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Armed with swift pitches, brawny line drives, and a division-topping season record, the Arizona Diamondbacks sprint toward their first National League West crown since 2007. Instead of catching the game by posing as the new bat-hoarding termite inspector, fans can watch the action from baseline-reserve seats along the left- and right-field foul lines. This season, right-handed hurler J.J. Putz baffled 9th-inning hitters while posting 51 strikeouts, 39 saves, and a mega-slim 2.44 ERA over 51.2 innings pitched. After 148 games, right fielder Justin Upton marches toward his 600th career hit while lugging 86 RBIs, a .296 batting average, and a tuba signed by John Philip Sousa.
The Phoenix Tequila Fest gathers together bartenders, mixologists, agave farmers, performers, and tequila enthusiasts for a two-day festival devoted to distilled goodness. There are countless booths offering tequila samples, which come from numerous brands, distilleries, and varietals around the world. But it’s not simply about sampling; festival-goers can also cheer on their favorite bartenders in the Margarita Challenge, fine-tune the art of describing tequila, and learn about the newest trends in flavor manipulations. Continuous live entertainment creates a festive atmosphere, and complimentary Mexican foods—such as taquitos, chimichangas, salsa and chips, and shrimp ceviche—from the Valley’s restaurants ensure that revelry last the entire afternoon.
Like the opposite of eyelids, the curtains at Scandalesque open to a dream world of garish costumes, pyrotechnics, circus arts, and sensuality. This nexus of fantasy and real life is produced in-house and performed by Scandalesque’s troupe of professional burlesque artists. Leading them, cofounders Lady Fontayne and Pyrrha Sutra, as they're known on stage, strive to curate an atmosphere where outlandishness flashes atop proper technique and artistry. When the troupe isn’t pushing the envelope and toppling mailmen, they’re teaching burlesque, adult-dance, and fitness classes throughout the week.
In 1957, 21 men who cared deeply about their Italian heritage as well as their community in Phoenix came together to found the Arizona American Italian Club. Today, the club continues to be a resource for Italian Americans and their neighbors living in the area. Along with housing a lounge and Italian eatery, the club hosts bingo and bocce games, as well as events such as fashion shows, Italian car shows, wine tastings, and spaghetti nights. Each month, club members sponsor a different charity and rain cloud, furthering their support and investment in the Phoenix community.
CitySolve Urban Race lets citizens explore their metropolis through a one-day odyssey that tests speed, stamina, and smarts. Teams scamper through their burb as they solve clues ranging from anagrams and pop-culture trivia to deciphering graffiti written in pig Latin. Interspersed throughout the race are mettle-testing physical challenges, molding iron wills to such tasks as dodgeball, improv comedy games, or identifying ice-cream flavors. Each day's race also awards winners for best costumes and best tweet. Each urban iditarod takes between two to three hours, and jet packs are strictly prohibited.
A kaleidoscope of multichromatic blossoms and emerald leaves bursts from the soil, blanketing 65 acres of desert landscape at Desert Botanical Garden. Diverse walkways flanked by more than 1,200 types of cacti, succulents, and wildflowers educate visitors on the importance of protecting the environment and not hugging every plant they see. In addition to the garden's more stationary organisms, some of which go home with local green thumbs during biannual plant sales, numerous avian and insect species make their homes amid the thriving greenery.
Originally established as the Phoenix Players in 1920, Phoenix Theatre operated out of the Phoenix Little Theatre for almost 30 years before settling into its current location. The 1952 building would become the core of the city’s cultural area, later drawing such establishments as the Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix Library. The company’s current performance space does little to draw the audience’s attention away from the stage, save for the crisscross of industrial railings that support the catwalks and the retired jerseys of older playwrights.
Seasoned boat captains and crustacean prospectors Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand, and Andy Hillstrand gather to share with audience members their tales of struggle and survival during crab season on the high seas, as partly documented by the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Fishing the Bering Sea in the middle of winter demands strong wills—which can come together in times of treacherous weather and 100-foot waves or come to blows about who performs better in the three-legged crabwalk race. Selected audience members will also have the chance to don the survival suits from the Time Bandit. Following the story-swapping and previously unreleased video footage, greenhorns and avid fans will have the opportunity to launch questions at the captains, wave giant foam claws, and learn how to communicate in claw-snap Morse code.
13th Floor is the only company and brand in the country to produce haunted houses on a national scale, with houses in Denver, San Antonio and Phoenix with more to come in the future. Designed by world-renowned haunted house designers and featuring makeup and effects from Hollywood special effects artists. The 13th Floor Denver building takes fright to a whole new level with different interactive events like Christmas Blackout, Valentine X, and now Apocalypse, Live-Action Zombie Experience.
Since the Dearing Acting Studio's inception three years ago, it has been building a solid reputation as a top-notch resource for local actors and industry up-and-comers of all ages and experience levels. Today's side deal lets you register for an entry-level, four-week acting class, selecting one type of class from the studio's diverse curriculum that regularly includes sessions in improv, monologues, agency prep, and scene study (monthly offerings change to keep providing new challenges). Because class sizes are kept small, each student receives individualized attention from the studio's professional instructors. The talented staff consists of currently working actors, meaning you won't be misled and told to play a protagonist "more like Danny Tanner." After four weeks of fun-filled skill honing, you will not only walk away with more refined tools but also the confidence and positive attitude required of taking all small parts in stride and turning them into small actors. As testament to Dearing Acting Studio's quality of guidance, in the past year alumni of the studio's youth program have appeared on popular programs such as Grey's Anatomy, Cold Case, Mad TV, Two and a Half Men, and more. Call ahead to register for your acting class of choice.
Situated across from the food court at the mall, Picture Show Entertainment's Paradise Valley Stadium 7 screens first-run pictures for audiences seated in high-backed leather rocker seats. The seating ascends diagonally in a stadium arrangement in each theater, each of which also houses a digital screen, while in the lobby, a behind-the-counter staff is presented in crystal-clear 3-D.
Arizona Curriculum Theater Inc. is a non-profit troupe of actors, artists, and musicians performing primarily in schools and libraries across Arizona. ACT, Inc. also performs three public productions throughout the year and is a resident company at Soul Invictus, 1022 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ.
The professional facilities at Arizona Sunrays include a massive gym filled with a range of gymnastics equipment, an area for preschool-age children with preschool-sized equipment, and a dance studio. During Kids Night Out, a highly trained staff will ensure that each child has the best instruction while enjoying diverse physical-education activities. Kids Night Out is subject to availability, so call ahead to reserve a spot. Parents or guardians must sign a release form.
Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in their footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The May 25 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.