Van Morrison, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Met Opera stars, and the Muppets are the world famous celebrities providing entertainment and enrichment in the borough this week. Other possibilities are a LEGO fest, comedy, seniors singing Broadway, a Summer Solstice event, and an International Yoga Day gala. Here’s the rundown.

June 18, Music Under the 7 Train, 6:30 pm. The Street Beat Brass Band presents a multicultural program of brass-based and street-based music from various parts of the world. Free. Bliss Plaza, Queens Boulevard and 46th Street under the 7 train station, Sunnyside.

June 18, Big Band Music, 6:30 pm. New York City Swing plays big band favorites by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington. Free. Queens Library’s Howard Beach Branch, 92-06 156th Avenue, Howard Beach.


Louis Armstrong, Chazz Palminteri, and renowned Korean folk artist Jae Choon Kim headline another busy week in Queens. Other options include Mexican dance, sheep-shearing, Yiddish music, Bollywood films, walking tours, sex education, and nature photography. Here’s the rundown.

Merrily We Roll Along begins at the end…and ends at the beginning. The Stephen Sondheim musical, based on a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, tells the story of a once-great Broadway composer who gives up his career and friends to try his hand as a Hollywood producer. 
Both the play and the musical were notable for telling a story in reverse, with the musical version opening in Los Angeles in 1976 and steadily moving backwards to the songwriter’s humble beginnings in 1950s New York. Merrily We Roll Along has a theme close to Sondheim’s heart, how a passion for creating art can be corrupted in the pursuit of success.
The Astoria Performing Arts Center is presenting a 20-show run of Merrily We Roll Along, directed by APAC artistic director Dev Bondarin, from April 30 until May 23. Click through for more information.


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in this case, it translates into more chances to watch great theater in Queens. Last November, the Astoria Performing Arts Center presented The Cottage, a hilarious play about sex, betrayal and maybe even love. Set in an English country home in 1923, a woman decides to come clean about an affair to her husband and her lover’s wife. Hilarity ensues as a surprising web of secrets unravels via stinging barbs, mischievous looks, and wacky plot twists. Fast-forward to this November, and Queens Theatre is ready to present nine showings of the same play (above) with a little-changed cast. Meanwhile, APAC is ready to offer In The Bones (below) 12 times throughout the month. This somber drama is based on a soldier who returns home from Afghanistan and ends his life. In a series of wrenching scenes moving ahead a year at a time, his surviving family and partner are transformed by their grief. This is a world premiere, but if it has a successful run, maybe we’ll be able to catch it at Queens Theatre next year.

Details: The Cottage, Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, November 7th to November 16th, Fridays at 8 pm with a special matinee on November 14th at 2 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm and 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, $25-$42.

Bonus details: In The Bones, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent Street, Astoria, November 6th through November 22nd, Thursday through Saturday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm, $18/$12 for seniors and students.

Top photo: Queens Theatre; bottom photo: Astoria Performing Arts Center


The Rodgers and Hammerstein ensemble musical Allegro debuted in 1947. Innovative for its lack of a set, the storied playwrights opted to chronicle Joseph Taylor Jr.’s life in a series of vignettes and musical sequences that dazzle in their simplicity. A Midwestern “everyman,” Taylor has an uneventful childhood, marriage and career before trading his hometown’s tranquility for hectic, big city life at age 35. When he loses sight of his goals, he struggles to avoid compromising his principles. On May 1st, the Astoria Performing Arts Center will perform Allegro with an all-star cast and an emotional touch, as it will be the last production by APAC’s artistic director, Tom Wojtunik.

Details: Allegro, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent Street, Astoria, May 1st through May 17, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 2 pm and 8 pm. $18/$12 for seniors and students.


With rolling, verdant hills that stretch as far as the eye can see, the British countryside is one of the most beautiful places on earth. However, it does not host the planet’s most tolerant society for extra-marital affairs. Especially in 1923. From November 7th through November 23rd, those hills come alive in Queens, thanks to the world premiere of The Cottage, presented by the Astoria Performing Arts Center. This play — written by Sandy Rustin, directed by Adam Dannheisser of Rock of Ages fame and inspired by Noel Coward — features sex, betrayal, love and linguistic gymnastics. The action begins when Sylvia Van Kipness comes forward about a tryst to her husband and her lover’s wife. The true meanings of fate, identity and marriage are called into question as a surprising, hilarious web of secrets unravels in this ridiculous — potentially murderous — romantic comedy. As a special treat, Rustin, the rest of the cast and APAC Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik will participate in a talk-back with the audience after the November 16th performance.

Details: The Cottage, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent Street, Astoria, November 7th through November 23rd, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm and 8 pm, $15-$18. Click for tickets or call 888-596-1027.