News From The Queens Tourism Council
No cabin fever this week as Queens hosts outdoor festivals featuring jerk chicken, Shakespeare, African dance, movies, beer, water games, health/wellness, a charity fun run, and music genres such rap, R&B, Top 40, and jazz.
But fun-seekers can also stay in the air-conditioned indoors and enjoy Japanese calligraphy, history, comedy, Bugs Bunny, and World’s Fair-inspired theater.
Here’s the rundown.
– Tonight (Thursday), July 17, SummerStage Presents: Mobb Deep, 7 p.m. This rap group has appeared on records that have sold over 40 million copies. They make a special homecoming with Lyrics Lounge in the housing projects where they grew up. Free. Queensbridge Park, vicinity of Vernon Boulevard, 41st Avenue, and the East River, www.nycgovparks.org.
– Thursday, July 17, Forever Ray, 7:30 p.m. A musical tribute to Ray Charles. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and Astoria Pool, www.centralastoria.org.
– Thursday, July 17, The Jenny Marino Band, 7 p.m. This Middle Village group plays Top 40 hits as part of the Woodside Summer Concert Series presented by the Northwest Woodside Coalition and Goliard Concerts. Free. Sgt. Collins Park, 58th Street and Broadway, Woodside, 1-718-205-1030.
– Friday, July 18, QNSMADE Exhibition & Launch Party, 7 p.m. The Queens Council on the Arts 3rd Space program launches a web-based project that celebrates the borough’s stories via a series of portraits and interviews. QNSMADE features artists, makers, and doers who were either born in Queens or currently live there. $5. 37-11 35th Ave., Kaufman Arts District, www.queenscouncilarts.org.
– Friday, July 18, through Sunday, July 27, The World’s Fair Play Festival, Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Queens Theatre presents 10 original 10-minute plays by well-respected playwrights who were inspired by the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, which took place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. $18. Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave. S., Flushing Meadows Corona Park, www.queenstheatre.org.
– Friday, July 18, Harambee Dance Company, 7 p.m. In Swahili “Harambee” means “let us pull together.” Harambee Dance Company pulls together the essence of African and African-American dance and music, presenting it from an innovative and exciting new contemporary perspective. Dance class at 7 p.m.; concert at 8 p.m. Free. Queensbridge Park, vicinity of Vernon Boulevard, 41st Avenue, and the East River, www.nycgovparks.org.
– Friday, July 18, Classic Monster Film Fridays: King Kong, 8:24 p.m. The second film in A Better Jamaica’s series. Free. Rufus King Park, Jamaica Avenue at 153rd Street, www.abetterjamaica.org.
– Friday, July 18, Ticked-Off Vic, 8 p.m. An evening with comedian Vic DiBitetto, a You Tube sensation who appears on WPLJ’s “The Todd Show” on Friday. $15-$25. Resorts World Casino New York City, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., Jamaica, www.rwnewyork.com.
– Friday, July 18, Bokusai, runs until Aug. 7. Exhibit on Japanese artist Shoko Kazama, a distinguished calligrapher of the renowned Zen sect of Kencho-ji. This show’s theme is Otogizoshi, stories from Muromachi period (13th century) that have been passed down verbally among children in Japan. Free. Gallery hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m to 5 p.m; Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Resobox, 41-26 27th St., LIC, www.resobox.com.
– Saturday, July 19, What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones (runs through Jan. 19, 2015). Legendary animation director from the Bugs Bunny franchise, Chuck Jones, is the focus of this Smithsonian traveling exhibition featuring original artwork, 23 animated films, a short documentary, and an interactive experience. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria, www.movingimage.us.
– Saturday, July 19, World’s Fair Brewfest, noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Food, craft and art vendors, live musical performances throughout the day, and craft beer choices in a festive setting. $45 in advance, $50 at the door. Tickets required, ages 21 and up. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 St., Flushing, www.queensbotanical.org.
– Saturday, July 19, Fourth Annual FLIC NIC in the Street, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance offer an evening of shorts, features, live action, international, and local movies. Bring a chair, blanket, a picnic, and a beverage or just pull up a piece of curb. Free. 78th Street Play Street at 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights, www.queensworldfilmfestival.com.
– Saturday, July 19, History Roundtable Astoria Stars, 1 p.m. Learn about a variety of world known entertainers-including Christopher Walken, Ethel Merman, Perry Cuomo, Tony Bennett, and Dee Snider-who lived in Astoria. Plus, Dee Anne Gorman, a NYC-based vocalist/poet, performs some of this group’s most famous songs. $5. Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, LIC, www.astorialic.org.
