Australian children's-music sensations The Wiggles have been entertaining kids with wacky singing, silly dancing, and onstage antics for 20 years. The color-coded quartet uses songs, games, and storytelling to encourage participation from pintsize audience members, fostering a sense of youthful empowerment usually found only in preteen monarchs and omnipotent Star Children. Kids and parents alike are transported to The Wiggles' magical world of Big Red Cars, feather-wielding pirates, and rose-eating dinosaurs, licensing audience members of all ages to be silly and have fun. Concertgoers experience the show safely sequestered in the orchestra level of the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, enjoying a non-naked mole rat's view of onstage frolics and access to smile-feeding aural nourishment.
Cultural Arts Playhouse has been fostering the development of up-and-coming actors for more than 15 years. At its Musical Theatre and Acting Academy, students from 1st–12th grade hone their on-stage skills by taking classes on singing, acting, and improvisation under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. Kids get to show off these skills in full theatrical productions, with main-stage shows opening up auditions to the entire community so people can see their neighbors' acting chops and dusted-off fake skulls. Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni have found success in New York and throughout the country, appearing in HBO's The Sopranos, and such Broadway productions as Les Miserables and Aladdin.
Seasoned comedian and teacher Brad Trackman, whose resumé lists appearances on NBC, ABC, MTV, CBS, Spike TV, and Comedy Central, guides burgeoning chuckle-inducers through the finer points of laugh acquisition in his workshop, Comedy A through Z. Students learn to develop and write for a performance persona, as well as sharpen their wit and enhance their abilities to care for newborn microphones. In addition to leading students through material-crafting exercises, Trackman will sling out advice on the business of comedy and what it takes to pursue a career in it, including tips for acquiring representation and landing TV roles. Students will dissect the ins and outs of the standup circuit, as well as hone their joke-crafting skills by observing actual chickens crossing actual roads. This five-hour workshop includes a one-hour lunch break, and food and beverages will be available for purchase.
As the name suggests, Dany Holdstein’s Two Worlds Dance & Fitness unites instructors from the realms of dance and exercise to help students meet their health goals. Before founding the studio, Holdstein studied with dance icons Martha Graham and Pearl Lang, taught master classes internationally, and served as an adjunct professor at C.W. Post College. He requires his dance instructors' credentials be no less impressive. Dance teachers include Andre Kisselev, a classically trained ballet dancer who has high-stepped it with Riverdance, and Lancelot Theobald, a former professional football player who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera and developed choreography for the Knicks City Dancers. Theobald's Momz-N-Da-Hood group—a breakdancing crew of mothers over 40—is a spinoff of one of his hip-hop exercise classes, and, as noted by the Long Island Press, has appeared on Good Morning America.
As the artistic director of an eponymous contemporary dance company, Holdstein has equipped his dance and workout studios with the same floating floors and Marley coverings found in professional facilities. The center's walls resound with music from spinning, Zumba, and belly-dancing classes as certified personal trainers help guests navigate the weights and cardio equipment in the gym area. The instructors also lead classes for children and teens, including Broadway-style theater-dance sessions and pointe classes that give kids the ability to overcome roller-coaster height requirements.
During the Big Apple Beatdown, an all-day roller-derby tournament hosted by the New York Shock Exchange, spectators arrive to the rink with chairs under their arms to watch six notable MRDA teams battle for the National Champion title. Bouts begin at 10 a.m. with the Dallas Deception taking on the Magic City Misfits in a storm of skates, helmets, and trampled 10-gallon hats. Other teams battling for supremacy include the St. Louis GateKeepers, Puget Sound Derby Outcasts, and Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen. A special women’s game will also be held featuring the Long Island Roller Rebels taking on the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. The championship bout commences at 7:30 p.m., and the day ends with a presentation of medals at 9:15 p.m., where one team is deemed the victor. Matches occur on two separate tracks, allowing smooth transitions between bouts and enough time for padded pros to finish a game of Connect the Bruises.
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.