November, 2015


Another visit with Christmas past, present and future

Before diving into a new role, Astoria-based actor Marc LeVasseur always follows some advice given to him by an actor friend. Comment.
The Play’s the Thing

Memo to Queens theater groups: Stop playing it safe

I’m leaving a wedding reception in Smithtown, hoping my hearing recovers from countless decibels of deejay music, when a couple approaches to tell me how much they miss the Outrageous Fortune Company. Comment.
Long Island City

Chain Theatre prepares for its final curtain call

In a little more than three months, Queens loses one of its mainstay performance spaces when Long Island City’s Chain Theatre rings down its curtain one last time. Comment.
Bay Terrace

Funny thing happened on the way to the theater

It will be something familiar and something peculiar — you might even say something for everyone —when Theatre by the Bay presents “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” with its new artistic director, Ovi Vargas, running the show. Comment.
Long Island City

Don’t wait to see ‘Wait Until Dark’ at Chain Theatre

During the final moments of Variations Theatre Group’s production of “Wait Until Dark,” two actors perform their scene in complete blackness. Comment.

October, 2015


Titan tackles Wilde’s seriously funny comedy of manners

Oscar Wilde’s best known play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” could just as easily be titled, “The Importance of Casting the Right Actress as Lady Bracknell.” Comment.

Actress Renee Taylor’s show may leave you wanting more

Actress, comedian and all around entertainer, Renee Taylor is most recognized for portraying Fran Drescher’s mother on the hit TV series, “The Nanny.” Comment.

Black Spectrum Theatre takes a look back with new play

The Black Spectrum Theatre in Queens, whose mission is to create theater and film productions about the African-American community, has announced the opening of a new play by its founder Carl Clay. Comment.
The Play’s the Thing

Queens community theaters can take a lesson from Brooklyn company

Fifty is a nice round number, and any theater company that’s been around for that long must be doing something right. Comments (1).
Forest Hills

Titan and Queens Library team up to bring the Bard to boro

Give Titan Theatre Co. and the Queens Library one night a month for the next three years, and they will bring you each of Shakespeare’s plays. Comment.

September, 2015

Long Island City

The Chain Theatre scores with a dark tale

Early in Variations Theatre Group’s new production of Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman,” the lead character, Katurian, talks about being a writer. Comment.

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Long Island City

New take on ‘Richard III’ questions what is disability?

Rachel Handler grew up in southern New Jersey, but with dreams of becoming an actor she always had her sights set on the Great White Way. Comment.

He’s got magic to do just for you at Queensborough PAC

With deadlines and assignments each day, composer Stephen Schwartz barely has time to perform at Queensborough Performing Arts Center — which he is doing this weekend — let alone giving an interview. Comment.
Long Island City

Variations Theatre opts for something in black

For its 2015-16 season Variations Theatre Group is heading to the dark side. Comment.

August, 2015

Jackson Heights

Street theater performance takes big business to school

Theater for the New City rolls into Jackson Heights this weekend with a free performance of a musical that chronicles the challenges and struggles facing the city’s school system. Comment.
Springfield Gardens

Springfield Gardens theater troupe heads to the Caribbean

Hillcrest High student Nadia Butler was looking for more out of her school break than an endless marathon of Netflix viewing and daily doses of chat show host Wendy Williams’ “Hot Topics.” Comment.

Queens theater makes a splash at the Fringe

Chelsea Now Comment.

Titan shakes things up for its new season

Titan Theatre Co. has driven its reputation on cutting-edge adaptations of William Shakespeare’s works, but this season is putting the Bard in the backseat. Comment.

Queens Theatre raises curtain on its new season

It was “another opening, another show” in Flushing Meadows Corona Park when lawmakers and the borough’s performing arts crowd gathered to talk about the 2015-2016 season at the Queens Theatre. Comment.

July, 2015

The Play’s the Thing

Can you hear him now? Hopefully not

Today I write about civility and cell phones. I practice one but don’t have the other. Comment.

Head outdoors, it’s showtime

Anyone who made it through a 10th-grade English class knows in Shakespeare’s time men performed the roles written for women. Comment.
Middle Village

Maggie’s Little Theater strikes out for ‘Oklahoma!”

“Oklahoma!” is the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Comment.
Far Rockaway

Rockaway Theatre revives classic musical

While nostalgic fare such as “Oklahoma!” and “The Music Man” is popular with many community theater groups, the Rockaway Theatre Company is looking back in a few different ways with the production of “Guys and Dolls” that it is putting on for the next two weekends. Comment.

June, 2015

Jamaica Estates

Flushing theater group moves to Jamaica Estates

The Free Synagogue of Flushing Community Theater Group is changing religions. Comment.
Long Island City

Unchained Festival returns to Long Island City’s Chain Theatre

Fiction Writing 101 begins from the premise that budding authors should write what they know. Comments (1).

