08/26/15 2:00pm

It's In Queens

Children don’t usually enjoy anything that includes the words “back to school.” However, Jamaica hosts a back-to-school fashion show this week with young models and performers that people of all ages will love. Music is a big draw this week with African beats, the blues, choral auditions, doo wop, a drum circle, and jazz. Bike lessons and Jews in Iran are also part of the mix. The details and another photo are on the jump page.

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08/25/15 1:00pm

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Percussion has the largest musical family. Instruments can be hit, scraped or shaken to create different pitches, notes, and sounds. Plus, they add rhythm and spice to everything from classical music to hip hop to jazz.

Two special upcoming Queens events are based on percussion. The first one is a harvest moon celebration at Flushing Town Hall on August 29. Grammy nominee Juan Gutiérrez, who directs the group Los Pleneros de la 21, will lead a workshop for all-comers followed by a group drumming circle. This San Juan native received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 1996.

The other event involves African cadences. Details and a photo are on the jump page.

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08/19/15 2:00pm

It's In Queens

Inspiring, blooming Taiwanese orchids are a main draw this week. Ditto for the LIC Block Party and Flushing Night Out, which will feature a little bit of everything (food, music, art, spontaneous creativity). Other options are concerts, comedy, films, puppets, and walking tours. Another photo and all the information are on the jump page.

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08/18/15 1:00pm

Flushing Town Hall Puppet Show

There is no dialogue, but the show leaves audiences speechless.

Le Théâtre de Deux Mains is dedicated to enriching and preserving the tradition of puppet theater through one-man shows based on popular, time-honored tales. This Friday and Saturday, the Montreal-based company will present The Swan at Flushing Town Hall. Based on The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen, this show depicts a lost little bird looking for his parents.

First, a fisherman comes across a single egg in a pond. Then, two little feet pop out of the egg and begin waddling on shore. The newborn sees his reflection and discovers that he doesn’t look like any other members of his species. He’s certainly no chicken. He’s definitely no owl. He’s obviously no hawk. With changing colors and lighting inspired by Tiffany lamps, he follows clues to meet his true family. The story certainly inspires by itself, but it is enhanced by the puppeteer/actor who controls the puppets, set dressings, light, and sound entirely alone onstage.

More information and another photo on the jump page.

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08/17/15 1:00pm

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The festival is back by popular demand. The talent is popular and in demand.

Awkwafina is half-Chinese, half-Korean, and 100 percent hip hop. The Forest Hills native, who utilizes satire and screwball antics while busting her rhymes, is leading the charge in the up-and-coming Asian-American rap scene, which includes artists Dumbfoundead and Rekstizzy. Her first solo album, Yellow Ranger, contains tracks such as “Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margarita)” and the title track, “Yellow Ranger.”

Awkwafina headlines the music portion of the summer’s second Flushing Night Out on August 21. (The first one took place on July 16.) Organized by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce at Flushing Town Hall, this social event will feature local entrepreneurs offering delicious food, unique fashion, and amazing crafts in addition to the rapping.

More info, a photo from the July 16 Flushing Night Out, and a modified vendor list are on the jump page.

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08/05/15 12:00pm

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Pets gone wild! Activities this week include a doggie ice cream party, a dragon festival, an exhibit on how cats are taking over the internet, and a screening of the movie ET. There are also various outdoor activities, such as the annual Jamaica JAMS concert and street festival with more than 500 vendors. Here’s the rundown.

August 6, Passport Thursdays Outdoor International Dance, Music & Film Series, 7 pm. A screening of Mateo, a Colombian film about youngster who collects extortion money on behalf of his uncle to help out his poor mother. This action leads to some difficult choices. Free. Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

August 6, Central Astoria Waterfront Concert Series, 7:30 pm. A live performance by Dance Machine, New York City’s only authentic 11-piece disco band. Bring a blanket or chair, but also bring bell bottoms, polyester shirts, and platform shoes. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and Astoria Pool.

