The Play’s the Thing

December, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

‘Forbidden Broadway’ a sparkling revue on classics

Broadway musicals are serious business. Most of them cost tens of millions of dollars to produce and less than one-third make back their investment. Two of every three tickets are sold to tourists, and the efforts to attract and satisfy those out-of-towners are not for the faint of heart. Comment.

November, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

Musings on Queens theater mark 103 iterations

Hard to believe that a numbers-and-dates guy like me would fail to take notice of my hundredth Play’s the Thing column in August, but miss it I did. Blame it on election stress. Now recovered and optimistic, I write my 103rd, not counting the special Leap Year piece in February. Comment.

October, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

Theatre Time’s back, don’t forget the Mallomars

Mallomars are back and so is Theatre Time Productions. But unlike those addictive chocolate-coated marshmallow treats (absent during the summer) that give you a sugar high, Theatre Time can give you a rush of pleasure any season without causing an overdose. Comment.

September, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

Queens deserves another dedicated theater space

Does Queens have the theater it deserves? Considering that our borough is more than one-third the area of New York City with a population, if the last census really counted everyone, of about 2.25 million, are we a major player? Not that we don’t have a lot of theater companies — Roger Gonzalez on his new-and improved site LocalTheatreNY.com lists almost 30 — but how do we stack up against the competition? Comment.

August, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

It’s all in the name, if you’ve got the money, that is

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (“Romeo and Juliet”, William Shakespeare) Comment.
The Play’s the Thing

A Jew coming of age in Queens

Jake Ehrenreich admits that the title of his Off-Broadway show, “A Jew Grows in Brooklyn,” might easily include the addendum, “but also blossomed in Queens.” Comment.

July, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

How to celebrate 1,000 years in show business

Sometimes they get it right, and such a time was a Sunday evening in June when the remarkable Sonya Tannenbaum was the star of a surprise celebrity roast. The event, which took place at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Oceanside, was billed as a tribute to Sonya for “her first 1,000 years in show business,” and was attended by a number of luminaries from the Long Island stage. Love was in the air. Comment.

June, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

Theater rats hit the gym and find camaraderie

I was never a gym guy, but some stints a few years ago led me to the Cardiac Health Center, a small workout facility run by New York Hospital Queens, where members of the mainly Medicare generation exercise to keep up with their grandchildren and all you other kids. It’s a friendly place, staffed by medical pros who look after your health and show you how to work the equipment, and frequented by a lot of interesting old-timers who have some good stories to tell. Comment.

May, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

Bring contemporary hits to the stages of Queens

There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. “The Great Gatsby”, F. Scott Fitzgerald Comment.

April, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

It takes a borough to raise a theater company

“The Waste Land”, by T.S. Eliot Comment.

March, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

Let’s at least stop the dumbing down of theater

“Being current, being responsive to the world we’re living in, is simply good theatre.” Comment.

February, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

The origins of leap year go back a few thousand years

When people sometimes tell me that I look good for my age — and is that really a compliment? — they probably don’t realize that I’m still a teenager. Forget the wrinkles and gray hair and focus on the fact that I have a birthday only once every four years — Feb. 29 to be exact. Comment.
The Play’s the Thing

Diversify the stage to bring in bigger audiences

Queens is touted as the most culturally and ethnically diverse county in America, even in the entire world, yet you wouldn’t know it from what is typically offered on its stages. Local theater producers often say that the plays they select are what their audiences want to see. Audience attendance, however, is dwindling and even attracting enough actors to fill the roles can be a challenge. Comment.

January, 2012

The Play’s the Thing

Unity Stage: A shining grassroots theater project

While I continue to look for a new venue for The Outrageous Fortune Company, homeless these past 18 months, Sofia Landon Geier and her Unity Stage Company continue to demonstrate that good theater can be performed almost anywhere. Established in 2009, Unity has found space in back rooms of restaurants, community centers, churches, basements, and you name it. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and Geier has the determination, energy and talent to make sure that her company succeeds. Comments (1).
CNG: Community Newspaper Group