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.
Clean angles and an uncluttered aesthetic make the auditorium at Comerica Theatre an expression of modern minimalism. No columns, chandeliers, or giant neon-light cowboys distract from the stage, which has hosted such celebrities as Harry Connick Jr., Jerry Seinfeld, George Lopez, and the Blue Collar comedians. Thanks to the facility’s state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities, the stage can be made to suit arena concerts, standup comedy, ballet performances, or small-scale Civil War reenactments.
Celebrity Theatre's distinctive in-the-round construction keeps show-goers close to the action, with no seat more than 70 feet from the performers. The slowly rotating stage ensures each audience member can bask in singers' flashing smiles and search the backs of their heads for bonus flashing smiles.
Mötley Crüe has rocked stages for three decades with its signature mélange of intense guitar, heavy sound, and over-the-top stage outfits. Singer Vince Neil roars out lyrics over the shred-filled soundscape created by guitarist Mick Mars, bassist Nikki Sixx, and drummer Tommy Lee, creating memorable tunes that resound in the minds of listeners like the ringing of heavily tattooed bells.
Playwright, director, and former writer for The Wallace & Ladmo Show, Ben Tyler revives the iconic children's show in a Desert Foothills play centered around the program's rise to popularity in the '60s. In 1964, the show created Hub Kapp and the Wheels, a mock rock band intended to be nothing more than a comedy sketch. However, when the make-believe musical troupe landed the top spot on the Phoenix record charts, an appearance on The Steve Allen Show, and a gig opening for Metallica, it found itself the target of Hollywood music producers promising fame and fortune. Tyler's nostalgic play abounds with comedy and music that's instantly familiar to the show's diehard fans while giving a unique perspective into its behind-the-scenes happenings. For 37 years, the Desert Foothills Theater has cast adult and youth actors in beloved classic plays and musicals, obtaining 32 ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence nominations and winning five awards in the 2010–11 season.
The Phoenix New Times pick for Best Rock Club in 2010 and 2011, this live-music venue draws crowds that huddle around indoor and outdoor stages to groove and wail every night of the week. Concerts and festivals stage local bands, indie rockers, and national acts playing genres ranging from bluegrass and reggae to jam music and rock 'n' roll. Amid the big-name acts, the house upholds beloved traditions; Grateful Dead fanatics and people with tie-dyed flesh emerge to party on Sunday nights, and each Thursday, burgeoning starlets perform karaoke with the support of a full live band. Beside the outdoor stage, a spacious patio facilitates mingling under the sky's star-freckled firmament. At the indoor bar, barkeeps fill glasses with mixed drinks and brews while colorful lights flash against walls. Black leather couches and huge art canvases line the lounge area, and a dance floor carved before the stage affords up-close views of the passport stamps canvassing rock star's wrists. AZCentral noted: "Not far from Mill Avenue, the Sail Inn offers a whole different scene, with a cool vibe and laid-back people."