Tag Archives: Wicked

Glendale students learn the secrets of Broadway


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Students from P.S./I.S. 119 got a chance to look behind the scenes and learn how a hit Broadway show is put together.

The students who took part in the Glendale public school’s partnership with Inside Broadway, a program designed to bring the performing arts to more than 20,000 children in more than 75 schools across the city, were invited to the Gershwin Theater in Manhattan to go behind the scenes of the Broadway show “Wicked” earlier this month.

More than 3,000 students from all five boroughs attended the free Creating the Magic seminar hosted by Inside Broadway, where they learned the dynamics of putting on a professional show, as well as learning about career opportunities in the performing arts from the actors, musicians, sound technicians and other members of the cast and crew of “Wicked.”

The professionals showed the kids how the props worked, how the sound effects came from hidden speakers throughout the theater and how the 23-musician orchestra is located beneath the stage. Some of the cast members even performed musical numbers from the show.

“I thought it was really cool,” said Quinn Corcino, an eighth-grader at P.S./I.S. 119. “The stage design was really cool, the vines were interesting and the dragon was great.”

Sixth-grader Adam Sikorski enjoyed the demonstration of how the props worked, especially the head of the Wizard of Oz.

“The Oz head was my favorite,” he said. “I really liked when they showed the back of it and you saw all the different instruments and switches.”

Ashley Wool, a teaching artist with Inside Broadway who was at the seminar helping usher students around the Gershwin Theater, said that the kids really enjoyed this learning experience.

“This was the third one of these that I’ve been to,” she said. “This was a really special one. The kids were very responsive.”

“I always like watching these because they show the other aspects that bring the show together,” Wool continued. “[The students] see it is not as easy as going to a theater and doing the show. That’s the kind of thing that will bring kids into the performing arts world. It shows respect for all of the people working on it.”

The students from P.S./I.S. 119 took away more than just a fun experience from the Creating the Magic seminar.

“I learned that it’s not just about the cast, but it’s about the crew too,” said Julia Sikorski, a P.S./I.S. 119 eighth-grader.

Darren Valdera, also an eighth-grader, learned “how important the crew is.”

“It is also important to have loud volume when you’re on stage for the crew to hear their cues,” he added.

The students will take all that they learned during the Creating the Magic seminar and put it to use as they get ready to perform “Once on this Island Jr.”

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20th Annual Queens Pride Parade held in Jackson Heights


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Alexa Altman

Jackson Heights bursted with pride during the 20th annual Queens Pride Parade & Multicultural Festival, hosted by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee. Allies and members of the gay community came out for the borough’s biggest pride event on Sunday, June 3.

Openly gay Councilmembers Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn welcomed everyone to the joyous occasion. Quinn, who recently married her long-time partner, and Van Bramer, who is set to marry next month, both agreed that events such as this helped successfully achieve marriage equality in New York.

Click here to see all the photos from the parade.

The current cast of “Wicked,” cheerleaders from Cheer New York and members from the Queens Pride Lions Club danced and waved to the crowd as they shuffled down 47th Avenue, cruising past the scene of the grisly Jackson Heights murder of Julio Rivera – a gay Latino man whose death in July of 1990 sparked the event.

The festival, which once saw protesters, now draws a crowd of thousands and garners an immensely positive response from the community. Many area businesses hung rainbow flags in their storefronts, demonstrating their support.

“The parade is the essence of what Jackson Heights has been to me for the last 40 years,” said Dromm. “It’s a multicultural community that you can’t find anywhere else. The parade has become another part of the area’s tremendous diversity, including nationality, ethnicity and sexual orientation.”

Dromm believes the festival is the most important part of the gay rights movement in Queens, mainly for its ability to put a face on the borough’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. He added that the parade and celebration serve as a coming-out vehicle for many people.

Rafiel Rosario has attended the festival since coming out to his friends and family four years ago. Along with two pals and his boyfriend, Louis, the 21-year-old Long Islander watched the various acts as they performed and made their way down the street.

“[The Queens Pride Parade & Multicultural Festival] is about liberation and equality,” said Rosario. “Throughout the years, it’s become easier for gay people to come out to the community. Things like this make it easier.”

Aaron Waltzer, a volunteer from Queens Pride, helped run the organization’s booth during the street fair section of the festival. The Queens native, who said he’s been gay as long as he’s lived in Queens, added that while the festival is a wonderful community event, it does a lot for him as an individual.

“It means a lot to me to come out and show what it means to be a Queens resident and a gay man,” said Waltzer.