Reading Series: The Worst Mother in the World

Mission to (dit)Mars, a Queens theatre group, kicked off this year’s Launch Pad reading series with The Worst Mother in the World, a new play by Kari Bentley-Quinn. There are three characters in the play: Nina, a new mother with severe anxiety and postpartum depression; Bonnie, Nina’s therapist; and Mary, Bonnie’s daughter. The play explores the relationships between therapist and patient, mother and daughter, and two strangers who become friends. Especially interesting is the mother-daughter dynamic between Bonnie and Mary, who have a complicated and difficult relationship.

I could certainly see the scenes unfolding in my head, and hope that it will be able to be performed on stage soon. Good luck to Bentley-Quinn.

From the Mission to (dit)Mars website:

About the Launch Pad Reading Series
The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights. The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud. Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

The Broom Tree Theater is located at
Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

BOAST: Best of Astoria survey (November 2016) is LIVE


Now that the election is behind us, let’s turn to something more positive: our favorite things of Astoria! The BOAST: Best of Astoria survey (November 2016) is now live, and here is the link. There are three pages on the survey: one for EAT, one for DRINK, and one for DO & SEE. There are also boxes for short write-ups in each category, and we would appreciate if you did those. You may even see your writing on the site! At the end of the survey, you can enter your email for a chance to win a prize to a local business.

The survey closes on November 30, so be sure to fill it out before then. Do you know people in Astoria who may not know about BOAST? You can forward them the link to the survey. If you want to see the current BOAST winners, here are the pages for EAT, DRINK, and DO & SEE.

Thanks in advance for participating! You, the people who take the surveys, are what make content of the site possible.

New BOAST survey soon!

The next BOAST: Best of Astoria survey will be released soon! What categories would you like to see on the next survey? Anything else you’d like to see on the site? Reply in a comment, on the Contact page, or email We look forward to hearing from you!

Two tickets to Evensong

We’re giving away two tickets to a show of Evensong at APAC (Astoria Performing Arts Center). It runs November 5-19, and you can see more information on the post below. The first person to respond gets the tickets, either by commenting on this post, using the Contact form, or emailing

APAC Kicks Off 16th Season


(From Astoria Performing Arts Center)

Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) kicks off its 16th season with  the world premiere of Evensong. Evensong traces the story of Teofilo “Teo” Aguilar (played by Daniel Prado), a young Mexican-American gay man and member of New York City’s working homeless population. A Texas transplant with big dreams, Teo works as a bank teller, goes on mediocre online dates, and searches for stability and human connection while navigating the tangled shelter system. Using structural elements of choral music and conventions of theatrical magic, Evensong is a tale of survival, growth, and faith in moments of loneliness and solitude. A shorter version of Evensong was featured in INTAR’s American Nightcap Series in 2014. The full-length play was featured on HowlRound and the Latina/o Theatre Commons’ Presente: A Roll Call of New Latina/o Plays last summer. The 90-minute production at Astoria Performing Arts Center marks the play’s world premiere.


Astoria Performing Arts Center presents EVENSONG – A New Play
Written by Christina Quintana
Directed by David Mendizábal

November 3 – 19, 2016 (Opening Night: Saturday, November 5th at 8 p.m.)
Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. | Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Evensong runs November 3 – 19 at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-44 Crescent St (at 30th Road)
Astoria, NY 11102

Tickets on sale now: $18 for adults ($12 for students and senior citizens) tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office ½ hour prior to each performance.

Ticket Giveaway

We are giving away two tickets to the funny and entertaining show What Are You Afraid Of? hosted by Mara Wilson at Q.E.D. on Thursday, Oct. 27, 7:30-9pm. You can comment on this post, on the event post here, or you can write to us using the Contact form. So many ways to win! First to respond gets the tickets.

Featuring Female Talent at Astoria’s Resident Theatre Group

Did you know there’s a resident theatre group in Astoria, Queens? Ophelia Theatre Group (OTG) has been around for thirteen years, first in California and then in New York, producing sketch comedy, immersive theatre, Shakespeare and even full-length musicals. And as more and more actors move to Astoria, earning the area the nickname “Actoria,” Ophelia Theatre Group has become an artistic home for many. OTG even run a theatre gym on Monday nights where directors, actors, and playwrights can bring in material to workshop in a supportive and judgment-free zone. There’s also a Monday night reading series where actors work on a play for one day and present it to the public for free.

