Details: Valerie Simpson Performing the Music of Ashford and Simpson, LeFrak Concert Hall, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, December 14th, 8 pm, $39-$75.
‘Tis the season to attend concerts… many, many concerts. Various top-notch Queens ensembles are set fill local venues with holiday spirit in the upcoming days. Each gig is unique, and each one offers a slightly different take on Christmas, the new year and winter. On Friday, Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco brings her quartet, Formula One, to Flushing Town Hall. The first part of the show will feature original compositions inspired by car racing, while the second half will consist of seasonal favorites. On Sunday, there are three fantastic choices. At 3 pm at LeFrak Concert Hall, the Queens Symphony Orchestra (above) will take the audience on a world tour through music emblematic of various cultural traditions, all bound by the common theme of joy, unity and winter. At 4 pm, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Society will host the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens. At 5 pm at St. Joseph Church, the Astoria Symphony will celebrate with music by two great French masters: the Bach-inspired Oratorio de Noël by Camille Saint-Saëns and Francis Poulenc’s Gloria. Exactly a week later, the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens will do another show with the Oratorio Society of Queens at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center. Expect Handel’s “Messiah,” Christmas carols and Hanukkah favorites.
December 13th details: Carols and Car Races, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, 8 pm, $15.
December 15th details: Holidays Around the World, LeFrak Concert Hall, Kissena Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing, 3 pm, $20/$10 children under 13 and adults over 64; A Christmas Concert, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, 110-06 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills, 4 pm, $25/$10 for children 12 and under; Noël!, St. Joseph Church, 43-19 30th Avenue, Astoria, 5 pm, $20/$15 seniors and children.
December 22nd details: Annual Holiday Concert 2013, QPAC, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, 4 pm, $30/$25 seniors and students with ID/$10 children 12 and under.
Technically, it’s when the sun reaches its most southern declination. Effectively, it’s the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours for those living north of the Equator. Artistically, it’s has been the inspiration for dance, literature, mythology, painting, religion and ritual for centuries. Locally, it’s the perfect time to head to the Queens Botanical Garden. On December 8th, the Flushing oasis will celebrate the winter solstice with live music by the acappella group Rough Dozen, botanical craft workshops, a special holiday market, garden tours and a tree lighting that morphs into a seasonal sing-along. There’s also a rumor that Santa Claus will show up.
Details: Winter Solstice Celebration, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, December 8th, 12:30 pm to 5 pm, Free. (QBG admission is free from November 1st through March 31st.)
They will deck the halls! Many, many halls. On December 8th, the Queens Historical Society will host the 26th Annual Holiday Historic House Tour through Flushing and Corona. A trolley will bring participants to seven landmarked sites, which will offer special seasonal programming, a glimpse at life during holidays past and refreshments. Consider the following:
- Kingsland Homestead was built around 1785 and occupied by the same family until the 1930s.
- Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary & Victorian Garden (1891) was purchased by an immigrant who published German-language newspapers. It was home to three generations of one family.
- Lewis H. Latimer House Museum (1889) was home of African-American inventor Lewis H. Latimer, who lived there from 1903 until his death in 1928. The son of fugitive slaves, he played a vital role in the development of the telephone and the incandescent light bulb.
- Friends Meeting House (1694) is the first house of worship in the village of Flushing and NYC’s oldest structure in continuous use for religious purposes. The venue also has an historic cemetery.
- Flushing Town Hall (1862) was the cultural and political focal point of the village of Flushing. The building features a rich history that includes visits by dignitaries such as PT Barnum and Tom Thumb, operas, murder trials and even a jail cell. Frederick Douglass once spoke from the portico.
- Bowne House (1661) is known for its connection to the principle of freedom of conscience in the United States. Nine generations of the Bowne family lived in the house (below).
- Louis Armstrong House Museum (1910) was purchased by jazz legend Louis Armstrong and his wife, Lucille, in 1943. For the season, the house (above) will feature rare audio clips from Satchmo’s personal recordings.
Details: Holiday Historic House Tour, Organized from Kingsland Homestead, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing, December 8th, 1 pm to 5 pm, $10 in advance, $12 at the door, children under 12 are free. (more…)
For the past 30 years, Robin Bady (above right) has worked as a storyteller, actress, musician, playwright, director, artistic director, theater company founder and mask-maker. Mixing these past experiences, she’ll host Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah! at Flushing Town Hall this Sunday. With musical accompaniment by alt-rock violinist and ukulele player Deni Bonet (pictured after the jump), Bady will share her favorite stories and songs about miracles, menorahs, dreidels and potato latkes. Known for her madcap, interactive style, Bady draws upon world folklore, fairy tales, oral traditions, ghost stories and literature to turn her performances into celebrations.
Details: Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah!, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, December 1st, 1 pm and 3 pm, $10/$5 for children.
