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.

‘The Gingerbread Lady’ at DCT


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Douglaston Community Theatre

Award-winning playwright Neil Simon is appreciated for his humorous dialogue and poignant plots. In “The Gingerbread Lady,” his wit is as sharp as always but the plot is much darker than usual. Director Vincent Scott alternates his leading actors during the play’s short run. On opening night, Evy and Polly Meara are played by Karen […]

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‘Damn Yankees’ is darn good at RTC


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The Rockaway Theatre Company

The house is full. The crowd is eager. The game starts any minute. No. Not the World Series. It’s even better. A certain Shoeless Joe will lead his ragtag lineup against the blockbuster team of the last century. You know. Those Damn Yankees! Director John Gilleece in his 1950s Washington Senators uniform leads the audience […]

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‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ is thoroughly likable


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

The Roaring Twenties are remembered as an outlandishly uninhibited era in American history. Whatever your point of view, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is an eminently likable and extremely fictional version of that decade. The songs are clever and the characterizations are charming caricatures. At Sunday afternoon’s opening performance, director Maryellen Pierce introduces three young faces to […]

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‘South Pacific’ at Theatre by the Bay


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Strong performances and timeless music make the beloved musical “South Pacific” a popular choice at Theatre by the Bay. The story unfolds during World War II, but its emotional conflicts are still relevant today. On opening night, director/producer Lawrence F. Bloom, along with producers Barbara Koenig and Martha Stein enhanced their usually minimal sets (by […]

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‘Night Watch’ is worth watching


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Have you heard about the perfect crime? How about the boy who cried wolf? Well, Theatre Time Productions has emphasized these time-honored themes in their current suspense/thriller “Night Watch.” At opening night’s performance, artistic director/producer Kevin C. Vincent, and co-producer Judy Vincent utilized a “theater-in-the-round” staging arrangement. The effect is striking, with most of the […]

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Titan’s ‘Midsummer’ is autumn delight


| ckasden@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Kevin Thomas Garcia

Bashful autumn’s leaves have barely begun to coax their brightest colors at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In fact, it’s still summer at Queens Theatre’s studio venue. The resident troupe, Titan Theatre Company, opens the season with a live encore presentation of William Shakespeare’s popular “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” At the Oct. 8 performance, artistic director […]

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‘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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