It’s in Queens
#PickoftheWeek | Queens is a hotbed for community theater
Community theater is so underrated. Local troupes are essential to the health of neighborhoods. In addition to entertainment, they provide opportunities for education, self-expression, cultural interaction, creativity, bonding, intergenerational understanding, and youth development.
As always, Queens leads the pack with some of the best community theater in the world, and some of these crews are very busy these days offering everything from comedy to music to history.
Here’s a list of what’s on nearby stages right now.
The Astoria Performing Arts Center is ready to present Marguerite, a new musical based on the life of Canada’s first female saint, Marguerite Bourgeoys. A nun who was born in France in 1620, she founded the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal. There will be 11 shows at the Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent St., from Friday, Nov. 8, to Sunday, Nov. 23.
On the other side of the borough, Douglaston Community Theatre will kick off Death Trap at Zion Church Parish Hall, 243-01 Northern Blvd. on Nov. 8. This 1978 play by Ira Levin holds the record as Broadway’s longest-running comedy-thriller. The story follows a washed-up playwright who comes upon a chance to return to the top, but it might involve murder. The plot twists and turns so much that it eventually references itself as a play-within-a-play. The public can chose among eight spectacles until Nov. 23.
Meanwhile, Theatre By The Bay offers Gypsy six times from Nov. 9 to Nov. 24 at Bay Terrace Garden Jewish Center, 13-00 209th St., Bayside. This 1959 musical follows a stage mother who pushes her daughter to achieve success while secretly yearning for her own fame and fortune. It’s loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque entertainer and striptease artist.
This weekend is also when Newsies ends a run at Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy, 179-14 Dalny Rd., Jamaica. Royal Star Theatre is producing this 1992 musical comedy that is loosely based on an 1899 newsboy strike in NYC. The remaining shows are Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 at 8 pm and Nov. 10 at 3 pm.
Finally, Sunnyside-based PinProductions will introduce an adaptation of The Selfish Giant at The Secret Theatre, 44-02 23rd St. in LIC, on Nov. 16 at 3 pm. This classic Oscar Wilde tale is about a large fellow who builds a wall around his garden to keep out the town’s children. His actions plunge the garden into an endless winter.
Images: Angela Cardenas