As the audience applauds in anticipation and sweat begins to bead on their heads, the jokeslingers at Wisecracks Comedy Club hold on tight to their mics while their standup routines stir up storms of laughter. Boasting a schedule of upcoming acts ranging from lesser-known locals to Comedy Central regulars, Wisecracks Comedy Club offers a full spectrum of rib-tickling performances. Jose Murphy's, a restaurant-venue hybrid, nourishes guests with a menu of Mexican fare. Audiences at Halligan's Sports Bar and More can practice their dart- or pie-aiming skills on four league-ready dartboards during comedy intermissions. Wisecrack Comedy Club's newest venue, the Woodbound Inn, is a resort located on the shores of Lake Contoocook that recently added live comedy to its list of amenities.
Pure Fitness (formerly known as Powerhouse Fitness and still owned by Scott and Nikki Holland) has a full roster of certified personal trainers and seasoned group-fitness instructors who guide exercisers to physical peaks, building strong muscles and healthy lifestyles. The workout room helps guests to slim down their silhouettes with new exercise equipment, including calorie-torching cardio machines and dumbbells perfect for toning biceps or hurling at cardboard cutouts of Charles Atlas. There's also a recently added athletic-training center.
Group classes range from Les Mills dance aerobics to CrossFit functional training, which strengthens sinews with Olympic lifting drills and gymnastics-inspired bodyweight exercises. A juice bar replenishes vitamins and minerals, and saunas banish stress with warm, dry air. To help parents squeeze exercise into busy schedules, the gym offers childcare services seven days a week.
Perhaps as a tribute to the timeless nature of the sword, the Worcester Fencing Club began as a small class held at the Higgins Armory Museum, a collection of arms and armor from medieval Europe and beyond. There, Doug Jacobs—a United States Fencing Association–certified instructor—began imparting his knowledge to a handful of students, giving them a small taste of the age-old sport that, over the years, had become unfairly associated with bullies popping balloons in the streets. Still, many of his students wished to extend their training, and—upon a suggestion of the mother of some of his students—Doug expanded his academy in 1998, forming the Worcester Fencing Club. Today, the school continues to draw fresh blood, introducing students of all ages and experience levels to modern- and Olympic-style fencing in classes still often taught by Doug himself.