Though they hail from all over the world, the instructors at Bellyqueen are united by their passion for belly dance. Their dedication to the Middle Eastern art?and their eagerness to educate others about the empowering, often misunderstood dance form?led co-founder Kaeshi Chai to established their own bellydancing company and school in the East Village. Kaeshi's enthusiasm has caught on?since opening in 1998, Bellyqueen has gained acclaim for its unconventional workouts welcoming participants of all sizes and skill levels.
Today, the bustling studio continues to teach traditional bellydancing techniques while incorporating world-fusion styles. Experienced instructors guide guests through the sensual movements, encouraging them as they practice footwork, breath, and presentation. When they aren?t fine-tuning their routines to eyeball-enticing perfection, students can watch Bellyqueen?s professional dancers perform at weekly Djam NYC shows at Jebon and special events.
Beer, wine and comedy at a cheap price? No wonder so many people pack Chelsea’s Magnet Theater daily. Shows here run the gamut from long form improv and scripted sketch comedy to storytelling and a variety of free performance opportunities for anyone willing to get on stage. Shows at the Magnet never seem to top $10, and are often free. The 70-odd seats don’t make for a very big venue, but that also means there isn't a bad spot in the house, and you’ll have a perfect sightline the next time some celebrity drops in to perform. Classes in improv, storytelling and comedy writing are also offered at the Training Center Studio, one block north. If you’re looking for a cheap laugh, or want to inspire it in others, the Magnet is a great place to start.
Founded by philosopher, playwright, and actor Johannes Galli, the Galli Theater celebrates childhood and strives to help its actors and audiences reveal their true selves with modern adaptations of fairy tales. Each year the nonprofit organization produces more than eight family-friendly productions designed to "help participants gain self-confidence, learn new languages and cultures, improve acting skills, and increase health and wellness," according to its website. With performances of well-known and widely loved titles such as Aladdin, The Princess and the Pea, and Snow White, both audiences and actors leave each show having learned valuable life lessons and different clapping styles.
Within the intimate confines of the 13th Street Repertory Company, actor and comedian Andrew Goffman relives his transformation from child to man during a comedic one-man show. He spins the tale of his fall from innocence, which began with the discovery of his father’s collection of 96 erotic VHS tapes and his teddy bear's secret life as an illegal arms dealer. Having performed in 158 venues across North America, Goffman relies on his comedic chops to make audiences guffaw throughout the 90-minute performance.
Adapted by Patrick Barlow from Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 suspense-fest and the John Buchan novel that inspired it, The 39 Steps more or less follows the plot while spicing it up with exuberant energy and frequent detours into loopy Monty Python-esque territory. As more than 140 characters chase, murder, romance, double-cross, double-chase, triple-cross, and quadruple-murder one another, audiences will be amazed to realize that they're all played by the same four indefatigable actors. John Behlmann spends most of his time playing Richard Hannay, an innocent lad who unwittingly finds himself mired in a conspiracy of assassins, state secrets, and sinister secret societies. Kate MacCluggage plays the spy who loves him while also portraying pretty much everyone else who isn't a man. And you'll believe Jamie Jackson is Man #1; Cameron Folmar similarly shines as Man #2.