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Flushing Town Hall & Aigner Chocolates unite for Valentine’s Day: Spreading love in Queens with a heartwarming puppet show

Photo provided by Flushing Town Hall and Aigner chocolates

Feb. 7, 2024 By Tammy Scileppi

How sweet it is!

A “sweet” and unexpected collaboration between Flushing Town Hall and a beloved chocolate shop in Forest Hills, is spreading love and kindness to Queens families…just in time for Valentine’s Day. And there’s a sweet surprise that kids will surely love: The popular venue will be presenting a heartwarming puppet play on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2:15 p.m.

“Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch” explores the power of love and kindness — an important message, especially these days.

Aigner Chocolates, hailed as the town’s finest chocolatier, and Flushing Town Hall, with its mission to showcase arts that enrich and enlighten Queens’ diverse communities, have collaborated on this special initiative.

“As it turns out, chocolate can be a powerful source of healing, and Aigner Chocolates seeks to share the passion for the art of making chocolate to make the world a better place,” said co-owner Rachel Kellner. “What sweeter partnership than one that marries the love of art, in all its forms, with the desire to bring communities together?”

Located at 103-02 Metropolitan Ave., Aigner Chocolates believes in partnering with local New York City institutions, like Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in an effort to carry on their tradition of giving back to their community and beyond. This small business is always finding ways to support local organizations, schools, nonprofits and hospitals.

“Fan favorites for Valentine’s Day are always the heart boxes and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Other customer favorites include our phenomenal caramels, marzipans, and nonpareils,” Kellner added.

As part of this collaboration, Aigner’s in Forest Hills will be offering customers who make a purchase before Feb. 17,  a $3 discount on an adult ticket to the puppet performance.

The play, “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch” is based on the award-winning book by Eileen Spinelli, it tells the story of lonely Mr. Hatch, who works at a shoelace factory and leads a boring, ho-hum life. But thanks to a surprise Valentine’s Day gift, his life changes forever and he starts making friends and breaks out of his shell. Audiences of all ages are invited to join Mr. Hatch as he searches for his secret admirer and gets to enjoy the biggest surprise of his life: a candy-filled heart with a note that whispers, “Somebody loves you.”

Prior to the 2:15 p.m. performance, cast members will host an introductory workshop into the world of shadow puppetry at 1 p.m. Participants will learn how to design and build their very own shadow puppets and how to physically play with them on stage or on a shadow screen.

“We are so excited to finally bring the talented team of Axis Theatre to Queens, after their originally scheduled performance of “Mr. Hatch” was canceled due to the pandemic shutdown of 2020. The wait is finally over!” said Flushing Town Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek, who added: “The message of this absolutely lovely and adorable play is still as current as it was when the book was written more than 30 years ago, and we are thrilled to share the spirit of kindness with our family audiences.”

Tickets for the 1 p.m. workshop are $5 for all. Tickets for the 2:15 p.m. family show are $15 for adults and $8 for children. This show is recommended for ages three and up.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit:


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