May, 2015

The Play’s the Thing

Catch a couple of rising stars from Queens

Let’s hear it for the youth of America, ‘cause today I got a couple of 16-year-olds to tell you about. Comment.

New musical buzzes into Queens Theatre

Playwright Rob Urbinati believes the Great American Songbook, those musical standards mostly written for the theater and penned by the likes of Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin and the Gershwins, is due for Volume 2. Comment.

APAC’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ scores with tale of friendship gone sour

About halfway through the Astoria Performing Arts Center’s solid revival of “Merrily We Roll Along,” LilyAnn Carlson utters a toss-away line as character Gussie Carnegie. Comment.

Queens Theatre honors NYHQ, Astoria Bank execs at gala

The heads of Astoria Bank and New York Hospital Queens were honored for their contributions to the Queens Theatre at the theater’s annual gala Monday night. Comments (1).

April, 2015


Let’s start at the very ending: ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ opens tonight at APAC

For her first production as the Astoria Performing Arts Center’s artistic director, Dev Bondarin opted to dust off a legendary Broadway flop. Comment.

Titan Theatre Co. does it again with brilliant ‘Othello’

An actor appearing in Titan Theatre Co.’s production of “Othello,” at the Queens Theatre through May 2 said the show’s director, Lenny Banovez, isn’t interested in the who, what, when or where of the play, but rather the why. Comments (2).
Fresh Meadows

‘West Side Story’ hits the stage at St. Francis Prep

Tonight won’t be just any night as St. Francis Prep’s Alvernian Drama Society presents the classic musical “West Side Story,” Friday through Sunday in Fresh Meadows. Comment.
Long Island City

You’re not crazy, Variations Theatre group delivers a knock-out ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

Literature is littered with the noble but flawed character who attempts to right a wrong by attacking the hypocrisy or deceitfulness of those in power. Comment.
Long Island City

You could die laughing at this play

If a play about the plague in 14th-century France sounds like your idea of a good time, then get yourself to the Secret Theatre for Nicu’s Spoon Theater Co.’s production of “Red Noses.” Comment.
Forest Hills

Forest Hills playwright pens a New York story about love and loss

After watching John Attanas’ new play, “All Gone West,” at the Teatro Circulo in the East Village through April 18, it’s hard to say if he likes his hometown or not. Comment.

March, 2015

Springfield Gardens

Springfield Gardens’ theater with a flavor of the islands

In April 2014, Hillcrest High School theater teacher Harlan Penn traveled to Guyana as part of a church mission, but took time to meet with several acting companies while there. Comment.
The Play’s the Thing

Parkside Players president Glenn Rivano shares the spotlight

Glenn Rivano doesn’t believe in term limits. At least not when it comes to his presidency of the Parkside Players. He’s held the office for 20 years, and there’s a rumor that it may be a lifetime position. Comment.

Student actors from Queens shine on Broadway

Last week, students from Maspeth High School and Astoria’s Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts accomplished something many actors spend their whole lives trying to achieve — they performed on a Broadway stage. Comment.

California actors make a home in Astoria

Imagine if a bunch of coworkers from Astoria decided to pack up their belongings and move to Southern California en masse, where they would open a new branch of their company. Comment.

New musical tells the story of southern Queens

Forest Hills resident Mark Lord has lived in Queens since 1969, but it was only a few years ago that he wrote a musical about the borough, “Let’s Hear it For Queens,” which was co-produced by the Free Synagogue of Flushing Community Theatre Group. Comment.

February, 2015


Astoria’s Animal Engine Theater Co.’s show goes to the dogs

Like a lot of New Yorkers working in the theater, Carrie Brown has held numerous part-time jobs over the years, including a four-year stint as a dog walker. Comment.

Queens theatrics earn our Kudos

When people think of New York theater, it often takes a lot to convince them the best of the city’s performing arts doesn’t only happen in a roughly 50-square-block area of Manhattan. Comments (1).

January, 2015

Rockaway Park

Rockaway Theatre Co. shows its younger side

Although they will most likely find it buried under a couple feet of snow, Dr. Seuss and his cavalcade of characters, including Horton the Elephant and the Cat in the Hat, plan to drop by Rockaway Beach next week. Comments (1).
Long Island City

Secret Theatre makes love not war with new production of ‘Hair’

It takes a lot for a time-specific show to remain relevant and fresh nearly 50 years after its first bow on Broadway. Comment.
The Play’s the Thing

Censorship is alive and well on American school stages

Freedom of speech is very much in the news these days, so an article in American Theatre with the headline “Who Cares about Censorship on School Stages?” particularly caught my attention. Comment.

Queens Kudos celebrate borough’s theater scene

Coming next week, TimesLedger Newspapers takes a look back at the best of the borough’s theater scene in 2014. Comment.

Second annual Queens Kudos to honor tops in boro theater

Just as the new year gets under way, TimesLedger Newspapers takes a look back at the best of the borough’s theater scene in 2014. Comment.
CNG: Community Newspaper Group