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.
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.
Abbey Theatre veteran Ray Yeates takes audiences on a guided tour of the Irish émigré’s psyche with an uplifting one-man performance set amid the Irish economy's stunning collapse. In this standalone sequel to his internationally produced In High Germany, acclaimed playwright Dermot Bolger reconnects audiences with Eoin, an expat back in the country of his birth after an extended stay in Germany. Armed with no more than his sharp wits and the stitching on his polo shirt, Ray Yeates convincingly transforms the intimate West Village stage into Dublin Airport for a riveting 75-minute performance. Making use of airports’ birthday-clown-like tendency to evoke existential dread, the play extracts an uplifting story of friendship and family from the midst of a late-night boarding area.