It’s In Queens! (Nov. 29 through Dec. 5)
Santa Claus is in the borough, and tree lightings, caroling activities and other Christmas-themed events dominate a jam-packed week. However, Queens will host a wide array of live performances over the upcoming days. Check out everything from a “figgy pudding” production to a Bach-style recital to a steel drum concert to a play with “shut up” in the title. Here’s the rundown.
- Nov. 28, Aki Sasamoto: Centripetal Run, 8 pm (Nov. 29 and Dec. 1). Performance artist Aki Sasamoto explores parallels between gray situations in personal lives and electromagnetic radiation that forms the universe. The show opens with Pau Atela’s pendulum mechanism, leading into Sasamoto’s movement exploration and interaction with her objects. $15. Chocolate Factory Theater, 5-49 49th Ave., Long Island City, 212.352-3101, www.chocolatefactorytheater.org.
- Nov. 29, Borough’s Largest Holiday Tree Lighting, 5 pm. A special Christmas choir and Santa Claus will be on hand. Attendees can help light the tree. Resorts World Casino New York City, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., South Jamaica, www.rwnewyork.com.
- Nov. 29, Second Annual Figgy Pudding Short Play Fest, 8 pm (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 8 pm, Dec. 2 at 5 pm). Unity Stage presents an adults-only evening of laughs in an intimate setting, featuring eight irreverently funny, unsentimental short plays about Christmas. $20 with food and drink available for purchase. Café Marlene, 41-11 49th St., Sunnyside, 917.548.1086, www.unitystage.org.
- Nov. 30, Matt Haimovitz: Beyond Bach, 10 am. Start your day with the right tunes as acclaimed cellist Matt Haimovitz goes “Beyond Bach.” Queens College’s Aaron Copland School Of Music, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, 718.997.5000.
- Nov. 30, You Say Tomato I Say Shut Up!, 7:30 pm (until Dec. 9, Fri. at 7:30 pm, Sat. at 8 pm, Wed. (Dec. 5) and Sat. at 2 pm and Sun. at 3 pm). Written and inspired by real-life-married-couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, this comedy strikes laughter and terror into the hearts of couples. Offering a hilarious glimpse into a relationship that seems doomed by opposing personalities from the start, Gurwitch and Kahn’s crazy lifestyle manages to keep them intact, up-ending every idea about living happily ever after. $25-$49. Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave. S., Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, 718.760.0064, www.queenstheatre.org.
- Nov. 30, Dry Clean Only/Jump for The Sails Hurricane Sandy Charity Concert, 7:30 pm. DCO (Dry Clean Only), an Alternative Punk band from Middle Village, and Jump for the Sails, Astoria pioneers of Funk Punk Groove Metal, perform to raise money for New York Cares’s superstorm relief effort. $10 suggested donation. Flushing Town Hall. 137-35 Northern Blvd., www.flushingtownhall.org.
- Nov. 30, La Puce a l’Orielle, 4 pm (Dec. 1 at 7 pm, Dec. 2 at 3 pm, Dec. 4 at noon and Dec. 7 at 7 pm). When Victor Chandebise’s wife suspects he’s having an affair, she gets her dearest friend to entrap him, but their elaborate scheme spectacularly misfires and chaos ensues. Georges Feydeau’s quintessential play is set in post-WWI Paris and enlivened by the rhythms of ragtime jazz. York College Performing Arts Center, 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, 718-262-3705.
- Dec. 1, Fourth Annual Leaf Fest, 10 am. Join Green Shores NYC, The Astoria Park Alliance, Partnerships for Parks, the Friends of Queensbridge Park and the Western Queens Compost Initiative to get waterfront parks ready for the winter. Free. Rainey Park, 34th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, Astoria, email@example.com.
- Dec. 1, Wreath-Making, 10 am. Make a beautiful evergreen wreath at NYC’s only working historical farm. Materials provided, but bring a garden shear. $20 per person. Register at 718.347.3276, ext. 301 (advance payment required). Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, 718.347.3276, www.queensfarm.org.
- Dec. 1, Worm Bins Made Easy, 11:30 am. This hands-on workshop teaches the essentials of indoor composting with worms. Ideal for those who want to compost food scraps, but do not have access to an outdoor space. $5. Registration is required via firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.539.5296. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing, www.queensbotanical.org.
- Dec. 1, Songs of Joy and Healing in the Languages of the World, 3 pm. The Peace of Heart singing collective performs folk songs, original compositions and more in such languages as English, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew and Zulu. Free. Queens Library Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., www.queenslibrary.org.
- Dec. 1, Santa Comes to Rigdewood, 2 pm. Santa hangs out amid an expansive array of flowers. Free. Forest Ave Florist, 67-01 Forest Ave., Ridgewood, 718-366-7100.
- Dec. 1, Gregory Porter’s Christmas Jazz Vespers, 5 pm. Grammy nominee Gregory Porter sings ballads that evoke influences ranging from Nat King Cole to gospel. Free, but donations welcome. St. Albans Congregational Church, 172-17 Linden Blvd., Jamaica, 718.657.8282.
- Dec. 2, The Campbell Brothers Sacred Steel Guitar, 4 pm. Recognized as American Masterpiece artists, the Campbell Brothers have taken their sacred steel guitar to venues like the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell (2004 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship) and his lap steel-playing brother Darick are two of the finest in this tradition. Rounding out the band, which has been playing together for nearly two decades, is a high-energy rhythm section featuring brother Phil Campbell on electric guitar, his son Carlton on drums, and Katie Jackson’s gutsy gospel vocals. $20/$15 for members/$10 for students with I.D. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., 718.463.7700, www.flushingtownhall.com.
- Dec. 2, Steel Impressions Steel Band, 3 pm. As part of the Sunday Concerts @ Central music series, Caribbean rhythms wash ashore with grooves like “Hot, Hot, Hot,” “Day-O” and “Sugar Boom Boom.” Free. Queens Library Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica, www.queenslibrary.org.
- Dec. 2, Jamaica Bay: Past Present and Future, 2 pm. Don Riepe, the Jamaica Bay Guardian of the American Littoral Society, explains the history, biodiversity and challenges in this vital area of New York City’s ecosystem. This presentation is held in conjunction with the Fragile Beauty: Jamaica Bay Landscapes exhibit, and Rosalie Frost will respond to questions about her photographs of this unique landscape. Free with on-site parking ($5 per vehicle). Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing, 718.886.3800, www.queensbotanical.org.
- Dec. 2, Corona Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting Spectacular, 6 pm. Santa is part of an extravaganza that includes live entertainment, caroling and a light show. Roosevelt Avenue near National Street, Corona, 718.263.0546, ext. 14.
- Dec. 3, Understanding Afghanistan, 1:30 pm. Born and raised in Afghanistan, author Tamim Ansary speaks about the long, internal struggle within the war-torn country that is driving the conflict between the Taliban and other forces. In his new book, Game Without Rules, Ansary draws on his Afghan background and Muslim roots to explain history from the inside. Suggested donation: $6. Central Queens Y, 67-09 108th St., Forest Hills, 718.268.5011, www.cqy.org.
- Dec. 3, Irish Dancing Classes, 6 pm. Put on your dancing shoes and learn how to be the next Lord of the Dance. $15. New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, www.newyorkirishcenter.org.
- Dec. 3, Ballroom Dancing, 6:30pm. Beginners learn basics, while experienced students get advanced training. No registration required. Free. Forest Hills Public Library, 108-19 71st Ave., 718.268.7934.
The “It’s In Queens” column is produced by the Queens Tourism Council with the hope that readers will enjoy the borough’s wonderful attractions.