Dentists would probably oppose consuming it, but they might recommend looking at this marvel. This Sunday, the New York Hall of Science will unveil GingerBread Lane, a 1.5-ton, 300-square-foot village with 152 gingerbread houses, 65 trees, four gingerbread cable cars, five gingerbread train cars, an underground candy subway station, candy trees and sugar signage. Ingredients include roughly 1,900 pounds of icing, 400 pounds of candy and 500 pounds of gingerbread dough. Chef Jon Lovitch spent about a year, drafting, designing, baking, building and decorating this metropolis, which sits out in the open, rather than behind glass, so the smell of homemade gingerbread fills the hall.
Details: GingerBread Lane, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, November 17th, 2013 through January 12th, 2014, click for museum hours, free with admission.
Gingerbread House Workshop, December 7th and December 28th. Make a gingerbread house to take home. Free with admission. Limited capacity; signup on day of event; beginning at noon.
GingerBread Lane House Giveway, January 12th. Take a piece of GingerBread Lane home, while supplies last. Two houses per person. Line opens at 10 am, giveaway at noon. Free with admission.
They’re basically balletic gauchos. And like a wild horde, these 13 male dancers (half man/half horse, basically) prance and gallop around the stage with an infectious rhythm, energy and spirit. They stomp their heeled boots or their bare feet to the cadences of a bombo, a drum made of wood and hide. They leap for joy. They hold and turn leather straps called “boleaderos.” And of course, they leave the audience astonished (and exhausted). On November 16th and 17th, the Argentinean dance troupe Che Malambo will perform at Queens Theatre. Originally, the Malambo was a zapateado, or a stomping duel between two macho men. But these guys transformed the genre into an awe-inspiring group performance.
With speeches by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Helen Marshall and Executive Director Tom Finkelpearl (above), Queens Museum officially re-opened yesterday after a multi-year, $68 million renovation that doubled its exhibition space and added an atrium with a chandelierlike glass hanging, bookstore and cafe. The Flushing Meadows-Corona Park institution also announced its new name — Queens Museum — without the tailing “of Art” that it had had since its founding. Now the fun starts with Target Wide Open Weekend, featuring special celebrations and inaugural exhibitions. On November 9th, Queens International 2013 artist Vlada Tomova’s Bulgarian Women’s Choir will start things off, followed by Lynley Bernstein’s Come Fish for Snakehead, a 2.5-hour guided fishing trip in park waterways; and the Poets in the Galleries: Tan Lin series, which utilizes the museum’s exhibition space as an invigorating site for exploration, interactive readings and discussions. At 3 pm, the museum will launch An Inclusive World, a group show examining how art transforms the lives of those with a wide array of needs and abilities. The day will continue with Joseph Heathcott’s Brooklyn-Queens Borderlands Virtual Walking Tour on the Panorama; Matthew Volz’s Meanwhile Back in Queens…, a live concert; Llego FeFa 4. Rosa de los Vientos, a performance by Magdalena Maria Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard celebrating the the opening of Citizens of the World: Cuba in Queens; Fujui Wang’s Hyper Transmission New York, a site-specific sound performance capturing locally sampled electromagnetic waves rendered in a specially devised directional speaker; and Joro Boro’s Smuggle Party, a participatory DJ performance mashing up collected tunes from museum visitors’ MP3 players. There are more activities on November 10th and November 11th and other special events throughout November. Click through to see another picture from the event yesterday… (more…)
It’s so nice, they have to do it twice. Last weekend, the New York Hall of Science organized Dead or Alive, a pre-Halloween festival that included pumpkin chucking, live wolves and Frankenstein-like wall projections. Now, the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park venue is getting ready to host a post-Halloween celebration with Dia de los Muertos-related activities. On November 2nd, the fun will begin with Science Story Time at 11 am. Daring souls will gather in the Science Technology Library as a librarian reads from Littlebat’s Halloween Story by Diane Mayr. At 1 pm and 3 pm, the Organization for Bat Conservation will present — what else? — big brown bats from North America, fruit ones from Africa and Asia and the largest of its species in the world, a gigantic flying fox bat from Malaysia. Meanwhile at 2 pm, the Hall of Science’s catapult, named “Chuck” of course, will toss pumpkins in the air. Then from 3 pm to 6 pm, the Dead or Alive Party will include Frankenstein-like wall projections by Mappathon, forensic science activities, Dia de los Muertos-inspired treats and Halloween make projects. (Prizes will be awarded to those in costumes.) The next day, November 3rd, will feature more live bat encounters at 1 pm and 3 pm and more pumpkin tossing with Chuck at 2 pm.
