With a barbed-wire fence as its backdrop, The Looney Bin Comedy Club, opened just last year, promises its patrons a night of cutting-to-the-core comedy provided by both up-and-coming and veteran stand-up comics. As giant portraits of Eddie Murphy, Dane Cook, and Don Rickles look on, you will exhaust your internal laugh-engine at any show, thanks to the funny-bone fuel of such glee-gas-pumpers as mirthful magic-maker Chipps Cooney, appearing on Saturday, October 30, or punch-line slinger Joseph Anthony, appearing on Saturday, November 6. As your eyes drink in the chill, relaxing vibes of the club's space, each ticket holder's taste buds will drink in two selections from The Looney Bin's bar, featuring adult libations such as Samuel Adams beers, long island iced teas, and Bloody Marys, able to lubricate vocal chords sore from constant chuckling.
The staffers at Brainiac's Childcare don’t just care for youngsters—they give them an academic leg up. Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., they lead children aged 6 weeks to 5 years through fun, supervised activities that impart age-appropriate skills, such as phonics and language comprehension, and also provide important social interaction. Programs include full-day kindergarten and before- and afterschool care, as well as fitness-focused classes in dance and soccer. Supervised evening childcare allows parents to enjoy adults-only activities, such as riding roller coasters with height requirements.
Whether coaching students as individuals or in a group setting, the certified instructors at the Westfield School of Dance draw from years of teaching and performance experience in their chosen styles. All are specialized in one to three disciplines of dance, and pass on their knowledge through a progressive syllabus in a range of classes. They organize students by skill level, coaching them in tap, jazz, modern dance, Russian ballet, and musical-theatre performance. For more experienced dancers and aspiring professionals, they also conduct work-study programs and student-teacher training. These experiences allow students to work alongside their teachers as well as guest artists to learn new choreography, develop teaching techniques, and uncover the mystery of what really happened that fateful night at Swan Lake.
Throughout the year, students are given the chance to showcase what they've learned in two venues. In the more minimalistic setting of the Black Box, beginner-level students perform original choreographed dance concerts. The annual spring Main Stage show folds novice through advanced dancers into a full-scale production, complete with live musicians, costumes, scenery, and props.
At Gold Medal Fitness, positive energy does as much work as anyone's muscles to propel group classes. These courses cover the grounded poses of Power Yoga, the barbell lifts of BodyPump, and the festive spins of Zumba with more than 50 sessions per week. Cyclists can even choose between 45-minute spin classes and the more vigorous rides of super spin, which increase the challenge by adding an extra 15 minutes and asking your parents to stop putting a stabilizing hand on your back. Regardless of the discipline, however, instructors motivate their students by carefully balancing the room's camaraderie with a honed focus on every individual.
This personal approach typifies the gym as a whole, where the staff strive to memorize each member's name as they arrange workouts for all fitness levels. A nationally accredited team of personal trainers draws on specialties from boxing to Pilates to back rehabilitation, pushing their clients toward coveted milestones. On the gym floor, an assortment of machinery and free weights, as well as a designated stretching area, bespeaks the same regard for diverse goals—visitors can complete a round of resistance work on the FreeMotion circuit equipment, toss a medicine ball to a partner, or step onto a StairMaster. Other amenities include a childcare station, athletic speed school, HydroMassage, and a juice bar.
Starry Night Dance Studio hosts a never-ending dance party atop its polished wood floors, inviting all to join and even offering free classes for beginners. Instructors wear the shoes of multiple ballroom styles to teach the centuries-old waltz alongside West Coast swing and merengue, a two-step dance outstripped in simplicity only by the one-step known as walking. Aerobic Zumba workouts and belly-dance classes loosen students’ hips while building muscle tone and cardio endurance. Additionally, Starry Night’s experienced dancers choreograph dances for special events such as weddings, quinceañeras, mortgage signings, and bar mitzvahs, and happily help students to prepare for landmark celebrations.
The sizzling of Cajun batter-fried shrimp mingles with the sweet twang of acoustic guitars and smoky jazz vocals. This distinct bouquet of sounds and smells is the essence of The Crossroads, a venue that describes itself as an amalgamation of classic Cajun and American stylings: “[It's] as if NY and N'awlins had a baby and moved to the suburbs.” Patrons can sate their appetites with a menu of soul and Cajun fare escorted by a choice of libations, including more than 40 martinis. Nightly musical guests have included local and national acts spanning the genres of jazz, bluegrass, and classic-rock cover bands. Nightly events and specials keep energy high. Every Tuesday, guests pay no cover charges and can climb onstage with their finely tuned instruments or an array of water-filled pint glasses for the open Jazz Jam with the house’s trio of musicians.