The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
Winner of the JerseyArts.com 2009 People's Choice Award for favorite Professional Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse has been opening the curtain on top-quality musical theater and plays since its debut in 1938. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony Award-winning musical comedy, follows the travails of a group of young students participating in their countywide spell off. With hilarious tunes and frequent fourth wall demolition, the musical expertly tickles audience funny femurs while filling their ears with the harmonious euphony of the Tony-nominated score. Groupon buyers will leave the theater with a Paper Mill Playhouse cup (a $5 value), allowing patrons of the arts to signal their theater affiliation to rival gangs of symphony and museum cup holders.
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.
The Flea Theater exalts off-off-Broadway experimentation by producing original and new works from emerging and established playwrights while hosting series, festivals and programs for artists throughout the year. Over the past 15 years, eyes have widened at works by established playwright and screenwriter Adam Rapp and edgy performances from Marisa Tomei, while others have tracked the skyrocketing success of choreographer Sarah East Johnson and other toddling innovators. A 40-seat black box and a 74-seat flexible theater house up to four events and one séance daily on The Flea's packed schedule, which adds to visiting performances with a rotating constellation of rising stars from resident company The Bats, Hollywood and Broadway legends like Sigourney Weaver, Bebe Neuwirth, and Andre DeShields, as well as music and dance powerhouses like Kathleen Supove and Nina Winthrop. This season, The NY Goofs conduct a workshop and perform the eight-stooge riot Water For Clowns (August 4–14) in August, a remount of the Obie Award–winning political comedy Invasion! lands in September and stays until the audience surrenders, and in November, She Kills Monsters arrives, directed by the co-artistic directors of Brooklyn's Vampire Cowboys Theater Company.
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.