August 6, The Merchant of Venice, 7:30 pm. The Hip to Hip Theatre presents Shakespeare’s story about a Venetian gentleman who has to default on a loan from moneylender. Free. Children’s program at 7 pm. Crocheron Park, 35th Avenue and Cross Island Parkway, across from Golden Pond, Bayside.

August 6, Outdoor Concert, 7 pm. Orville Davis & the Wild Bunch perform country music — honky tonk with attitude — as part of a series sponsored by the Northern Woodside Coalition. Free. Sgt. Collins Triangle, Broadway and 58th Street, Woodside, 718-205-1030.

August 7, How Cats Took Over the Internet, through Jan. 31, 2016. This exhibition, which includes screenings and live events, looks at the phenomenon of cats online and how they have transfixed a generation of web users. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

August 7, JAMS Under the Stars, 5 pm to 10 pm. A mega concert with Toni Ann Semple, a powerful singer who blends the nuances of her African and Native American heritages into soul, funk, and jazz; DJ Jordan Knoxx, a mixologist from Hollis; and Dallas Forte, a Christian crooner from Guyana. Free. Rufus King Park, vicinity of 153rd Street and 89th Avenue, Jamaica, www.go2ccj.org.

August 7, Free First Friday, 10 am to 8 pm. Free admission, public tours in English and Japanese, and Center of Attention, an extended conversation about a single work of art. (Noguchi’s Cloud Mountain is the topic on Aug. 7 at 7 pm.) Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City.

August 7: ET, about 8:30 pm. Outdoor screening of a classic movie with Midtown Manhattan in the background. Free. Hunters Point South Park, Center Boulevard and 51st Avenue, Long Island City.

August 8, Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, through Aug. 9. More than 170 teams and 2,000 participants compete and celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. Expect racing, cultural performances, and great food. Free. Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake near the boathouse.

August 8, Jamaica Arts & Music Summer Festival, 11 am to 7 pm. Expect 200,000 revelers enjoying live performances, fashion, art, and more than 500 vendors. Free. Jamaica Avenue from Parsons Boulevard to 170th Street, Jamaica.

Aug. 8, Chinese Theatre Works: Holding Up Half the Sky, 2 pm. This opera and puppet spectacle tells the story of four legendary women warriors, spanning 2,000 years of Chinese history. The piece was written and directed by Flushing Town Hall Space Grant recipients Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin. $8/$50 VIP package. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

August 8, Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Concert, 2 pm to 7 pm. An all-day event honoring a jazz legend who lived in the neighborhood. Free performances by Sunnyside Drum Corps, Street Beat Brass Band, Lindy Hoppers, Sunnyside Wolverines, Sunnyside Social Club, Sunnyside Arch at 46th Street.

August 8, 78th Street Play Street, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival collaborates with the Jackson Heights Green Alliance to present indie films under the stars. Free. Travers Park, 78th Street and 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights.

Aug. 8, Hindu Awareness and Swami Vivekanada Day, 3:30 pm. Entertainment program includes chanting, colorful dances, and meditation. The Hindu Temple Society of North America, 45-57 Bowne Street, Flushing.

August 8, Storytime & Craft, 2 pm. A relaxing afternoon with nature-inspired stories followed by a botanically-themed craft activity. Free with admission. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing.

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07/29/15 1:00pm

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Five-time Grammy winner James Taylor comes to Queens to give a concert this week. He might want to arrive early and leave late so he can enjoy a huge foodie event, a ghost tour, outdoor movies, festivals and concerts, and even a chance to watch top-notch cricket. Here’s the rundown.

July 30, Doo Wop Concert, 7:30 pm. Golden Oldies from the 1950s and 1960s. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between Hell Gate Bridge and Astoria Pool.

July 30, Haunting Histories and Legends of Astoria, 7:30 pm. This two-hour stroll visits some lesser-known historical sites and reveals tales of the neighborhood’s grim and ghostly past. Astoria is filled with tragic Hollywood film stars, voodoo, potters’ fields, grisly murders, poltergeists, hidden treasure, and deadly waters. $20/$25 at the door, location upon registration.

