10/31/14 1:00pm

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It’s probably the best production house you’ve never heard of…with prices you’ve never seen. The Free Synagogue of Flushing Community Theatre Group has staged large musicals every May and November for the past 35 years with the goal of providing high-quality, low-cost entertainment, especially for children, nursing home residents, and the disabled. For five days this November, these mensches will produce Thoroughly Modern Millie with Music Theatre International, which works directly with composers, lyricists, and writers and grants groups the rights to perform Broadway musicals. Thoroughly Modern tells the story of Millie Dillmount, who moves to NYC from Kansas in 1922 with the singular goal of getting a job as the secretary for a rich man and then marrying him. Of course her plan goes awry, but Millie gets really into the Jazz Age with her flapper attire and bobbed hair. Then she realizes that the owner of dingy hotel where she lives is a white slave trafficker who sells young ladies to Asian lords. Hilarity and tap dancing ensue.

Details: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Free Synagogue of Flushing, enter at 41-60 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, November 8th and 15th at 8 pm, November 2nd, 9th, and 16th at 3 pm, $18/$15 seniors over 64 and children under 13.

Photo: Free Synagogue of Flushing Community Theatre Group

10/30/14 1:00pm

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Sometimes Queens is so diverse it’s scary. Upcoming Halloween events include everything from senior events to youth events; cemetery fun to casino fun; and food-making to mask-making. And let’s not even begin to discuss all the great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. To aid decision-making, the Queens Tourism Council suggests the following activities because they combine enjoyment with safety, enrichment, and even some sweet treats. They appear on the jump page.

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Queens Theatre + MuSE + Dance Entropy = Great Borough Synergy. This weekend, a Long Island City-based troupe will give three performances at a Flushing Meadows Corona Park venue with help from Astoria-based musicians in another example that creativity overflows in Queens. Simply titled “Valerie Green/Dance Entropy” in homage to its choreographer, this diverse program features the world premiere of Titanic.Si, (below) a performance piece based on the story of the Titanic with guest artists from Slovenia. The show’s other two pieces are Hinge, which celebrates the time-honored tradition of live music and dance with Multicultural Sonic Evolution; and Inexplicable Space, which combines movements and encounters amid steaming crystal balls and flying orbs inspired by fortune cookies (above).

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Details: Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, November 1st at 2 pm and 8 pm, November 2nd at 3 pm, $25-$42.

Photos: Dance Entropy

10/28/14 1:00pm

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The term “pumpkin smashing” often conjures up images of vandals roaming residential streets, taking gourds from front lawns, and breaking them on driveways and sidewalks. Usually the result is nothing more than a seedy, squishy mess. However in Sunnyside this Saturday, individuals will be able to perform similar acts of aggression and destruction in a productive, dignified manner, thanks to the NYC Compost Project. Bring unwanted pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns to Torsney Playground, and the city will use the wrecked results to rebuild soil in parks around the five boroughs.

Details: Pumpkin Smash 2014, Sunnyside Greenmarket, Tornsey Playground, vicinity of 43rd Street and Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, November 1st, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, free and refreshments will be served while supplies last.

10/27/14 1:00pm

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Over the last dozen years of Louis Armstrong’s life, the jazz legend liked to joke that Jack Bradley was his “white son.” The famous composer/singer/trumpeter didn’t have any biological children, and he was black. But he and Bradley, a professional photographer and avid sailor, became extremely close after meeting through a mutual friend in 1959. As such, Bradley had almost unlimited access to Satchmo, and he took countless photos of the star while collecting more than 2,500 sound recordings, fan mail, set lists, diet charts, handwritten notes, laundry receipts, rare books, and figurines. Bradley is still alive today, but the Louis Armstrong House Museum acquired his collection in 2005. It took years to relocate all the treasures and then arrange, preserve, and catalog them, but the Corona museum unveiled the collection last week. Visitors can check out rare recordings from the 1920s; a Giardinelli trumpet mouthpiece; unique photos of Pops on the road; and photos of Armstrong at home shortly before his death on July 6th, 1971.

Details: The Jack Bradley Collection, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday/Sunday, noon to 5 pm, $10/$7 for seniors, students, and children.

