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From Mardi Gras to Motown: FunikiJam's Newest Musical CITY OF HOPE Celebrates Black History - For Kids!

From Mardi Gras to Motown: FunikiJam's Newest Musical CITY OF HOPE Celebrates Black History - For Kids!

Starting Martin Luther King Junior Weekend, NYC families can dance, sing, and play along in a special Off-Broadway production designed especially for families and young children.

Showcasing lively songs by Brian Barrentine from the popular FunikiJam Music classes and touring shows, CITY OF HOPE Family Musical takes audiences on a tuneful journey from around the world with high-energy music, dance and storytelling.

When Captain Jam and the Agents of Jam go undercover as a construction crew to help with disaster relief, they embark on a "special mission" to explore New Orleans Zydeco, Paris Jazz and Detroit "Motor City" Motown. Along the way they discover how music with African roots evolved into a beloved form of artistic expression around the world. This original musical, featuring a six-member cast with live band and lots of audience participation, is presented as part of the FunikiJam's Winter Block Party season which runs through March 7, and includes daily classes at 20 venues around New York City.

"Our goal is to tell beautiful, important stories in a playful, lighthearted way that is appealing to young audiences and meaningful to grown-ups. Like hiding vegetables in chicken nuggets, we encase relevant messages with colorful, high-energy musical theatre. And kids don't have to stay in their seats! They can come right down to the front of the stage to engage directly with the cast," says show creator Brian Barrentine who also stars as Captain Jam.

Joining Barrentine's "Captain Jam" is Kyle Jack as Bahjat and Shawday Graves as Sabbaba with Eva Nomikou, Lindsey Weiss, and Kaila Wooten as the "Agents of Jam." Production design/technical supervision is by Maarten Cornelis and music production is by Joe Mazza.

Touring independently since 2000 and running Off-Broadway since 2015, this NY TIMES pick for best events recently made its debut in China with a 24-city tour that played to over 50,000 people. The show blends education and fun with globe-spanning musical adventures that promote global community and celebrate world culture; engaging audiences with interactive, high-energy live music, singing, dancing, spectacle, and audience participation in a fully produced theatrical setting. Each season offers a different show with its own "Special Mission" so audiences can come back again and again to continue the learning and fun. WARNING: May cause laughing, clapping, dancing, and singing in multiple languages!

FunikiJam's "City of Hope" plays throughout New York City from January 5 - March 7 with Special Off-Broadway performances on January 19th, January 20th (MLK Day), February 16th, & February 23rd at 11am at the Actors Temple Theatre, 339 West 47th Street, New York, NY, 10036. Tickets are on sale for $37.50 at

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