Though they hail from Brunei, Cuba, and the United States, 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 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.
Yoga and Pilates in Tribeca—formerly 'Do Yoga Do Pilates'—was founded in 2008 by Elisa Chen, who strived to create an eco-friendly space where students could further their mental and physical prowess. Though Chen has since left the studio, the same team of certified instructors helps each patron reach his or her fitness goals by offering a robust repertoire of yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and under-the-table bribes. The studio’s 35 weekly classes are designed at an open level, so that students of all skill levels and ability can keep up amid the studio's soothing lemongrass-hued walls and burnished hardwood floors.
The Flying Karamazov Brothers explode with ramshackle percussion, frenetic footwork, and musically inspired jokery amidst myriad trademark juggling routines. The daffiness is dashed with danger as the kilt-sporting Brothers juggle an arsenal of hazardous objects in their signature act, "The Terror," while an element of impromptu excellence enters during "The Gamble," an act that involves the juggling of personal items procured from the obliging, applauding audience.
Written by Warran Manzi, Perfect Crime has compelled and delighted audiences for 23 years with its thrilling plot and mysterious characters, earning the impressive distinction as the longest-running non-musical play in New York theater history. Actress Catherine Russell's juggernaut run in the lead role of Margaret Brent stretches back to the original performance in 1987, earning her the moniker “the Cal Ripken of Broadway.” Sit and spectate as she plays a Harvard-educated psychiatrist charged with killing her affluent British husband over and over for the last 23 years. The play also stars Saved by the Bell's George McDaniel as a deranged patient and All My Children's Richard Shoberg as the detective trying to figure out who committed murder and who stole his lip balm before the show.