July 30, I Will Not Be Silent: A Comfort Woman’s Road to Activism, 6:30 pm. Yong Soo Lee, who was forced into prostitution by the Japanese during World War II, speaks. Special presentations by Holocaust survivors. Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center, Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside. (more…)

07/28/15 1:00pm
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It’s kind of like Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game — which pits superstars from one league against their counterparts in the other circuit — except with this challenge, everybody wins.

On August 1, Flushing Town Hall will host The Catskills Comes to Queens, a premiere farm-to-table, food-and-wine tasting with more than 20 chefs, pitmasters, and culinary artisans. Attendees will be able to walk around the venue’s outside garden, theater, and exhibition space, sampling such delicacies as rabbit mortadella hot dogs, lamb tagine, Cuban-Chinese spit-roasted goat, whole hog BBQ, and crispy tripe with Sichuan peppercorn and jalapeño. (more…)

07/24/15 1:00pm

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Poet and novelist George Dawes Green founded The Moth, a nonprofit dedicated to the art of storytelling, in 1997. His aim was to revive a favorite childhood pastime: spinning yarns with his buddies on his Georgia porch during hot summer nights while moths zoomed in and out of sight.

He ended up creating a phenomenon, and that’s no fish tale.

Currently, Green and his fellow Moth raconteurs run storytelling programs in almost 20 cities. Plus, they have a weekly podcast, a national public radio show that won a 2010 Peabody Award, and a book.

On Monday, July 27, The Moth spearheads a friendly “StorySlam” at Flushing Town Hall. The night’s theme is “business,” and anyone with a true (well, mostly true), five-minute narrative about a professional dealing can apply to participate.

The format is straightforward. Potential contestants put their names in The Moth Hat. Contenders take the stage (no notes allowed) after their names are randomly picked from the pool. Judges selected from the audience then choose the StorySLAM winner.

Details: The Moth StorySLAM, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing. July 27, 7 pm, $10.

Photo by Flushing Town Hall

07/22/15 11:00am

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Outside. Outside. Outside. There are very few indoor events in Queens this week. Whether theater, film, music, magic, a brew fest or an American Indian pow wow, it’s happening under the sky and stars. The exceptions include tango dance lessons, a story-telling contest, and a scanning party. The details follow.

July 23, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 7:30 pm. The Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a Shakespeare classic with seduction, temptation, mayhem, and hilarity. Children’s program at 7 pm. Free. Crocheron Park, 35th Avenue and Cross Island Parkway, across from Golden Pond, Bayside.

July 23, Johnny Cash Tribute, 7:30 pm. Michael Patrick’s Ring of Fire Band takes the audience on a journey through the struggles, challenges, and adventures that Johnny Cash sang about. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between Hell Gate Bridge and the public pool, Astoria.

July 23, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, sunset. Outdoor screening of an all time Hollywood classic. Free. Hunters Point South Park, Center Boulevard and 51st Avenue, Long Island City.

July 23, The Moveable Feast, 7 pm. Outdoor film screening of a Chinese movie with English subtitles. Free. Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

July 23, Tango Dance Classes, 7:30 pm. Learn how to dance like an Argentine. $25. Thalía Spanish Theatre, 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside.

July 24, 37th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow, through July 26. New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow features three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions. More than 40 nations are represented, and a large selection of unique Native American art, crafts, jewelry, and food are available. $10/$15 for weekend pass and $5/$7 for children. Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park.

July 24, Queens Symphony Orchestra Salon Concerts, 5 pm. A popular series returns with an evening of summer strings and post-performance talks about the pieces played and the lives of the composers. Free. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 24, Rural Route Film Festival, through July 26. This 11th annual series screens 19 films about rural life from 16 countries (and all seven continents), with filmmakers in person and live musical performances. $12/$9 seniors and students. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 25, Botanical Brew Fest, noon to 3 pm or 4 pm to 7 pm. Enjoy a selection of craft beers from local and international breweries, plus food and live music. Tickets required, ages 21+ only, early bird tickets for $35 through July 24, $50 at the gate. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing.