They’re not actors. They’re politicians playing actors. This Saturday, elected officials from around the borough will star in Legislative Acts, a show which will let them display their musical, acting, singing, dancing and comedic talents for two good causes. Basically a series of parodies of classical movies, well-known TV series, Broadway shows and songs, the performance will benefit two Queens College initiatives: Big Buddy, which pairs homeless children with college-student mentors; and Women and Work, a job-training and life-skills program. So far, more than 30 legislators have agreed to participate. They include everybody from City Council Member Mark Weprin (above) to Congress Member Grace Meng to Borough President-elect Melinda Katz. Plus, Queens College drama and music students are involved in the production, which is directed by actor, playwright and teaching artist Kevin R. Free.
Details: Legislative Acts, Queens College, LeFrak Concert Hall, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, November 23rd, 7 pm, $100.
Photo by Mark Weprin
Hangeul, the Korean writing system (or alphabet), was invented in the 15th century. It is somewhat unique because the script was created from scratch, rather than evolving from pictographs or other written languages. Masterworks of traditional and modern hangeul by Yoo Sung Lee, a distinguished calligrapher who goes by the pen name “Aram,” will adorn walls at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum from today until November 23rd. Aram’s traditional pieces include the woodblock printing style, the transcript style, the palace style and the commoner style. His contemporary pieces exhibit a re-interpretation and transformation of written script into a fine art form. (A larger show, The Art of Ink in America 2013/2014, will run in the same museum from November 21th to December 30th.)
Details: Masterwords of Traditional and Contemporary Korean Calligraphy, Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, today through November 28th, free. Museum hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm; and Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm.
Bonus detail: An opening reception will take place at the museum on November 21st, 6 pm to 8 pm. The public is invited. (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.
Details: Holiday Pops with Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with Conductor Keith Lockhart, Colden Auditorium at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard or Reeves Avenue, Flushing, December 8th, 7:30 pm, $50-$120.
*Special offer now available when you purchase four seats. Use code: holiday (with lower case “h.”) Restrictions apply. If you wish to order an additional four tickets, contact the box office or engage in a second transaction. Discount valid on select seats only, not valid on the Premium P1 price level. May not be combined with any other offer. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. (more…)
Flushing Town Hall is going to make music lovers thank God it’s Friday for the next two months. On October 25th, the Northern Boulevard art-and-performance space launches its Music Mix Series with Brian Woodruff’s OKB Trio. Featuring drummer Brian Woodruff, pianist Oscar Perez and bassist Kuriko Tsugawa (above), this group mixes rhythmic acrobatics with an uncanny ability to swing through the Great American Songbook or dance delicately through Brazilian and Latin standards. Music Mix, which strives to offer traditional and new jazz acts in an intimate setting, will continue on November 8th with The Trumpeters of Queens, featuring local talent. The Hendrik Meurkens Samba Jazz Quartet will be in town on November 22nd, followed by multi-instrumentalist Ayodele Maakheru & The Windsong String Ensemble playing Boogie Woogie, Ragtime and Stride Piano Music on December 6th. Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco brings her Formula One Quartet, which plays original compositions inspired by car racing, on December 13th. The Music Mix ends with a holiday jazz concert featuring the David Leonhardt Trio on December 20th. All shows begin at 8 pm and cost $15 for nonmembers.
Details: Brian Woodfruff’s OKB Tri, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, October 25th, 8 pm, $15.
It’s scary how many Halloween-related festivals will take place in Queens over the next 10 days. On tap are everything from costume contests (for humans and dogs, of course), haunted houses, enchanted walks and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Here is a list of some of the free or low-cost fun.
Oct. 25, See It Big!, 7 pm, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria. Despite the availability of movies on portable devices and small screens, there is only one way to really see a scary movie: BIG! Enjoy the 1978 Halloween classic starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Free with MMI admission ($6-$12).
Oct. 25, 26 & 27, Halloween Haunted House, 4 pm-7 pm, Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park. Hayrides, mulled cider, pumpkins and apples. The haunted house is recommended for children ages 4–12. Adults will find it creepy too! $4 with purchasable items.
Oct. 25 & 26, Haunted Lantern Tour, 6:30-8:30 pm, Fort Totten, 212th Street and Bell Boulevard, Bayside. Urban Park Rangers will lead a nighttime tour of the Civil War-era bastion’s battery. Expect frights mixed in with a history lesson.
Oct. 26, Second Annual Woodside Halloween Pet Parade and Festival, 11 am-2 pm, Windmuller Park, 52nd Avenue and 39th Drive. An afternoon of surprises including a costume contest, training workshops, grooming demos and giveaways. Free.
Oct. 26, Canine Costumes Carnival in the Rockaways, noon-2 pm, Freeway Dog Park/Beach 84, 83-02 Beach Channel Dr., Rockaway. Indulge your desire to dress up your pooch as a caped avenger. This costume contest for canines has carnival games, a photo booth and pet-friendly services. Free.
After the jump, many more Halloween events taking place all over the borough… (more…)