Multimedia musical celebrates diversity of Queens

Photos courtesy of Mark Lord

The Free Synagogue of Flushing Community Theatre Group (FSFCTG) celebrated the diversity and uniqueness of Queens in a multimedia musical highlighting the borough from well-known landmarks to home-grown celebrities.

FSFCTG started in 1973 and has since showcased fall productions at the Free Synagogue of Flushing. The group has also produced a number of spring shows, with members of the synagogue and the community auditioning for parts.

Cookie Knisbaum, president of FSFCTG, said the goal of the group is to bring Broadway musicals to the community and involve as many people from both the community and synagogue as possible.

This year’s May show, “Let’s Hear It For Queens,” was written and directed by Mark Lord, who came up with the idea after years of freelancing with The Queens Chronicle and realizing there was more to the borough than many people know.

“People should really know those places are there,” said Lord. “It was really an education for me, and I learned more about this area in the year writing the show than I did in the 40 years living here.”

Combining his love for musicals and his desire to share his knowledge with others, Lord decided to research more on the borough and create the spring show.

“Let’s Hear It for Queens” celebrates the 40th anniversary of FSFCTG and features seven original songs about different aspects of the borough written by Lord and scored by Joe Ferrante.

The show starts off with the story of the evolution of the borough from the early 1600s to the present in the song “The Queens We Mean.”

Other original pieces include “Unisphere,” a hymn of tribute to the iconic symbol used as the logo for the musical, and “Hello,” a rap by an ethnically diverse group of young performers who greet the audience in 50 of the 138 languages spoken in Queens.

Along with the original numbers, the show includes songs by borough natives like Tony Bennett and Simon and Garfunkel. There is also a poem recognizing every community in the borough.

Vicki Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, made a guest appearance at the show. She came in a series of speakers who talked about landmarks projected on a screen.

“It was by the people in Queens, for the people in Queens,” said Lord.

FSFCTG’s fall production will be “Legally Blonde,” with auditions starting in June. For more information, call 516-354-5210 or 516-521-5500.



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