So you get the idea. OTG is a very active community that constantly produces and provides opportunities to get involved. The cool thing about OTG this season specifically is the investment in female talent. OTG, originally founded by Californian Sarah Bennett, has always featured strong women, but this season marks a concerted effort to go above and beyond.

This season at OTG includes twists on classic literature, all adapted by women. The next production on the slate is the classic play Hedda Gabler, written by Henrik Ibsen and adapted and directed by Kelly McCready. The production also boasts an all female design team and crew. The adaptation itself is also a little unusual, clocking in at an electric 80 minutes with no intermission and featuring only five cast members. “Everything about the adaptation is condensed and immediate, but each character is still fully formed and complicated in their own way. It’s just much more arresting,” says McCready. (more…)

Blink Fitness Launches First Casting Call for Gym via Social Media for 2017 Ad Campaign

(From Blink Fitness)

Blink Fitness, the premium-quality, value-based gym with locations in Queens, announced today the launch of a brand-wide casting call for the company’s 2017 ad campaign. As part of Blink’s continued efforts to challenge the fitness industry’s norms and advocate for body positivity, the company is inviting its members to “audition” via social media from September 12 to October 7. Over 300 people have already submitted since launch.

Blink’s nearly 300,000 members are eligible to audition for the casting call by submitting a photo or video on Instagram that flaunts confidence and explains why they should be chosen. (See below for additional details)*

Following the submissions, the finalists will be chosen and called back to stand in front of a panel of influential “casting agents” to explain why feeling good is the new looking good. Panelists will include Dascha Polanco, known for her role as Dayanara Diaz on Orange is the New Black and NFL punter, Steve Weatherford.

Blink’s 2017 campaign is an evolution of its “Every Body Happy” platform, which launched earlier this year. The initiative highlighted a variety of confident and happy gym-goers of all shapes and sizes. The campaign continues to support and expand upon the brand’s unique philosophy, Mood Above Muscle™ that celebrates the positive feeling you get from exercise, not just the physical benefits.

*Who can participate?

Current Blink members can audition for the casting call by submitting a photo or video on Instagram that flaunts their confidence and tells Blink why they should be chosen while tagging #BlinkCastingCall and @Blink_Fitness. This is the first time a gym has cast for an ad campaign through social media. The casting call will run from September 12, 2016 to October 7, 2016.

A very fun BOAST Summer Party 2016

We had our summer party at The Bonnie on Sunday, and it was a ton of fun. We were outside on the patio, and totally lucked out with the weather, which was just about perfect. We had some appetizers, such as Beer-Battered Pickles, Avocado Deviled Eggs, Chicken Wings, and French Fries, and some people ordered other food as well. (Highly recommended were the Pork Sliders and the Mac & Cheese.) Our group had all sorts of beverages, including beer, wine, cocktails, and sangria, which was especially delicious. We appreciated the atmosphere and ambiance of the bar (it wasn’t a BOAST winner for nothing), so if you haven’t been, we recommend you check it out. Below are some photos from the event.

What Are You Afraid Of? A review

We went to the show “What Are You Afraid Of?” hosted by Mara Wilson at Q.E.D. tonight, and it was thoroughly entertaining. Mara opened the show with some of the things she’s afraid of, then we heard from three comedians about their fears. In between sets Mara taught the audience the proper way to breathe deeply, and we played Two Fears and a Lie.

Lyssa Mandel was the first performer, and her main fear was that she did not matter, or she would be forgotten about. But there was a happy ending; after she took mushrooms, she realized that she is meant to be here.

Jo Firestone was next, and she is so freaking good. So good! If you haven’t seen her perform, definitely check her out. She hosts Punderdome in Brooklyn, and she’s all over the city. ANYWAY, she’s a very funny person, so the story she told had funny parts, but it was a scary and not funny at all situation she was in. Luckily the story ended well.

Will Miles was the last comedian, and his fear of not having end dates on jobs, or stop signs on the road, was interesting. And that story ended in a good place also because he’s now in a relationship, and that does not have an end date, and he’s pretty OK with that.

This was a short show, just over an hour, but it was enjoyable, and we recommend checking it out. It’s the last Thursday of the month at Q.E.D. ().