The Queens hills are alive with the sound of music…high quality and diverse music. This weekend there’s something for just about every ear as bands are ready to play jazz, symphony, folk, classical, Irish, and bee bop. There’s even an autism-friendly trombone concert. Details on seven performances are after the jump.
They call her “The Empress of Soul,” and her empire includes seven Grammys, a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, countless film and TV credits, and number one hits in the Pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary categories. This Sunday, Gladys Knight conquers Queens with a concert sponsored by the Kupferberg Center for the Arts. Though she’s been performing for more than 50 years, a recent Seattle Times review described her as “a bundle of energy offering soaring versions of songs” such as “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “That’s What Friends Are For,” and “Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me.”
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.
Basically, she arrived on Broadway in the 1950s and never left. After being the ingénue in Flahooley in 1951 and then starring in the original musicals Plain and Fancy (1955), Candide (1956) and The Music Man (1957), Barbara Cook has gone on to win two Grammys, one Tony, a Kennedy Center lifetime achievement award and countless other accolades, including White House performances in front of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush I and Clinton. A silvery soprano, Cook is known for her purity of tone and warm-but-strong stage presence. On Saturday night, this Atlanta native will perform selections from her newly developed repertoire of jazz and swing while also reprising her classics from Broadway and the great American songbook at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.
Details: Broadway Legend Barbara Cook, Colden Auditorium, Queens College, Kissena Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing, May 10th, 8 pm, $45/$55/$69 (save 20% off four tickets by using code barbara20, www.kupferbergcenter.org/events/barbara-cook).
Does Neil Berg live for theater or does theater live thanks to Neil Berg? The owner of Leftfield Productions has produced more than 1,000 Broadway-level shows. He has composed music and written lyrics for countless others, and then there’s his prolific professional piano playing. This Saturday, Berg will be at the Colden Auditorium at Kupferberg Center doing something that comes very naturally to him, presenting 101 Years of Broadway. This roughly two-hour show recreates the biggest moments from the finest shows of the century and features the actual stars of such hits as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Evita, Cats and Fiddler on the Roof.
Details: Neil Berg’s 101 Years of Broadway Presented by JES Entertainment, Queens College, Colden Center, Vicinity of Kissena Boulevard and Reeves Avenue, November 16th, 8 pm, $30-$50. (more…)
During Halloween Week, it’s all about pumpkins, costumes and trick-or-treating. But once it’s over, the Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Winter Solstice pre-season begins. The Kupferberg Center for the Arts is already planning for the December rush by offering a special “*me-plus-three promotion” (buy four tickets, get one free) for its holiday concert with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart. With a 75-piece orchestra and 60-member chorus, these world-class musicians will capture the magic of the season and the charm of a New England winter with their signature Sleigh Ride, as well as other holiday classics and new arrangements of seasonal favorites. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance during the finale and the entire audience will be invited to join in a traditional Boston Pops Holiday Sing-a-long to bring this special performance to a close.
It’s the queen of all homecomings! Cynthia Ann Stephanie “Cyndi” Lauper, who grew up in Ozone Park, will return to the borough this Sunday for a concert at the Colden Auditorium as part of her three-continent She’s So Unusual 30th Anniversary Tour. The one-time Richmond Hill High School student with a four-octave voice range will perform songs from her breakout 1983 album, She’s So Unusual, such as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time” and “She Bop.” She’ll also share intimate, never-before-told anecdotes of her personal life while wooing the crowd with her sui generis fashion sense.
Editor’s Note: The Queens Tourism Council is offering a special discount to Queens Brownstoner readers: Save $15* on $75 and $55 orchestra seats with code: ppcyndi (please note that code is case sensitive so entire copy must be lowercase). Purchase tickets here. (more…)
Bahia was the center of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in Brazil for centuries, and many African customs, practices and creeds are still very alive in the state. These include the Yoruba-derived religious system of Candomblé, the martial art capoeira, the music genre samba and the Balé Folclórico da Bahia, the South American country’s only professional folk dance company. Exploding with color, movement, music, mystery and drama, the troupe features dozens of dancers, musicians and singers that bring an infectious energy to every performance. On October 18th, Balé Folclórico da Bahia will fill the Colden Auditorium with its thrilling choreography, joyous rhythms and generally feisty, flirtatious exuberance.
Details: Balé Folclórico da Bahia, Colden Auditorium at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, October 18th, 8 pm, $29-$59.
She’s won two Grammy Awards and a record-tying five Tony Awards. Plus, she just enjoyed a four-season acting gig as Dr. Naomi Bennett on the hit ABC-TV medical drama Private Practice. Now she’s coming to Queens. This Saturday, the Kupferberg Center for the Arts kicks off its 2013-2014 season with a concert featuring Audra McDonald accompanied by a jazz ensemble. The Broadway legend and luminous soprano will perform a variety of show tunes and selections from her new, intensely personal album, Go Back Home, her first solo disc in seven years.
Details: Audra McDonald Live, Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Colden Auditorium, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, October 5th, 8 pm, prices vary.
Some people consider them the original boy band. The Vienna Boys Choir, which traces its roots back to 1498, consists of four divisions that give roughly 300 performances around the world every year. On Saturday, December 15, they’ll fill the seats and air at Queens College’s Colden Auditorium with their Christmas in Vienna concert. Expect an awe-inspiring fusion of extraordinary talent, singular training and master artistic direction.