94 The QUEE NS Courier • buzz • FEBRUARY 5, 2015 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com ‘HAIR’ IS HERE FOR 2015 The 1968 rock musical that helped ignite the American “counterculture” has returned. And it’s better than ever in 2015. The Secret Theatre in Long Island City presented their talented “flower children” for a brief but unforgettable run. At one evening’s sold-out performance, director Richard Mazda interrupted the finale as it reached a mesmerizing crescendo. The musical’s original author, Jim Rado, and other celebs were seated in the audience. They were brought center stage to celebrate Rado’s birthday. There were cakes, candles and more music. The already dazzling celebration was just beginning. The cast then brought theatergoers onstage for a singing and dancing “Be-In.” What an unforgettable evening! For those of you too young to know the ‘60s and those too old to remember it, “Hair” musically christened many revolutionary concepts of equality that were considered “anti-establishment.” Some of those ideas have withered but others have entered the mainstream. The messages offered in unforgettable songs including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In” and “Hair” have become intertwined in the very fabric of our 21st-century psyches. The tribe of more than a dozen “hippies” musically encourages the audience to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” They sing and dance with irresistible energy. The lead performers include long-haired Berger (Bart Mather) who swaggers across the stage. He is both the best and worst of the free-living, free-thinking tribe. Very expectant mother Jeannie (Chloe Kostman) sings and dances with confidence and conviction. Claude (Torrey Wigfield) offers a perplexing and poignant interpretation of patriotism. He meets a different fate than the character does in the film. Still more powerful characterizations representing the tumultuous era are unleashed by Mary Linehan, Greg Ramsey and Carman Napier. Clearly, events at the Secret Theatre continue to raise the bar for charismatic, quality productions in our borough. This project benefits greatly from their artistic staff. Some of the behind-the-scenes team are Anthony Hollock (music director, costume designer), Mary Lauren (choreographer), John Lavigne (set designer), David Greenfied (stage manager) and many more. For information about future productions, call 718-392-0722 or visit www.secrettheatre.com. As always, save me a seat on the aisle. A VIEW FROM THE CLIFF BY CLIFF KASDEN Queens bank develops online ambassador for Internet skeptics BY ERIC JANKIEWICZ email@example.com @ericjankiewicz As banking continues to move online, Ridgewood Savings Bank is hiring tech-savvy people to help their tech-leery customers navigate things like depositing checks online and accessing the bank’s app. “We’re the human component to a tech-based world,” Tiffany Vazquez said. Her main responsibility as a Ridgewood bank employee is to help customers who are skeptical or unsure of how to use the bank’s online services. Vazquez, 27, started working with the bank seven years ago and in the last year she has pioneered her job title and helped to establish the same position at other branches. She is the bank’s online ambassador. She explained that the people she helps usually fall into two categories. There are those who simply do not know how to do something like take a picture of a check to deposit it online and then there are customers whose problems have more to do with their distrust of technology. “Putting personal information into cyberspace is a scary thing,” Vazquez said. “So a lot of times it’s fear.” With these skeptical customers, Vazquez takes them through the security features that are used by the bank to protect identity information. She said that oftentimes customers who don’t know how to use the online features aren’t necessarily older people. THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz “It’s totally a mixed bag of people that need my help,” Vazquez said as an iPad blinked to life on her desk. “I try to explain how efficient and quick online banking can be.” The thing that surprises Vazquez most about her job is that she still gets customers who don’t even have an email address. If they’re up for it, she will make an address for them. “That’s definitely one of the cuter things I deal with at my job,” she said. “They make me smile.” Tiffany Vazquez QUEENS LIBRARY’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTS OFFICERS Carl Selden Koerner, a lawyer and strategic planner, has been voted in as the new chairman of the board of Queens Library. Koerner, who was appointed to the library’s board of trustees in 2014, was elected as part of a reorganization of the board following a year of controversy over the library’s former executive director, who was fired from his post earlier this year. Also elected to posts on the board were trustees Judy Bergtraum as vice president, Michael Rodrigues as treasurer, Earl Simons as assistant treasurer and Robert Santos as secretary. Officers of the board, who serve as volunteers, are elected annually to the leadership posts. “Queens Library provides an essential resource for our entire community. I look forward to working with my fellow trustees and with interim president and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey to sustain and grow the library so that it can fulfill its critical mission,” Koerner said. Koerner heads the New York business practice of White & Williams LLP, a law firm. He is also a partner in Koerner Kronenfeld Partners LLC, a strategic planning and implementation consulting firm. The 19-members of the library board of trustees are appointed by the mayor and the Queens borough president. The mayor, the public advocate, the comptroller, the speaker of the City Council, and the borough president are ex-officio members. Trustees serve three-year terms.
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