Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Originally Posted by Marianne Miller, Management Fellow, January 10, 2008

"Can I really just take a pair of flip-flops from the wall?!"
Starving young artists are often over-zealous about free stuff.
"Yep," Paul Ziemer, Production Manager, replied, motioning to the vendor wall of the set. I was ecstatic. I bounded up the stairs of the theatre and found a pair of sea-green flip flops, size 38 (I didn't realize I had feet that big), that were perfect for me. The joy of Charles Mee's Queens Boulevard is certainly infectious.

It's always strange when a show ends, especially when it's a show that packed as much energy as Queens Boulevard. Each element of the production only heaped on more and more life and vitality to what was already a dynamic piece of work (Bravo, Mr. Mee). Every cast member brought his or her own history, culture, and life story to the table, and what resulted was a show that was chaotic, exhilarating, and just downright fun. The closing night audience on Sunday evening displayed this exuberance. Patrons (a whole list of VIPs, family, and friends) whooped, hollered, clapped, and laughed longer than any other audience. The momentum of the piece was unstoppable.

Queens Boulevard was a production that enjoyed artistic progression. Playwright, Director, and actors tinkered and toyed with the humor of the play, adding a Metrocard bit during the preview period. Crew members and designers alike slaved over the solution to the paper flowers that fell from the Queens sky (perhaps a less heavenly-seeming project for those involved). The production was always growing and changing, and even when the show was officially opened, actors continued to explore the journey of their characters. What resulted on Closing Night was only evidence of long hours and hard work.

The run of Queens Boulevard ended with a wonderful speech from Jim Houghton and more celebration of life (with beer, pizza, and new flip-flops of course). There was no better way to end the run of such a delightful piece of work.

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