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Boro Beat: Take a day off in Manhattan, and look what you can do

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This day is called the feast of Crispian:

He that outlives this day and comes safe home will stand a tip-toe when the day is named, and rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age, will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, and say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.” Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars and say “These wounds I had on Crispin's day.” Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot. But he'll remember with advantages what feats he did that day.

Then shall our names, familiar in his mouth as household words — Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d. This story shall the good man teach his son. And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remember'd ... we few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

— Henry V

William Shakespeare

Those words are a treat, and a treat, indeed, is what is in store for we lucky few who can get tickets to attend the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park free production of “Henry V” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park starting June 24 and running through Aug. 10 — just one of three exciting things happening in Manhattan this summer that I think people in Queens should flock to.

Liev Schreiber, who starred as Orson Welles in HBO’s “RKO 281,” the tale behind “Citizen Kane,” and who stole the spotlight in Mel Gibson remake of “Hamlet” handling what I consider Shakespeare’s second-best role, Laertes, will take the stage as the young king who, in reality, started the Hundred Years War.

Shakespeare in the Park has expanded its ticket distribution over the years to include Queens. It used to be that if you wanted to go, you had to show up early in the morning, spend six or seven hours on line, get your tickets and then wait around for a few more hours to get the best seat you could find.

Now, the process is more streamlined. Assigned seats and multiple locations to get the tickets aid in turning an all-day affair into a few hours on line and then showing up half and hour before showtime.

Of course the exact dates and locations of ticket releases in our fair borough have yet to be determined, but rest assured that as soon as I know, you will.

Mmmm ... Chocolate

Fossils dipped in Godiva?

Mummified mousse?

Ancient cocoa texts?

How else can one explain the idea of a chocolate exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History?

Every weekend this summer, through Aug. 31, the museum will give away chocolate in conjunction with the Chocolate exhibit which opened last weekend.

The exhibit includes such varied pieces as The ABCs of Chocolate, Chocolate Appreciation, The Pre-Columbian History of Chocolate and Art(ifacts) and Science of Chocolate. It also poses the ages-old question: Can Chocolate Save the Rainforest?

The exhibit coincides with the opening of a Chocolate Café on the fourth floor and the Chocolate Shop, outside the exit of the exhibition (which continued for one week after the chocolate sale runs out).

Now, for me personally, I’ve been on a diet, so I may go to look, but nobody will see me actually eating the stuff. But for those who would like a sample, each weekend throughout the summer will feature a different type of tasting.

For example, this weekend author David Burke will give out samples of the frozen chocolate-covered cheesecake pops he highlights in his recent book, “Cooking With David Burke.” Next weekend, visitors will have the choice of sampling Italian Bindi desserts and delicacies by Scharffen Berger, Plaza Sweets and City Baking. New treats are featured every weekend, so be sure to go to www.amnh.org to check out the full assortment, and plan your trip well (that means skip lunch before you go).

I’ll get you my pretty....

Now this treat is a doozy. For any Judy Garland fans, lovers of the Scarecrow and despisers of the Wicked Witch of the West, you have got to check this out.

The “Sing-Along Wizard of Oz” is now playing at the Gershwin Theater — on Broadway — and the concept is very simple. The enormous stage now has a screen in front, and the entire “Wizard of Oz” film is shown, but the audience members are encouraged to come in costume (à la “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) and sing along with the movie.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. Each ticket holder gets a goodie bag with a kazoo, bubbles and more. They blow the kazoo to the tune of the witch’s theme, blow bubbles when Glinda the Good appears and hiss at the witch when she is her usual cruel and mean self.

I must say that I only have the kindest words to say about the Wicked Witch, played by Margaret Hamilton. After all, it was her son, Hamilton Meserve, the current Republican Assemblyman from Amenia, who got me my first newspaper job when he was publisher of Taconic Media’s newspapers in Dutchess County.

The producers of the sing-along swear that the experience is perfect for adults and children alike, and I hope they’re right. After all, my daughter, who won’t be 4 until September, already has her gingham dress, her basket, her braids and her ticket for this Sunday’s matinee.

Plenty of tickets are still available, but word of this is spreading faster than flying monkey can carry the news. The sand in the hourglass is running out, and soon this show will be gone. It only runs through June 29, so hurry. Call Ticketmaster at 212-307-7171.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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