For nearly four decades, the intellectual incubators at Playwrights Horizons have hatched award-winning productions of thought-provoking, emotion-evoking plays, nurturing new generations of writers and theatrical performers. The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World makes its New York debut in a joint effort with the crafty thespians at the New York Theatre Workshop, who themselves have fostered more than 100 dramatic new works over the past 27 years, including Jonathan Larson’s RENT and Doug Wright’s Quills. Together, these two show-stopping institutions weave a tale of rock-and-roll ambition cast against against the backdrop of the 1960s, a time when music was raw and Oprah’s guidance was nowhere to be found. Audiences will sit on the edge of their seats as the characters from this brand-new musical grapple with the dark side of parental obligation and the limits of talent––all based on a true story.
The creative brainchild of composer Shai Fishman and performance artist Lior Kalfo, the space-alien ensemble Voca People has awed worldwide audiences with dynamic a cappella performances of popular tunes. Clad in white suits and with stark ivory face paint, this skilled intergalactic octet breaks into dynamic beatbox rhythms and harmonious, nonconfrontational intonations as colorful lights underscore the energetic vocal riffs and hands-free drum solos. The vocal virtuosos harmonize and percussively bop to popular tunes from performers such as Michael Jackson, Scott Joplin, and the Spice Girls, plucking spectators from the audience to serenade. The often-comical showcase builds in intensity throughout the performance to refuel the troupe's traveling spaceship with upbeat musical fuel, which is less pricey than ethanol wrung from frowns.
Named The Godmother of Burlesque by Vogue Italia, Bonnie Dunn has led troupes of pasty-wearing burlesque dancers for more than two decades. In nightly shows, her daredevil performers perform acrobatics on the ceiling, gulp swords, and spit fire. Dancers also venture out to parties to reveal the secrets to their art, and in-studio classes teach students how to shimmy and shake like a pro. The class ends after students make their first set of pasties, then incinerate them so foreign agents never learn how to duplicate our burlesque technology.
A comprehensive dance and movement facility, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center provides movers and shakers of all sorts a space for learning, rehearsing, and performing. MMAC classes are taught by renowned dance educators and dancing queens in obstruction-free studios, which are equipped with sprung floors and kept fastidiously free of rhythmically challenged Godzillas who “borrow” classmates’ leg warmers and return them all stretched out.
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.