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.
Old Town Mexican Beerfest treats pass holders to a lively outdoor block party filled with live music, flavorful Mexican food, and plenty of beer from brewers based south of the border. As partiers travel from booth to booth, they sip samples of tasty cerveza from brands such as Corona, Negro Modelo, Pacifico, and Dos Equis. The event falls on the fortunate intersection of several celebratory events, including the lively festivities of Cino de Mayo, the freedom of the weekend, and the deep personal introspection common on Kierkegaard's birthday.
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.
The Torch Theatre’s non-profit collective of acting troupers instruct students in long-form dramatic improvisation, helping them create emotionally true, half-hour scenes and stories out of thin air. Much like the improv comedy classes that impart the art of quippy punchlines and rubber-chicken mechanics, The Torch's introductory class helps stage-wary newbies with zero experience master the basic screwdrivers and crescent wrenches of on-the-spot character development, all while playing off of other actors. Dedicated, trained instructors—many of whom perform around the country and for discerning local wildlife—guide their apprentice thespians through the essentials, such as listening and support, trusting one's instincts, and investing in the moment rather than magic beans. As each actor taps into honest reactions and accents them with a touch of playfulness, they'll fuel the dramatic rocket ship that launches them to maximum theatric verisimilitude and other planets infested with giant insects. The course also covers stage direction, voice work, and post-performance rose showers.
Over careers spanning 25 years and 15 pairs of spontaneously combusted shoes between the two of them, Academy of Ballroom Dance instructors Jim and Jenell Maranto have chalked up a long list of professional-dancing and dance-instruction achievements. The pair entered the dance world from backgrounds as high-level college athletes, and after meeting and teaming up, they whirled through professional dance competitions, winning every major Open Professional Smooth contest in the United States and two consecutive US American Smooth Championships in 1993 and 1994. More recently, the couple has taken to training new generations of winning dancers, including several US Pro-Am and Amateur champions, and both have won teaching awards for their efforts and their ability to explain high-level physics while foxtrotting. Any level of dancer may receive private instruction from Jim or Jenell in any of 26 styles of dance.