It’s in Queens
#WeeklyColumn | May 18 to May 23 | It’s In Queens!
There’s a great mix of classic and modern in the borough this week. Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, Dorothy and Toto are around. Ditto for completely new music, dance, poetry mashups, theater, and sculpture.
May 18, Global Mashup 3: Mexico meets Guinea, 8 pm. Banda de los Muertos plays the boisterous Mexican brass/contemporary music known as “banda.” Mandingo Ambassadors does music from the golden age of Guinean dance bands. Then the two groups jam together. Dance lessons at 7 pm. $16. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.
May 18, The Wizard of Oz, 7 pm. CinemaLIC kicks off its fifth season screening outdoor movies on a 30-foot inflatable screen with this classic. Free. Hunter’s Point South Park, vicinity of Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, LIC.
May 18, The Life and Times of Louis Armstrong, 1 pm. Experts and archivists from the Louis Armstrong House Museum offer an insider’s view of Satchmo with rarely seen archival material, pictures, film, and recordings. Queens Library Glen Oaks, 256-04 Union Turnpike.
May 18-19, Take Root, 8 pm. New dances which introduce ideas of entropy and disorder with Brush/McGrath and Brynne Billingsley & Artists. $15 in advance. Green Space, 37-24 24th St., LIC.
May 19, The Tragedy of Carmen, 7:30 pm (and May 20 at 2 pm). Queens Opera Theatre presents a modern adaptation of Bizet’s “Carmen,” a tale of doomed love and violent passion. $16. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.
May 19-20, Traditions Festival, noon to 4 pm. This third annual festival brings together neighborhood traditions, past and present, with music, food, dance, art, crafts, and more. Free. King Manor Museum, 153-01 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica.
May 19, A Tribute to Scott Joplin, 2 pm. This annual concert honors the King of Ragtime near his gravesite. Dan Levinson and his Canary Cottage Dance Orchestra, back for their fourth appearance, perform Joplin’s music with vocals by the Victorian Vaudeville Barbershop Quartet. Free. St. Michael Cemetery, 72-02 Astoria Blvd. S., East Elmhurst.
May 19, War Requiem, A Plea for Peace, 8 pm. The Queens College Choral Society performs Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem,” which combines the traditional Latin Requiem text with the poems of Wilfred Owen, who died in World War I. $20. Colden Auditorium, vicinity of Horace Harding Expressway and Kissena Boulevard, Flushing.
May 19, Percussia, 3 pm. This Queens-based ensemble presents voice, harp, and percussion. Free. Queens Library Woodhaven, 85-41 Forest Pkwy.
May 19, Annual Spring History and Community Festival, 11 am to 4 pm. Learn about Flushing’s unique heritage via demonstrations, educational programs, and hands-on activities. Weeping Beech Park, Bowne Street and 37th Avenue, Flushing, 718-359-0528 or Bownehouse@verizon.net.
May 19, Queens Symphony Orchestra, 5 pm. Patriotic music by the borough’s oldest arts organization. Free. Colony Theater Center, 2 Reid Ave., Breezy Point.
May 19, The Oscar, 1 pm. Screened as part of a series on Hollywood films starring local actors, “The Oscar” is Tony Bennett’s first movie. Hear about his early days in Astoria and then watch him on the big screen. Free. Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, LIC.
May 19, Strategic Desire: The Story Poems Tell, 2:30 pm. This interactive workshop asks participants to craft poems that tell a story and act as witness. Allia Abdullah-Matta, an Associate Professor at CUNY LaGuardia Community College, leads. Lewis H. Latimer House Museum, 34-41 137th St., Flushing.
May 19, Dear Penelope, 8 pm. A reading of a developing comedic play about four women who fall from grace at a news corporation and are banished to the basement to write an advice column. They have one chance to get their old jobs back. All they have to do is hijack the most spectacular story of the year. Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave. S., Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
May 20, Oratorio Society of Queens, 4 pm. A 125-plus-member chorus sings Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” selections from “West Side Story,” and Americana favorites. Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside.
May 20, Quintet of the Americas, 4 pm. The borough’s renowned woodwind quintet presents “Americans in Paris and Back Again,” a program that explores teacher Nadia Boulanger’s influence on 20th century American composers. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing.
May 20, Fertile Ground, 7 pm. A showcase for new and evolving work plus a post-performance discussion with wine. Green Space, 37-24 24th St., LIC.
May 21, Queens Symphony Orchestra, 7 pm. Broadway show tunes by the borough’s oldest arts organization. Free. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin May, 101-41 91st St., Ozone Park.
May 22, Taste of Sunnyside, 6:30 pm. Try samples of cuisine from local restaurants such as De Mole, I Love Paraguay, Mangal Kebob, Ottomanelli Burgers and Belgian Fries, and Sotto le Stelle. Plus, drinks from local places such as Big aLICe, Queens Brewery, Rockaway Brewing, and Singlecut Beersmiths. (Non-alcoholic drinks from Green Valley Marketplace.) $40. P.C. Richard’s Parking Lot, 50-02 Queens Blvd.
May 22, Australian Classical Guitar, 7:30 pm. As part of the East River Guitar Series, Rupert Boyd makes a solo stop on his world tour. $20 cash only. Annable Sailing, 4-40 44th Dr., LIC.
May 23, Xaviera Simmons: Convene, Aug. 19. This sculpture features aluminum canoes painted with designs that evoke national flags symbolic of the diverse historical and contemporary demographic makeup of Astoria and Long Island City. It is temporarily on land along the East River in Hunter’s Point South Park, vicinity of Center Boulevard and 51st Avenue, LIC.
Queens New Music Festival, until May 20. This seventh annual festival features Queens College New Music Group, RAM Players, Bowers-Fader Duo, Blagoeva-Massicotte Duo, The New Music for Strings Festival, and The Resurgam Quartet. Secret Theatre, 44-02 23rd St., LIC.
Panorama Europe, until May 31. Screenings of fiction and documentary works that present a portrait of contemporary Europe. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District.
LIC Arts Open, until May 20. Throughout the week, Astoria and LIC venues of varying sizes fill halls with every conceivable form of art work. On the final two days, from noon to 6 pm, artists open the doors to their studios and welcome the public. Free.
Bring It On The Musical, until May 19. Tonya Pinkins, who co-starred with Gregory Hines in the Broadway play “Jelly’s Last Jam,” directs this musical. May 17 at 11:30 am; May 18 at 11:30 am and 8 pm; May 19 at 8 pm. $25. Black Spectrum Theatre, Roy Wilkins Park, 177th Street and Baisley Boulevard, Jamaica.
Milka Djordjevich ANTHEM, until May 26. This piece questions contemporary dance’s predisposition towards neutrality, authenticity and the de-sexualization of the female body. It weaves together existing and imagined vernacular dance styles to explore labor, play, and feminine-posturing. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 pm. $20. The Chocolate Factory, 5-49 49th Ave., LIC.
Top/Banner image: The Chocolate Factory Theater
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