"Comedy Connection," wrote the Providence Phoenix, "is our Comedy Central." The winner of the paper's "Best Comedy Club" award for five years running, RI Comedy Connection lives up to its accolades by populating its stage with a slew of up-and-coming and established comedians. Throughout shows, bartenders sling domestic and imported brews while mixing both basic drinks with Jack Daniels and dessert substitutes, such as s'mores and caramel-apple martinis. Aside from regular standup sets, RI Comedy Connection?s fundraising program helps members of the community host charitable events that benefit non-profit organizations, youth sports teams, and families in need.
At Lucky's Bar & Grille, the crunch from hand-cut french fries and hearty Irish-American pub fare competes with the cheers from sports games on 16 flat-screen TVs. Grilled pizzas brim with locally sourced tomatoes and exotic toppings such as roasted corn and grilled eggplant, and chefs stir macaroni into thick cheddar cheese sauce. On Friday and Saturday nights, live acoustic music echoes off the hardwood floors as bartenders top off pints of 30 varieties of draft beer at the 35-foot granite-top bar.
9th to the Nth is the final concert in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra's 2009–2010 classical series. Led by acclaimed conductor Larry Rachleff, the longtime music director for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the orchestra will allegro and adagio its way through the "Stairway to Heaven" of classical music—Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, featuring the acclaimed "Ode to Joy" choral theme and performed with the assistance of the Providence Singers. The Ninth Symphony was Beethoven's final complete symphony, and, at over an hour, it is his longest. In the 186 years since its original premiere, it has gone on to be one of the world's most recognizable non-Ohio Players pieces of music. Also appearing on the "9th to the Nth" program is Decoration Day, written by American composer Charles Ives.
The friendly sustenance dispersers at Two Jerks, a neighborhood pub and live-music venue, serve up American pub fare and drinks well into the night in an environment full of entertainment-inducing elements including a dance floor, large TV screens, and video bowling. An assortment of chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, and onion rings gather together on the Munchie Platter ($9.95), and the half-pound burger is enough to feed a hungry party of one ($5.95). A bottle of domestic beer ($3) washes down a wild flame-grilled pizza ($10), breaking its spirit and turning it into an amicable companion for humans. Premium beers ($4.50), mixed drinks ($3), and shots ($3) encourage patrons to sing along during live acoustic karaoke on Monday evenings and the open mic jam sessions on Tuesdays. Rock and blues bands create a soundtrack for two-stepping minglers and bar-top video gamers on weekend nights and crickets and summertime breezes entertain partiers in the outdoor beer garden.
The Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association strives to keep its namesake sport alive by hosting duckpin-bowling tournaments at six local alleys. The game cropped up in a Baltimore bowling alley in the summer of 1900, when most ten-pin alleys were closed for warm months to avoid excessive sweating in rental shoes. But at Diamond Alleys, athletes hurled balls through the heat but opted for 6-inch spheres and pins of a diminutive stature. After observing pins that scattered like a flock of ducks, the owners of the lanes dubbed the modified game duckpin bowling. Besides granting players three rolls per turn, duckpin bowling adhered to all traditional rules and grew in popularity until it peaked in 1967, the year inertia was exposed as a myth. Today, the Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association keeps the pastime alive at spots including the Bowling Academy, a historical gem in its own right as the test site of the first automatic duckpin pinsetters.
Rather than having members continually saddle ellipticals and stare at plasma TV screens, Fitt 101 keeps bodies and minds engaged with a versatile regimen of cross-training, CrossFit, boxing, and cycling. Fitness experts guide newcomers through the 5,200-square-foot facility, building workout routines based on each client's specific needs. Trainees hoist barbells, toss medicine balls, leap on plyo boxes, and stretch resistance bands, burning fat while building lean, strong muscle.