Go ahead, deck the halls. But for real holiday inspiration, head over to any one of four fantastic concerts scheduled for this upcoming, jam-packed weekend. The fun begins on Friday with a special show at Queens Museum featuring the Corona Youth Orchestra, the Corona Children’s Orchestra, and the No Frontiers Children’s Orchestra playing Beethoven and other classics. There’s a double dose on Saturday, as the Forest Hills Choirperforms a collection of choral pieces, such as “Magnificat” and “O Magnum Mysterium,” which honor the Virgin Mary. At night, the Queens College Choral Society, whose membership includes high school students and adults who have been with the group for more than 40 years, does Handel’s Messiah and other favorites with a full orchestra. Finish the fix — and get another dose of Handel’s Messiah – on Sunday when Our Lady of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Societyjoins forces with the Oratorio Society of Queens to offer an annual concert that always involves tremendous audience participation.
Basically, they’ve been the best in the business for last 516 years. In 1498, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I moved his court to Vienna in what is now Austria. He decreed that six singing boys join his official musicians and ordered the court to find the best young talent from around his realm, which included present day Germany, Holland, and Italy. Since then, what is now called the “Vienna Boys’ Choir” has been astounding the world with an angelical sound, enthralling harmonies, and expansive repertoire. This weekend, choir members will perform in Queens, thanks to the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.
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.