By Merle Exit
Even though “The Nutcracker” has been packed away, the Boston Pops have headed back to Beantown and the last choruses of hallelujah have been sung, Queens’ performing arts scene does not go into hibernation. As the calendar flips to 2014, cultural venues around the borough kick things up with a winter packed with entertainment choices. And whether you are looking for a concert from a ’90s soft rock icon, a ballet with a spicy Latin beat or the chance to brush up your Shakespeare, you can find it in Queens this season.
Things start off Jan. 25 when Elvis will enter the building at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center in Bayside.
“The Blue Suede Birthday” offers not one but two Elvis Presley impersonators covering both ends of the King’s career.
Scot Bruce shakes, rattles and rolls his way through Presley’s early hits, culminating with his foray into films. Mike Albert then finishes the evening as the older and maybe somewhat wiser Elvis.
Then, fresh off his series of holiday car commercials, blue-eyed soul singer Michael Bolton brings his Grammy-award winning pipes to the QPAC Feb. 17.
If you’re looking for a laugh, comedians David Alan Grier, star of TV’s “In Living Color,” and Godfrey tear up the QPAC March 15. QPAC’s winter season wraps up March 30 with a performance of “Swan Lake” by the Moscow Festival Ballet.
“The current focus of the Queensborough Performing Arts Center is to honor our commitment in presenting professional, affordable performances which celebrate and reflect the diverse cultures living in Queens,” said Susan Agin, QPAC’s executive and artistic director. “Where else can you see a fully staged ballet performed by the principal dancers from the ranks of Russia’s top companies for $42?”
But if you like your dance with a little more heat, you should probably head to the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. Ballet Hispanico takes the stage at Colden Auditorium Feb. 8 and Feb. 9 with its works exploring the diversity of Latino cultural through the fusion of classical, Latin and contemporary dance.
An earlier dance program, happening as part of the Chinese Lunar New Year’s celebration Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, brings the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Co. to Colden for a program of traditional and contemporary dances geared toward a school-aged audience.
Another show for children, and their families, happens Feb. 9, when the Queens Symphony Orchestra performs Victoria Bond’s lively new score for the classic tale, “The Frog Prince,” at the LeFrak Concert Hall. As part of a double bill, the orchestra will then present Prokofiev’s timeless introduction to instruments, “Peter and the Wolf.” Come an hour earlier to watch the musicians warm up during the “Meet the Instruments” program.
In the mood for a little romance? Colden has you covered on Feb. 14 with “Love is Good: An Evening with Christine Andreas.”
The Broadway singer performs a night of romantic ballads accompanied by Martin Silvestri on piano.
“We want the audience to leave and say, ‘Wow! Who is coming next?” Jeff Rosenstock, executive director of Kupferberg Presents, said. “In the dead of winter you have to do something to really wake up people.”
No word if Doktor Kaboom has any explosions on tap for his interactive science comedy show Feb. 9 at Queens Theatre. Kaboom blends theater with scientific exploration to keep the audience entertained and educated.
The Flushing Meadows Corona Park theater turns 25 this year and has plenty in store, said Taryn Sacramone, managing director.
“Celebrating that milestone and planning for the future has us all very inspired and energized this year,” Sacramone said.
Currently receiving a well-reviewed run on Broadway, Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” comes to Queens Theatre Feb. 14 through Feb. 16.
Aquila Theatre presents the Bard’s comedy with its unique brand of innovative and exciting theatricality. Winter thaws into spring March 28 through March 30 when actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London portrayal of comedian Grucho Marx.
The two-act, 90-minute show includes dozens of Marx’s one-liners, anecdotes and songs, including “Hooray For Captain Spalding” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.”
For more information on upcoming events in Queens, check TimesLedger.com for listings.