July 25, 78th Street Play Street, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival collaborates with the Jackson Heights Green Alliance to present indie films under the stars. This week is all about documentaries. Free. Travers Park (aka 78th Street Plaza), 78th Street and 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights.

July 25, Summer Scan Party, 1 pm. Bring old photos of the neighborhood or family gems to scan. Free. Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, Long Island City.

July 25, The Wings of Eagles, 2 pm; Mogambo, 4:30 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Wings of Eagles is a about a Navy flier who fought back from paralysis to become a World War II Navy commander and screenwriter. Mogambo is a remake of Clark Gable’s 1932 Red Dust. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 26, Music from France, 1 pm (dance lesson) and 2 pm (concert). French chanteuse Violette and her accomplished musical ensemble, La Vie En Rose, enchant with French chanson, Golden Age swing, timeless American standards, and jazz/pop compositions. Free. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 26, Modern Ruin, 2:30 pm. Screening of a documentary about Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion from the glory days of the 1964 World’s Fair through its demise over the following 50 years. The film details its use as a 1960s concert venue and 1970s roller rink, plus the years of neglect and the recent advocacy efforts to save and repurpose the structure. $10 with limited seating. Queens Historical Society, Weeping Beach Park, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing.

July 26, Upstream, 2:30 pm; Fort Apache, 4 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Upstream, presented with live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin (keyboard) and Joanna Seaton (vocals), is about an egotistical actor and a vaudeville couple who partner in a knife-throwing act. Fort Apachedepicts the travails of Thursday, a rigid West Point officer who tries to take command of a desert outpost town and tragically mishandles several clashes with the Native American population. Shirley Temple plays Thursday’s daughter. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 26, Katz Concert Series, 5 pm. The Beatles tribute band Yesterday and Today performs. Free. Tudor Park, 133rd Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets, Ozone Park.

July 27, The Moth StorySLAM, 7 pm. This open-mic storytelling competition is for anyone with a five-minute yarn on the night’s theme, “Business: Selling Out or Buying in.” Participants throw their names into The Moth “hat.” A half hour later, names are drawn to determine the order slammers take the stage. Judges, selected from the audience, pick a winner from 10 featured stories. $10. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 27, Singin’ in the Rain, 11 am. Outdoor movie screening of a 1952 Hollywood classic. Free. Al Oerter Recreation Center, 131-40 Fowler Avenue, Corona.

July 27, The Princess Bride, 8:30 pm. Outdoor screening of a comedy that became a cult classic. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between Hell Gate Bridge and the public pool, Astoria.

July 28, 1980s Tribute Night, 7 pm. The White Wedding Band plays popular hits from the 1980s. Free. Juniper Valley Park, 80th Street and Juniper Boulevard North, Middle Village.

July 28, 17th Annual Great Lawn Summer Concert, 7 pm. The Queens Symphony Orchestra plays Broadway classics. Free. St. John’s University Great Lawn, 80-00 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica.

July 29, The 38th Asian American International Film Festival, through July 31, always at 5 pm. This first-ever festival presents the best and most recent Asian American and Asian independent cinema from more than 30 countries. Also enjoy panels and workshops, industry mixers, staged readings, exclusive interviews, live performances, receptions, and more. Free. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 29, Kings of the Wind & Electric Queens, dusk. Outdoor screening of a documentary as Bollywood film, reporting on Sonepur Fair, a festival held at the confluence of the Ganges and Gandak rivers on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartika. Free. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.

July 29, Wayne “Superius” Garland, 11 am. Children love this magical presentation starring the original hip hop magician, ventriloquist, and comedian. Free. Beach 97th Street and Shore Front Parkway, Rockaway.

July 29, Italian Nights 2015, 7:30 pm. The romantic music of Bruno Macari under the stars. Free. Athens Square Park, 30th Street and 30th Avenue, Astoria.

Photo by Queens Museum