– Saturday, July 19, Bria Skonbert Quartet, 2 p.m. Part of the Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Summer Concert series, this live jam includes complimentary red beans ‘n’ rice and sweet tea. $18. Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th St., Corona, www.louisarmstronghouse.org.
– Saturday, July 19, Freestyle Reunion IV, 9 p.m. Live performances by TKA, Judy Torres, Sugar Hill Gang, Soave, C&C Music Factory, Alisha, CNR of Trilogy, and more. Doors open at 8 p.m. $25-$125. Resorts World Casino New York City, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., South Ozone Park, www.rwnewyork.com.
– Saturday, July 19, Unchain Your Inner Improviser, noon to 1:30 p.m. Queens World Film Festival Executive Director Katha Cato leads a workshop on improvisational techniques. Free. Chain Theatre, 21- 28 45th Rd., LIC, www.chain-theatre.org.
– Saturday, July 19, Rory O’Shea Was Here, 7:30 p.m. It’s Irish movie night with a short comedy added to the mix. $8-$11. New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Ave., LIC, www.newyorkirishcenter.org.
– Sunday, July 20, The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival NY, noon to 8 p.m. New York’s biggest Caribbean food festival attracts about 20,000 people, including a mix of professional chefs and home cooks, eager taste-testers, Reggae and Soca lovers and dance aficionados. $30 in advance/$40 at the gate. Roy Wilkins Park, 177-01 Baisley Blvd., Jamaica, www.jerkfestivalny.com.
– Sunday, July 20, Queens Family Day: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Rashida Bumbray, Michael Mossman, and Copland Jazz, 4 to 7 p.m. Interactive music and dance workshops with the best of the best. Free. Queensbridge Park, vicinity of Vernon Boulevard, 41st Avenue and the East River, www.nycgovparks.org.
– Sunday, July 20, Help Fight Drug Abuse 5K Run/Walk, 9 a.m. The Federation of Italian American Organizations of Queens hosts its annual run/walk to help fight drug abuse. Race starts and ends at Fiao Soccer Field, 20th Avenue and 33rd Street, Astoria. $15-$25, (718) 204- 2444, www.italianfederation.com.
– Sunday, July 20, All-Queens Family Entertainment Fest, 1 p.m. The Ray Blue Band plays with performances from dancers and singers from African-American, Chinese, Latin, Korean, and South Asian traditions. Free. Kissena Corridor Park, Main Street and Elder Avenue, Flushing.
– Sunday, July 20, Health and Wellness Fair, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted by the Queens Borough President’s Office in conjunction with Jamaica Hospital, HealthFirst and MetroPlus, this event includes bone marrow registry, stress testing, senior services, health screenings and giveaways. Free. 83-09 157th Ave., Howard Beach.
– Monday, July 21, Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way, 7 p.m. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Geraldine Ferraro’s vice presidential nomination on the Democratic ticket in 1984, St. John’s University hosts a panel discussion and screening of a documentary that her daughter directed and produced. Free. SJU D’Angelo Center, 80-00 Utopia Pkwy., Jamaica, www.stjohns.edu.
– Monday, July 21, Family Movies in the Park: Madea’s Family Reunion, 8:22 p.m. Actor and playwright Tyler Perry returns as Madea, a brash but loving African- American grandmother with her own way of doing things, in this screen adaptation of his popular stage comedy. Madea finds herself dealing with a handful of family crises the same weekend that she’s planned a massive family reunion. Free. Cambria Playground/Frederick Cabbell Park, Francis Lewis Boulevard at 120th Avenue, Jamaica, www.abetterjamaica.org.
– Tuesday, July 22, Live at the Gantries: Dahka Band, 7 p.m. Dahka Band plays world music as part of Live at the Gantries, a series of outdoor performances featuring Queens-based musicians. Free. Gantry Plaza State Park, vicinity of 49th and 50th avenues along the East River, www.liveatthegantries.com.
– Wednesday, July 23, Shakespeare in the Park, 7:30 p.m. The Hip to Hip Theatre Company opens its eighth season with Cymbeline, a romantic fairy tale. An interactive workshop, Kids & the Classics, starts 30 minutes before the show. Free. In the vicinity of the Unisphere, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, www.hiptohip.org.
– Wednesday, July 23, Water Festival, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Water inflatables, bouncy houses, cotton candy, popcorn, and giveaways. Free. Beach 108th Street and Boardwalk, Rockaway Beach, www.nycgovparks.org.
The “It’s In Queens” column is produced by the Queens Tourism Council with the hope that readers will enjoy the borough’s many attractions. More info available online at www.itsinqueens.com.