Voted the Best Local Performing Arts Troupe by readers of the East Valley Tribune in 2011, National Comedy Theatre’s ensemble of players concocts improvised situations at lightning-fast speeds, relying on audience participation and their own wits to elicit thunderous laughter and applause. After turning to their all-ages crowd for assistance in shaping games and scenarios, the cast employs knowledge gleaned from operating-room sketches to tickle ribs with anatomical exactitude. The show often favors spontaneity over prudence, with performers gleefully stepping into their roles as acrophobic skydiving champions or long-winded court stenographers. Audience members get to select the winning team at the conclusion of the show, and can learn the form themselves during improv classes.
As its neon-flamed exterior would suggest, Cactus Moon Sports Grill is a lively establishment. Chefs prepare eclectic dishes, such as Wachos, their Southwestern twist on nachos, in which they douse crisp waffle fries in a hearty sauce. From the sports bar outfitted with 48 HDTVs, bartenders pour a selection of beer and wine, which includes sudsy drafts from Four Peaks, Stella Artois, and Sam Adams. On some nights, the clacking of pool balls on 15 billiards tables and the rattling of foosball kickers orchestrate rhythmic background sounds, and on others, a late-night DJ incites hip swivels and 360-degree head turns with an infectious track list of danceable tunes played out over a 1,000-square-foot dance floor.
JJ Madison’s satisfies hungry hordes with a sprawling menu of American eats. Twosomes choose one starter such as fried asparagus spears with ranch dressing or flash-fried onion rings, and quadrants of diners select two appetizers to split four ways. Hearty entrees include a full slab of Dan's baby-back ribs and the Sandusky stuffed sirloin burger, which, like the pockets of overcoats designed for hungry businessmen, comes stuffed with bacon, mushrooms, peppers, and three types of cheese. Those dining Monday–Thursday are treated to complimentary dessert.
Big HD screens, savory pub fare, and hospitable, scantily-kilted servers, who the restaurant refers to as "cast members", populate the Tilted Kilt’s lively, Celtic-inspired consumption quarters. Feast eyes on the extensive menu before sinking teeth into the fresh foliage of the buttermilk-ranch chicken salad ($9.99). Return from a rousing billiards game to celebrate the sunken eight ball with the One Shot Johnny Pizza ($7.99) or cue up a Scottish cheesesteak sandwich and permanently sink it into the stomach-pocket ($8.99). Tackle the Big Arse burger ($8.99), Gaelic chicken entree ($11.99), or an overtime helping of the Tilted Guilt dessert’s chocolate-chip or white-chocolate macadamia-nut cookie topped with a helmet of vanilla ice cream ($4.99). While eating, sports fans can plant themselves anywhere in the spacious eatery to observe the various resplendent views in high definition.