformation of Flushing and Flushing Town Hall between 1979, a period of urban decline, and the 1990s, when Flushing was one of the most diverse places on the planet. A walking tour follows. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.
May 19, Sacred Sites, noon. Jack Eichenbaum, the official historian of Queens, leads a tour of religious institutions in Flushing and discusses the neighborhood as the birthplace of religious freedom in the U.S. The tour starts at the Quaker Meeting House, 137-16 Northern Blvd., and ends at St. Michael’s R.C. Church, 136-76 41st Ave.
May 19, Walking Queens, 2 pm. Adrienne Onofri discusses her 2014 book “Walking Queens: 30 Tours for Discovering the Diverse Communities, Historic Places, and Natural Treasures of New York City’s Largest Borough.” Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing.
May 19, Found In Translation: Borders that Separate and Unite, 3 pm. Published translators and writers Mark Weiss and Marianela Medranowas discuss Latin American literature in connection to the themes of Home, Migration, and Race. Lewis Latimer House Museum, 34-41 137th St., Flushing.
May 20, Queens Dinner Club (Rescheduled), 7 pm. Enjoy Syrian cuisine, including tamarind rose iced tea, crispy filo pastry stuffed with sweet cheese and drenched with orange flower syrup, and slow-roasted lamb served over smoked green wheat pilaf with fresh fava beans and fried nuts. The chef is Fadila Maamo, a Syrian refugee who came to the U.S. from Aleppo in 2016. The Queensboro, 80-02 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights.
May 20, Baroque Bass, 7:30 pm. A free concert with the Queens Symphony Orchestra. All Saints Episcopal Church, 85-45 96th St., Woodhaven.
May 21, Taste of Sunnyside, 6 pm. This sixth annual event features about 30 businesses (mostly restaurants) providing samples of food, drink, and other items. Three examples are De Mole, Mangal Kebab, and Ottomanelli Burgers and Belgian Fries. P.C. Richard, 50-02 Queens Blvd.
May 22, What If?: A Guy Named Joe, 2 pm. This eight-week series shows films from various eras that look at altered time and space. Mark Ethan Toporek, a member of The Actors Studio, introduces each movie and leads post-screening discussions. This week’s film is the 1943 classic “A Guy Named Joe,” which stars Spencer Tracy as a World War II bomber who dies in an attack. He returns to earth as another pilot’s guardian angel, while a girlfriend thickens the plot. Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Continued from the previous week
May 14, Queens New Music Festival, May 19. Organized by Random Access Music, this eighth annual series presents 12 concerts over six days. More than 50 composers and 40 performers play various genres. The Secret Theatre, 44-02 23rd St., LIC.
Relic, or, I Was Bubbie’s Favorite, until May 19. This comedy explores celebrity, religion, and idolatry. An out-of-work actor finds one of the world’s greatest relics in his grandmother’s attic, giving him fame and fortune. He quickly discovers it’s not all fun and games. Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave. S., Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia, until June 9. A surrealistic circus journey through an imaginary Mexico with grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatics. Tent near Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave.
The First Transatlantic Flight, until June 2. The Queens Historical Society, the Rockaway Artists Alliance, and City Council Member Eric Ulrich celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Navy Seaplane NC-4 was assembled and took off from the Rockaway Naval Air Station on May 8, 1919. This display features storyboards on the epic flight. Studio T-7 Gallery, Fort Tilden, Rockaway Point.
Caroline, or Change, until May 25. This musical combines spirituals, blues, Motown, classical music, klezmer and folk. Set in Louisiana in 1963, it explores social change via a friendship between a Jewish boy and his family’s African-American maid. Shows are Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm and 8 pm. The Broccoli Theater at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, 21-12 30th Rd., Astoria.
Queens of the Night: Reinas de la Noche, until May 19. This LGBTQ musical is back by popular demand with the special collaboration of transgender artist Pamela Sue Martin directly from Colombia. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 4 pm. Thalía Spanish Theatre, 41-01 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside.
Images: Astoria Performing Arts Center (top); Carpe Diem String Quartet (bottom)