By Merle Exit
There’s another fabulous season of performances coming to the Queensborough Performing Arts Center on the campus of Queensborough Community College. Highlights of the February and March calendar include Russian dancers, a tribute to two of pop’s greatest pianists, and a celebration of the Lunar New Year.
Lunar New Year 2018 celebrates the Year of the Dog, and the Feb. 23 season opener, the New Shanghai Circus, will certainly have some tricks in store. “The circus sold out last year and is back by popular demand,” said Susan Agin, the center’s executive and artistic director. “Their athleticism and breathtaking, fearless feats leave the audience spellbound.”
Adding to the lunar celebration is Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” one of the most performed operas in the United States. It will be fully staged, with an orchestra and English supertitles, on Sun., Feb. 25. Teatro Lirico D’Europa, led by artistic director Giorgio Lalov, will take the stage for the performance.
“I recommend that you step outside of your comfort zone to experience an opera of this quality and of this magnitude right in the neighborhood,” Agin said. “Nowhere outside of Manhattan can you see a fully staged opera, except at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center. We are so proud of this legacy.”
The appropriately-titled “Piano Men” arrives Sat., March 24. Broadway veterans Craig A. Meyer and Donnie Kehr will play the hits of Elton John and Billy Joel on dueling grand pianos, backed by an all-star band. “This is an exceptional event celebrating two giants of pop music,” Agin said.
Those with a taste for ballet will want to mark down the March 25 showing of the romantic work “Giselle,” performed by the Moscow Festival Ballet.
“When you think ballet, you think Russia,” Agin said. “Every country has its claim to fame. In my opinion, the Russian ballet companies perform with a sophistication, dedication and mastery that is hard to beat.”
You may also want to look ahead to April, when Brian Stokes Mitchell will perform songs from Broadway hits and Tony Orlando will appear in concert.
QPAC is located at 222-05 56th Ave. in Bayside. Call the box office at (718) 631–6311 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.