"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.
Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness first opened its 35,000-square-foot fitness centers in 1979, and the specialists have since maintained a commitment to helping their members lead healthier lifestyles. They work in partnership with hospitals and medical professionals to stay keen on current research, turning this information into personal-training programs and professional advice for members of all fitness levels. In addition to programs in fitness and recreation, health education, and nutrition, Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness offers more than 60 group fitness classes. Members can shake up their routines with group cycling, yoga, and Pilates sessions, or tune out the surrounding world while burning calories on TV-equipped cardio machines. Member amenities also include basketball courts and an aquatics center in addition to outlets for kids including a youth activities center and babysitting services for kids that are tired of pretending to be their mom's fanny pack as she works out.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
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.