Photo: Louis Armstrong House Museum

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National Chemistry Week runs from October 19th to October 25th this year, and organizations across the country are promoting this discipline’s finer points. The 2014 theme is The Sweet Side of Chemistry – Candy, and scientists are tasked with explaining how ingredients undergo chemical transformations to become such beloved comestibles as chocolate, taffy, and gum. On October 26th, the New York Hall of Science will team up with the American Chemistry Society’s New York division to offer five hours of fun in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Hundreds of volunteers, including enthusiasts from prestigious universities and companies, will facilitate demonstrations with hundreds of youngsters. Plus, children (K-12) will be able to participate in a national illustrated poem contest. In keeping with the theme, participants are encouraged to explore topics such as the physical properties of candy, the difference between sugar and alternative sweeteners, and the process of candy making.

Details: National Chemistry Day, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona/Flushing Meadows Corona Park, October 26th, 11 am to 4 pm, free with admission.

Photo by the New York Hall of Science

10/23/14 1:00pm

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Hitler was the self-declared führer of Germany, Babe Ruth was playing his last professional games, and Bonnie & Clyde were on the run in 1934, when Rudy’s Bakery and Café opened on Seneca Avenue in Ridgewood. The neighborhood was largely German back then, and the eatery was known for its bienenstich and strudel. The owners, patrons, and menu have changed a bit over the years, but Rudy’s remains a traditional bakery and community anchor. This Saturday, the establishment will celebrate its 80th birthday with some sweet deals as baked goods — Black Forest cake, doughnuts, linzertorte and the time-tested strudel – will cost 80 cents a piece.

The anniversary coincides with the Seneca Avenue Stroll, hosted by the Myrtle Avenue BID and the NYC Department of Transportation. The block between Myrtle and Catalpa avenues will be closed to traffic on Saturday so the following entities can provide samples of their treats to passers-by: Ridgewood Eats, 903 Seneca; Rudy’s Bakery, 905 Seneca; Nepalese Indian Restaurant, 907 Seneca; and Zum Stammtisch, 69-46 Myrtle. Other local providers, such as BelGioioso Cheese, Finback Brewery, Wilk Apiary, and Viola Pretzels, will participate too.

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Details: Seneca Avenue Stroll, Seneca Avenue between Myrtle and Catalpa avenues, Ridgewood, October 25th, noon to 5 pm.

Top photo: Nepalese Indian Restaurant; middle photo: Rudy’s Bakery

10/22/14 1:00pm

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Take me out to the Fall Fest. Take me out to Paint Nite. Don’t expect peanuts and crackerjack, but Citi Field is ready to rock during two upcoming events. On October 26th, the Mets home stadium’s field level concourse will host four hours of trick-or-treating, photo opportunities with Mr. and Mrs. Met, costume contests, pumpkin-carving, apple-dipping, and a mini Oktoberfest. Plus, the Mets and City Harvest will organize a food drive, and those who donate at least 10 items of nonperishable food will get a voucher for a pair of tickets to a game in April 2015. (Donors get 15 percent discounts on select, on-site merchandise too.)

On November 6th, the Flushing Nine and Metropolitan Hospitality will host the first ever Paint Nite at the ballpark. Each participant will take an art class and paint Citi Field on a 16” x 20” canvas to take home. More information on jump page.

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10/21/14 1:00pm

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Be scared. Be really, really scared. The Museum of the Moving Image doubles down on dismay with See It Big!Horror and the Korean Horror Picture Show on its oversize screens. Six Hollywood classics – The Exorcist; Nosferatu; The Phantom of the Opera; The Bride of Frankenstein; Night of the Living Dead; and Poltergeist – screen in late October.  Meanwhile, the recent resurgence of the Korean horror genre will be on display with Killer Toon, I Saw the DevilLady Vengeance, Epitaph, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and A Tale of Two SistersA full schedule and descriptions of the movies are on the jump page. 

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10/20/14 1:00pm

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He can pretty much do it all: show tunes, country, blues, jazz, R&B, traditional pop, soul, disco, even Christmas music. And he pretty much has done it all. Since his first song, “Wonderful, Wonderful” in 1957,” Johnny Mathis has had at least one hit single in each following decade, while selling more than 350 million albums and receiving four Grammy nominations. This Sunday, he takes his act to the Colden Auditorium in Flushing for a night of romance, easy listening, and pop standards.

Details: Johnny Mathis in ConcertColden Auditorium at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, October 26th, 7 pm, $35-$115.