Author Archives: Cliff Kasden

A View from the Cliff
A View from the Cliff

A View from the Cliff continues to be a frequent, upbeat visit to live, family entertainment in Queens. My reviews began close to 20 years ago. This blog is a chance for readers to praise or pan our local performers. It’s also a venue for uncovering hidden talent in our borough.

‘Godspell’ sees the light at Rockaway Theatre Company


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of RCT/Gabrielle Mangano

A blackened warehouse is pierced by the glow of a dozen lights. Shadowy figures pour onto the stage and into the orchestra pit. Trumpet blasts! Full stage lights! The musical story of “Godspell,” as told by the Rockaway Theatre Company, is about to unfold.

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103 Years of Broadway at Queens Theatre


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

“Let’s talk, Queens!” urges Broadway insider Neil Berg. His popular musical revue has been updated and renamed. It’s now “103 Years of Broadway” and, as usual, it boasts “A-list” stars who sing the best tunes from the most successful shows. The women, as usual, are elegantly attired in stunning gowns. The men wear suits. Clearly […]

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‘Twelve Angry Men’ in Bayside


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Twelve_angry_men_group_shot_Courtesy_Theatre_Time_Productions

In arguably their strongest performance, Theatre Time Productions’ “Twelve Angry Men” delivers a powerful, passionate and provocative interpretation of this unforgettable 1950s drama. In fact, producer Judy Vincent had her hands full on opening night, hunting for additional chairs for the bustling, overflow crowd. Using a theatre-in-the-round arrangement, the long juror’s table is angled dead […]

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‘Retrospectiva’ in Astoria


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

A perfect theatrical union between classical music and flamenco has been achieved in Astoria. The American Bolero Dance Company combines the two genres with passion, power and elegance. Entitled “Retrospectiva,” this collaboration can be seen at the Tony Bennett Concert Hall at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. The highly anticipated event surpasses all […]

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DCT Players warn: ‘Night Must Fall’


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Somewhere in the 1930s English countryside, a quiet cottage will be sent into chaos. The charming valet is a ruthless serial killer. Before the final curtain there will surely be a dead reckoning. And then, “Night Must Fall!” The Douglaston Community Theatre is currently presenting a murder mystery with a sharp psychological edge. In this […]

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‘The Gemini Killer’ debuts in Bayside


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

It’s a cold, windy night in early spring. The torrential rain on dreary streets sets the sinister mood. Director/playwright Tom Williams mingles with the crowd. Before the evening is over, “The Gemini Killer” will strike again. And again! Williams’ latest work, interpreted by Theatre Time Productions, combines some tried-and-true murder mystery themes with a few […]

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‘An Evening with Groucho’ at Queens Theatre


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Queens Theatre

Of all the irreverent entertainers who have shaped the American psyche, few are equal to legendary comedian Groucho Marx. An ongoing tribute to his genius made its way to Queens Theatre, where actor Frank Ferrante offered his zany one-man show March 28-30. The production was directed by Dreya Weber, and performances included live music by […]

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‘Children of Eden’ in Bayside


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Bright colorful costumes, plenty of music and a clever spin to some favorite biblical stories provide a pleasant platform for Beari Productions’ musical “Children of Eden.” Yes, the adults portray their characters with skill and sincerity. However, the scene stealers are clearly the children. The project is produced by Debbie and Rene Bendana, directed and […]

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‘Anything Goes’ in Bay Terrace


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

More than 80 years after its original Broadway debut, Cole Porter’s musical masterpiece “Anything Goes” still delights audiences. It is arguably the most familiar project on community stages. The latest revival is running at Theatre by the Bay. Director/Producer Lawrence F. Bloom has selected the show’s 1962 version. He joins co-producers Barbara Koenig and Martha […]

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‘Punk’ Shakespeare at Secret Theatre


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

 Single Line! ID’s ready! You’re time traveling to 1980s England. The smoke filled basement at the fictional club, Roxy sets the stage for a battle of the bands.  It’s Shakespeare’s “Richard III” with an incredibly new “punk” interpretation by the Secret Theatre’s Queens Players. Director Alberto Bonilla invites young and old to this bold presentation; […]

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“Hairspray” shines in Douglaston


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Marathon Little Theatre Group - Hairspray (2014) 617

Welcome to Baltimore, 1962. The teens are rockin’ and rollin’ on Corny Collins’ TV show. But trouble is in the air. It’ll take some stiff strategies to stand up and shine. That’s right. You’ll need “Hairspray!” On opening night, dozens of exuberant performers play to a standing room only crowd. Their energy and sincerity are […]

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Oliver! At Secret Theatre in LIC


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

A dozen ragamuffins in torn striped shirts and grimy faces hunch over their morning’s gruel. One bold boy asks for more. It’s Oliver! And this is Secret Theatre’s “steam punk” version of the beloved musical. Another sell out audience is bustling with adults and children. It’s Friday night and some tired little ones lean on […]

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Boston Pops, Memories, Cabaret in Queens


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

From the internationally renowned Boston Pops to the locally treasured Theatre Time’s Holiday Memories and Theatre by the Bay’s Cabaret, the holiday season is already a musical feast. BOSTON POPS Paraphrasing a famous quote, beloved conductor Keith Lockhart offers three wishes for the holidays—“Peace, Joy and Music.” Then two hours of beautifully orchestrated classics, clever […]

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Pirate Pete’s Parrot at Little Secret Theatre


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

It’s Ana’s birthday. A dozen or so of her closest friends have an important job. They have to find Pirate Pete’s runaway parrot! She’s sick of birdseed and just flew the coop! Meanwhile, there’s a pirate ship full of colorful characters that interact with all the children. They hunt for buried treasure, make new friends […]

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‘Dinner at Iocasti’s’


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Bright costumes, brash characterizations and a very irreverent story make “Dinner at Iocasti’s” a fine feast of farce and fun. It’s currently running at the Greek Cultural Center in Astoria. The one-act comedy features seven talented actors, who offer different reactions to life’s problems. The title character, Iocasti (Anastasia Pantelidi), is deliciously self-absorbed and clueless. […]

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