This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.

Lisa Lewis at Loveday 31 Vintage on 31st Avenue.
Lisa Lewis at Loveday 31 Vintage on 31st Avenue.

TitleOccupation
Playwright

Where were you born?
Sherman Oaks, California. Back in the days of the Valley Girl.

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
Astoria, going on two years.

How did you get involved in theater?
My parents were theatre makers, actors who met in NY in the 1970s at a singing lesson. When I was a kid, my dad and I watched every Hollywood musical from the Harvey Girls to Guys and Dolls, and birthday presents were always show tickets and windowcards. And as an only child, the feeling of being one big family on a show- the actors, the designers, the stage hands – really spoke to me.

What do you love most about Queens?
My boyfriend David! Ha! I moved here from Brooklyn for him, and I was not an easy sell. He’s born and raised in Astoria, and his parents still live in their family home just around the corner from our place. I love Queens because it’s homey and grounded. It’s got fantastic new restaurants, but it’s still holding on to its diversity and character. I hope there will always be families, and old Italian delis. I love you Dave and Tony’s and United Brothers Vegetable Stand and Mediterranean Foods on 34th Street that lets me try every cheese. It really feels like a place to call home.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
My boyfriend’s family has lived in Queens since the 30s, and they are old-school Italians. I am now privy to a world of private social clubs, restaurants that cater to the people from one particular island or village. Queens has tons of these curious little places, each with a unique cuisine and dialect and people that know each other going back to the old country. Over at the Astor Room, the son of the owner played on the same little league team with my boyfriend and their fathers both made grappa in their basements so we were treated to some highly alcoholic homemade wine and an after hours tour of the sound stages in the Astoria Kaufman Studios. For a cinephile like me, it was pretty amazing. I love that Astorian’s go way back, and that the city was it’s own Hollywood back in the day.

Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?
Oh, so many! The sexy Mars Bar for oysters and cocktails, MilkFlower and Basil for pizza, Bambinos for cheesy panini brunches, E-Taverna and MP’s for Greek, Mezze Place (wonderful, family owned Mediterranean fare), Sparrow and Queens Kickshaw for crosswords on Sunday, JJ’s Fusion for takeout and Vesta or Venturo’s for a beautiful dinner. Cannelle Patisserie for deserts. And I love shopping at Loveday 31 Vintage and Lockwood, hanging out in the summer at Gantry State Plaza, and sledding in Astoria Park.

Current/Upcoming projects?
I’m currently at work on a TV sitcom pilot called The Gamble and a play by the same name. Please look out for my production of SCHOOLED coming to New York in August 2014 – and very soon, keep your eyes out for the SCHOOLED crowdfunding campaign. And check out New York Theatre Magazine where I contribute artist profiles.http://nytheatremag.com You can find me at www.LisaLewisWriting.com

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