By Roger Gonzalez
Long Island City’s Variations Theatre Group at The beautiful Chain Theatre, a venue located in Queens, only minutes from midtown Manhattan by subway, will be closing its doors in February of 2016 and relocating to a new venue, but not before returning with this year’s “FIRST FROST FESTIVAL.”
The group's final festival at this location will feature a variety of Performances from the comedy of “BENNY AND GRIFF SHAKE YOUR CRAZIES OUT” to spoken word, improv and radio shows including “DO RE MIC,” “VoiceScapes,” and a brand new radio play adaptation of “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.” The Usual Rejects are also returning with their latest parody: “I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS: STAR WARS.”
This year’s performances also include a number of brand new one acts written by artists from around the tri-state area, including Amber Kusching’s “CRAZY,” Nick Hulstine’s “GEOGRAPHY OF NOWHERE,” Meghan Crosby’s “IMPRINT,” and Yvonne Hernandez’s “QUEER MONOLOGUES.” Additionally, a number of readings and other special events have been scheduled including Brandon Ferraro’s “WHO DOESN’T LOVE BEN FRANKLIN?” as well as the most recent installment of VTG’s often-partner taxdeductible theatre’s “THE DARE PROJECT.”
As this final project at the closing venue gets underway, Variations Theatre Group has already actively started searching for a new location in Long Island City with the intention to keep bringing high quality visual and performing arts to this neighborhood they call home. The company, which has enjoyed both critical and box-office success in its time at this LIC location, has no intention to slow down its momentum.
The performance schedule for the FIRST FROST FESTIVAL is available at www.variationstheatregroup.com. Ticket prices vary for the events and are available through the web site or by calling 866-811-4111. The Chain Theatre is located at 21-28 45th Road in Long Island City, just ten minutes from Times Square via the 7, E and M trains to Court Square Station.
Below is a full line-up of this year’s festival.
It’s A Wonderful Life
A New Radio Adaptation Written and Directed by Greg Cicchino
An exciting and enchanting take on the timeless Christmas and American classic with live sound effects and music. Starring Justin Randolph* as George Bailey and Leigh Anne West* as Mary. Also featuring Nick Fondulis* Clint Carter, Sebastian Gutierrez, Patrick Pizzoloruzzo*, Alexandra Rose Kopko and Jackie Collier*.
(*Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association)
The Dare Project
taxdeductible theatre boldly returns with the most unreasonable Dare Project yet!
Benny & Griff’s Shake Your Crazies Out
Join musical comedy duo Benny and Griff on an absolutely insane journey in the magical land of Umbachtu as they sing, dance, meet some friends along the way and most importantly SHAKE YOUR CRAZIES OUT!
Do Re Mic
A show that combines stand-up comedy with musical improvisation. Stand-up comedians perform, each followed by an improvised song inspired by their set
Synopsis: Based on real interviews and true stories. Sad, funny with a touch of history.
Who Doesn’t Love Ben Franklin?
by Brandon Ferraro
One year after the tragedy that killed one hundred, the town is still not the same. Of those who responded, only one survived. Ben Roosevelt was named the “home town hero” for his service that day. Since then he has struggled to live up to that title, to himself, and to those around him. Who Doesn’t Love Ben Franklin? tells the story of the fall of the Great American Hero. Four archetypes are given and then we are forced to question who really embodies this title; if anyone really can.
The Great Somewhere
Clark and Hudson’s parents are dead. Or they might be. In the aftermath of a category 5 tornado that hit their Iowa hometown, it will take more than a set of shovels to make peace with decades of family debris.
5 different patients, 5 different reasons. Do their conditions make them “crazy”?
Geography of Nowhere
Jimmy thinks his gangster days are finally over. He only has one job left to do… kill his best friend.
Complementary colors Orange and Blue are not an automatic couple. Blue is smitten and performs the most comical tasks to get Orange to trust her. But Orange has a secret she’s too ashamed to share. Imprint is a story of darlings, dread, and daring. Only through their shared experience, can these hues make peace with their true colors and support each other.