Well, hello Louis

Photo courtesy Louis Armstrong House Museum

Photo courtesy Louis Armstrong House Museum

Although the actual day is still more than a month away, Louis Armstrong’s birthday celebration started this past weekend with a concert series that will continue through the Fourth of July.

Born in August, Armstrong adopted July 4 as his birthday and his adopted hometown of Corona honors his decision with a party Friday.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th St., kicks off its “Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Summer Concert Series” with a performance by the group Emily Asher’s Garden Party.

And, because it is Louis’ birthday, a soul food luncheon, complete with his famous red beans and rice recipe, washed down with sweet tea. Naturally, cake will end the meal.

For tickets and more information go to www.louisarmstronghouse.org.

AFADance wants you to shake your groove thing

Photo courtesy Astoria Fine Arts Dance.

Photo courtesy Astoria Fine Arts Dance.

If your inner Don Lockwood, aka Gene Kelly in “Singing in the Rain,” is screaming “Gotta Dance!” but you got no place to strut your stuff, you may be in luck.

Astoria Fine Arts Dance announces its new Artist in Residency Space Grant. 

The program was created to provide emerging and mid-career artists with a home base for their work. 

Grant recipients will rehearse, teach and perform at AFADance’s studio on 23rd Avenue in Astoria. 

Applications are being accepted through the summer. You can download one at AFADance’s website

Queens seniors are acting up

Cast members rehearse for this weekend's performance of Senior Stars 2014: Seniors Sing the Silver Screen and APAC. Photo courtesy Astoria Performing Arts Center

Cast members rehearse for this weekend’s performance of Senior Stars 2014: Seniors Sing the Silver Screen and APAC. Photo courtesy Astoria Performing Arts Center

Once again the Astoria Performing Arts Center turns things over to the older set for this weekend’s Senior Stars.

This year’s show, “Senior Stars 2014: Seniors Sing the Silver Screen,” is a musical stroll down memory lane with 15 Queens residents over the age of 60 performing songs from the silver screen.

“Where has this been all my life?” cast member Frances Luhmann McDonald wrote on APAC’s website.  “Twice weekly I find out I can sing (a little) dance (very little).  It makes it fun to be 80 and ‘Stayin’ Alive.’”

The revue takes place Saturday, June 21, with shows at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Tickets are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students and $5/for children under 5, and can be reserved by e-mailing APAC.

 

 

Hollywood drops into Douglaston

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Whether you think he’s the actor of his generation or a poseur who couldn’t emote his way out of a wet paper bag, hang on because James Franco is coming to Douglaston.

Franco, currently popping up all over New York City and even at Yonkers City Hall while filming “The Adderall Diaries,” heads to a Douglas Manor home next week. 

Franco and co-star Amber Heard (aka the future Mrs. Johnny Depp) were splashed across the Daily Mail Online’s site this morning canoodling (in character) during a early morning/late night shoot in Brooklyn. 

Franco acquired the rights to Stephen Elliott’s memoir “The Adderall Diaries” in 2010 and intended to adapt, direct and star in the film. 

Robert Redford is listed as the film’s executive producer and Pamela Romanowsky is the director. 

The movie, which started principal photography about two weeks ago, also stars Ed Harris, Christian Slater and Cythnia Nixon. 

Young animators debut works at MOMI in Astoria

Film still from Chuck Jones' "Duck Amuck." Courtesy of The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and The Museum of the Moving Image

Film still from Chuck Jones’ “Duck Amuck.” Courtesy of The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and The Museum of the Moving Image

As a doodler — you should check us out during editorial meetings — we like to think we can capture the essence of a teddy bear or a bunny on a piece of scrap paper.

But we hold no illusions that those sketches have a life beyond our desk. 

Not so a group of elementary and middle school students from Queens and Brooklyn, who will debut their animated creations Friday at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. 

Kids from PS 150Q, PS 191Q, IS 318K, IS 192Q, the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria and IS 145Q took part in a 12-week program at the museum where they made stop-motion animations using clay, paper cut-outs, puppets and other everyday objects. 

On Friday, the young filmmakers will screen their finished works for friends, family and the public. 

The free screening takes place June 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the museum, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria. 

Partying on a Monday night in Queens

Members of Titan Theatre Co., (l. to r.) Nicolas Sotack (Academy Director), Alyssa Van Gorder (General Manager), Kevin Beebee (Managing Director/Producer), Lenny Banovez (Artistic Director), Laura Frye (Associate Artistic Director) and  Tressa Preston (Artistic Associate) hang out together at last night's Queens Theatre Gala. Photo courtesy Titan Theatre Co.

Members of Titan Theatre Co., (l. to r.)
Nicolas Sotack (Academy Director), Alyssa Van Gorder (General Manager), Kevin Beebee (Managing Director/Producer), Lenny Banovez (Artistic Director), Laura Frye (Associate Artistic Director) and Tressa Preston (Artistic Associate) hang out together at last night’s Queens Theatre Gala. Photo courtesy Titan Theatre Co.

 

When performers are invited to attend chi-chi fund raisers they normally have to sing for their supper. 

But at last night’s Queens Theatre’s 25th annual Gala, members of Titan Theatre Co., the venue’s resident acting troupe, got to mingle with the big shots. 

Politicians, community leaders and theater aficionados turned out to help honor Euripides Pelekanos, co-founder and CEO of Bareburger. Pelekanos, who grew up in Astoria and opened his first restaurant there in 2009, expects to open the chain’s 35th outlet by the end of this year. 

While Titan had the night off, Broadway actors Douglas Lyons, from “The Book of Mormon” and “Beautiful,” along with Amber Iman, from “Soul Doctor,” performed original works written by Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar.

At Vernon and (Michael) Jackson boulevards

Someone taped this drawing to the front window in a 7 train car Wednesday.

Someone taped this drawing to the front window in a 7 train car Wednesday.

As daily riders on the 7, N and Q trains, we have pretty much seen it all.

From roaming mariachi bands to dancers swinging from the overhead bars to an old Asian guy cutting his toenails, the MTA never fails to entertain on our daily commutes. 

But Wednesday night we discovered we were on a rolling art gallery.

An extremely well-executed ink drawing of a young man, who bears quiet a striking resemblance to a teenaged Michael Jackson, had been taped to the front-end window. 

It reminded us a bit of those Al Hirschfeld sketches of Broadway actors back in the day, including some of the white space which appear to create words. Check the spot just above Michael’s ear and you can clearly see an a and an x in cursive writing. 

We were also curious about the intertwined horseshoes that appear on the shirt collar. 

If you know the artist, or if you are the artist, tell us where to see more of these drawings, even if the admission price is more than a swipe of our Metro Card.