#InTheLoop | The Chocolate Factory Theater Launches ‘Small Songs’ in Long Island City
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Take a step back in time with a vinyl album launch, while jumping into the future with a “performed auditory environment.”
The Chocolate Factory Theater offers Small Songs in Long Island City from Wednesday, Dec. 6, to Saturday, Dec. 9. (Shows are nightly at 7 pm.)
Homecoming? Home game? Home cooking? Small Songs is composed, recorded, and mixed by Chocolate Factory Co-Founder and Artistic Director Brian Rogers. Longtime collaborator Madeline Best and he will transform the venue into a multisensory listening environment centered around a custom designed and constructed Hi-Fi speaker system and an array of LED light strips, surrounded by a series of intimate “salons” filled with sofas, carpets, and comfortable chairs.
As the record spins, its contours will be amplified by — and reflected within — the venue’s industrial architecture and a stark, subtly advancing lighting score.
Ticket prices run from $10 to $275, and cocktails and natural wine will be served.
In addition to curating Chocolate Factory’s artistic programming, Rogers is a video director and sound artist. During a residency in late 2019, he assembled more than 100 hours of audio material via modular synthesizer. Then throughout 2020 and 2021, he condensed and sequenced the recordings into 29 short compositions (or small songs), which unfold as a kind of abstract, auditory narrative of shifting interior states, informed by a month-long cross-country road trip Rogers made in 2021.
Writer and cultural critic Claudia La Rocco composed the song titles in the form of a 29-line poem, and the recordings were mastered by Stephan Mathieu. Michael Reardon provided the cover art.
Chocolate Factory was founded in 2004, and the nonprofit operated a theater at 5-49th Ave. in Long Island City from 2005 until 2017, when it secured a $3.8 million grant to create the new facility in an industrial building at 38-33 24th St. The (somewhat new) campus includes a 99-seat performance venue with a sprung-wood dance floor, a rehearsal space, an office, and an on-site nursery for artists with small children.
The closest subway stations are Queensboro Plaza on the 7 and N lines and 21st Street-Queensbridge on the F line. There’s limited street parking.
Images: The Chocolate Factory Theater