Details: Dead or Alive, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, November 2nd and November 3rd, 1 pm to 6 pm, $8 child/$11 adult. Most activities are free with admission. Some have extra charges. (more…)
There’s silver and gold in Queens. It’s the 25th anniversary of the Queens Theatre, and the 50th anniversary of The Graduate, a novel about Benjamin Braddock, an adrift twenty-something who has an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the bored wife of his father’s business partner, before dating her daughter. In 1967, the novel was made into a movie that launched Dustin Hoffman’s career and still enjoys cult-like popularity today. This Friday, the Queens Theatre launches its new season with five performances of The Graduate as adapted by L.A. Theatre Works, a drama company that delights audiences with its unique radio theater style. This version features minimal staging, live manual sound effects, high-energy characters and full-on facial expressions.
Details: The Graduate, Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, October 25th to October 27th, click here for times and tickets, $42 on weekdays, $49 on weekends and $25 for rear seating.
Photo of Heidi Dippold and Brian Tichnell taken by Matt Petit
¡Qué Viva México! The Calpulli Dance Company was founded in 2003 with the mission of teaching and producing live music and theater promoting the rich diversity of Mexican culture. Success came almost immediately, and the Jackson Heights-based group has taken its fast-paced, emotive performances — not to mention the infectious music, mesmerizing movement and colorful costumes — to audiences around the world. This weekend, Calpulli returns to Queens Theatre for a ninth season to debut several brand new, original pieces over two shows.
For more than 40 years, he’s entertained audiences with his comedy routines. He’s received Tony and Obie awards and a two nominations for a Grammy. He’s done nine one-man shows for HBO and made more than 100 appearances on The Tonight Show and the Late Show with David Letterman. Now he’s coming back to Queens. On one night and one afternoon, Robert Klein brings what he describes as his “Generically American” stand-up act — full of captivating anecdotes, wry wit and brutal honesty about everything from growing up in the Bronx in the 1950s to recent political scandals — to the Queens Theatre for a third time.
Details: Robert Klein, Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, September 28th at 8 pm and September 29th at 3 pm, $25-$35.
Last year’s event featured cupcake cars, 70 distinct 3D printers and an enormous, remote-control thumbing war. This weekend, the New York Hall of Science will host World Maker Faire 2013, an annual opportunity to invent, craft, recycle and be inspired by arts, engineering, science and technology. An estimated 600 makers will present their rockets, robots and other contraptions in a fun free-for-all of motion, beeping and levitating. Plus, there will be a speaker roster including authors, innovators and leading thinkers in the Maker movement, as well as arts and crafts, food, woodworking and live music.
Details: World Maker Faire 2013, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, September 21st, 10 am to 7 pm and September 22nd, 10 am to 6 pm, $15-$55, purchase required tickets here. (more…)
It’s enrichment at no cost. The New York Hall of Science will offer free general admission from August 24th to September 9th, and as the deal coincides with the US Open Tennis Championship, some exhibits will have sports themes. The Arthur Ashe Learning Center Inspiration Tour will use touchscreens, motion paintings, augmented reality and wellness challenges to provide insight into the legendary tennis player’s passions, which included sports, education, health and public service. On August 29th, NYSCI will operate an Alternative Sports Drink Stand from noon to 3 pm. Patrons will be able to try alternatives to commercial sports drinks while learning healthful tips on snacks, farming and creating homemade drinks. There are other temporary exhibits, such as Tesla’s Wonderful World of Electricity, and NYSCI has more than 450 permanent hands-on exhibits and demonstrations.
Details: Free General Admission, NYSCI, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, August 24th to September 9th, click here for hours.
When the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament begins on August 26th, some of the closest matches, greatest serves and most thrilling triumphs will have already happened. On August 20th, the four-day qualifying tournament will begin with 128 men and 128 women competing for the final 32 entries (16 men and 16 women) in the main draws. This is world-class tennis with up-and-coming stars and other highly talented players who have dedicated their lives to making the final jump to the elite level. It’s also free, and anybody can walk around the campus, watching the matches. Plus, many of the top players who don’t have to qualify will be there, practicing on open courts.
Details: 2013 U.S. Open Tennis Qualifiers, USTA field courts, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, August 20-23, gates open at 10 am.