July, 2016


Forest Park hosts a rarely seen Gilbert & Sullivan gem

When you think of Gilbert & Sullivan collaborations, the most likely candidates are usually the three most popular of their 14 works: “The Pirates of Penzance,” “The Mikado” and “H.M.S. Pinafore.” Perhaps the most well-known songs from those operettas, “I am the very model of a modern Major-General” (Pirates), “A Wandering Minstrel” (Mikado) and “Now Give Three Cheers” (Pinafore) may come to mind as well Comments (1)
The Play’s the Thing

Things get hopping at community theaters

I must admit to an unusual fondness for a particular great white rabbit. Comment

June, 2016

Long Island City

Korean Theatre Festival returns to New York

For the inaugural Korean Theatre Festival in New York 10 years ago, founder Du-Yee Chang performed an original one-man show based on one of Franz Kafka’s novels. Comment
The Play’s the Thing

You can take the memories of a community theater production with you

If you had been following the progress of the Parkside Player’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You” portrayed in my last three columns, you may want to know how it all turned out. Comment

Black Spectrum Theatre takes a look back

Queens’ community theatre is offering a summer of well-known plays, such as “You Can’t Take It With You,” “And Then There Were None,” “Side By Side By Sondheim,” “Follies” and “Guys and Dolls.” Comment

Borough theater groups earn our Kudos

For this third season of Queens Kudos awards, which recognizes the best in the borough’s theater scene, the TimesLedger decided to shake things up a bit. Comment

May, 2016

Long Island City

LaGuardia’s ‘Passing Strange’ explores an artist’s search for self

After runs at the Public Theater in Lower Manhattan and on Broadway, as well as a film adaptation directed by Spike Lee, the satiric comedy-drama rock musical “Passing Strange” has made its way to the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City. Comment

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Long Island City

You don’t have to be grad to attend this reunion

For many graduates, the thought of going back for one of those reunions on campus is enough to send them into a downward spiral of could’ves, should’ves and would’ves. Comment

‘Spelling Bee’ wins over audience with F-U-N

During the last decade—well, pre-“Hamilton”—Broadway developed a subgenre of seemingly lightweight musicals which touched upon surprisingly deep truths. Comment
The Play’s the Thing

Community actors do it for the love of theater

“You Can’t Take It With You,” the hit comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, opens in Forest Hills in a little more than two weeks. Comment

April, 2016


Little Neck performer brings one-man show to Bayside

If you’re looking for an antidote to the vitriol and acrimony that inflict us today, especially prevalent in the endless political campaigns, and if you’re appalled by the general lack of civility – you would be wise to seek out Mitchell Robert Glazer and his “Simply Me” one-man show. Comments (1)

APAC closes out its season with trip to ‘Putnam County’s Spelling Bee’

Take a half dozen sixth-grade students with strange characteristics, mix in three quirky adults, send the bunch to a competition, and then set the whole thing to music. Comment
The Play’s the Thing

Meet some of the cast from ‘You Can’t Take it With You’

Rehearsals are underway for “You Can’t Take It With You,” the Parkside Players’ spring production. Comment
Long Island City

Trolling for answers in an online reality

Not long ago, trolling was a fishing term used to describe the practice of dragging a baited line behind a boat. Comment
The Play’s the Thing

So maybe you can take it with you

Do you want to be a star? Or perhaps more modestly, do you simply want to strut your stuff in community theater? Comment

Elementary my dear Watson

If Lucy Liu can play Dr. Watson on the TV show “Elementary,” then what is stopping someone from casting a woman to play Sherlock? Comments (1)

March, 2016


Titan Theatre serves up a delicious Caesar to end its season

To experience the cult of personality today, one need only stream the political drama “House of Cards,” or catch Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump expounding on whatever issue is getting traction with his followers that day. Comment

Homeless playwright brings his work to Manhattan stage

Garrett Buhl Robinson calls the two-star hotel where he lives in Jamaica the shelter. Comments (3)

Hillcrest students shine in theater competition

Hillcrest High School actress Benne McCants has conquered the New York stage, and now is on her way to take on the rest of the country. Comments (1)

York College tackles the L.A. riots in new theater production

The stage of York College’s theater is about to bring the sights and sounds of a city’s streets in turmoil to life. Comments (2)

Queens Kudos honors the best in community theater

Anyone who lives outside the New York City area may wonder why someone who is a Metro Card swipe away from Broadway would bother to see a production of “Seussical: The Musical” in Middle Village. Well, according to Queens theater buffs, skipping that show at the JC Players would have meant missing out on an incredible theatrical experience. Comments (1)
The Play’s the Thing

Community theater earns our Kudos

Today we celebrate community theater. Comment
Middle Village

Maggie’s Little Theater delivers big laughs with latest show

Director Erik Neilssen has a hit on his hands with the hilarious “Lend Me a Tenor” at Maggie’s Little Theater in Middle Village. Comment

New take on ‘West Side Story’ hits Knockdown Center

It won’t be just any night in Maspeth. Comment

Queens Theatre presents a musical murder mystery

Two actors take on 13 roles in a comedic mix of murder, mayhem and music in Queens Theatre’s next production “Murder for Two.” Comment

February, 2016

The Play’s the Thing

Diversity in casting is going to take some work on everybody’s part

The current controversy about the lack of diversity in acting nominations for the Oscars prompts me to revisit the subject of non-traditional casting in theater. Comments (1)

African Americans celebrated on stage

In honor of Black History Month, a couple of Jamaica performing arts centers are producing two very different plays that explore the African-American experience. Comments (1)

Astoria Performing Arts Center takes a look into its backyard

Northwest Queens takes center stage this week as the Astoria Performing Arts Center celebrates its 15th season with a slate of new works focused on its neighborhood. Comment
Long Island City

The Chain Theatre says goodbye for now

Long Island City’s The Chain Theatre went out with a bang not a whimper with its final performance Saturday night. Comment
Long Island City

The Secret Theatre provides one singular sensation with ‘A Chorus Line’

It is no coincidence that “A Chorus Line” opens with the actors’ backs to the audience. Comments (1)

Voting for this year’s Queens Kudos has started

The nominations are in and now it’s time to cast your ballot for this year’s Queens Kudos, honoring the best in the borough’s theater community. Comment

January, 2016

Long Island City

The Chain Theatre plans to offer programming to the end

In a little more than three weeks, The Chain Theatre will shut the door for the last time on its 45th Road home. Comment
Long Island City

New play at Secret digs into New York’s desperate past

In his director’s note for Pamela Enz’s play “City Girls & Desperadoes,” now at the Secret Theatre, Richard Mazda writes that it “is not about drugs, sex or dealing,” but rather “is a play about relationships within that bankrupt yet thrilling late ’70s New York City world.” Comment
The Play’s the Thing

Let’s start the new year on a positive note

As we close the books on 2015, with a plague of pessimism infecting the populace, I give you an antidote — the positive, optimistic and upbeat Susan Stewart. Comments (1)
CNG: Community Newspaper Group