Stitching costumes, choreographing dance routines, composing scores, painting backdrops, channeling inner thespians: in the theater, there's a job for everyone. The staff of theater, music, and dance aficionados at Troubadour Theatre helps kids find their own onstage or backstage niche during classes that culminate in a full-scale production. Past performances have included Twelfth Night and Seussical!, both of which gave students the opportunity to showcase acting skills developed through lessons in improv and theater history. Outside the theater walls, the Troubadour staff strives to provide artistic opportunities for local kids by creating artist-in-residency programs and funding scholarships for talented youth.
With 23 years of experience mining bellies for their precious laughs, Laffs Comedy Caffe features an ever-changing lineup of comics from around the country. Upcoming chucklemeisters include Comedy Central–featured Robert Mac (August 26–27), ComedySportz's Scotty Blanco (September 2–4), and Mike Merryfield (September 9–10), each deftly accompanied by a rotation of featured comics and a cloud of winged whoopee cushions. Guests take in the laugh-rousing performances securely nestled in the stage-front preferred seats, ensuring that ears get to take the first, succulent bites of oncoming jokes. Each Laffs show has a two-order minimum purchase (not included in this Groupon) from the menu, well stocked with such giggle-fueling fare as hot wings ($7.50) and patty melts ($7.50), as well as cocktails and bottled laughing gas from the full bar.
Before getting married, Tony and Marcy Brown both held impressive fitness records. Tony moved from a personal-training career to teaching yoga, and Marcy—a seasoned law-enforcement officer and former owner of a personal-training studio—kept her finger firmly on the pulse of gym trends. The pair decided to captain CrossFit Purgatory after becoming convinced of CrossFit's superiority over other popular health regimens. Now, they welcome guests of all ages and abilities to participate in their WODs (Workouts of the Day), emphasizing the values of community and commitment for those trying to rewrite their physical limits.
CrossFit Purgatory rejects superfluous furnishings in favor of a tough, minimalist vibe, decked out in functional training equipment such as kettlebells, Olympic rings, medicine balls, and mammoth bones. The gym's industrial feel is offset by the warmth of its occupants, who welcome new members to tackle the day's routine with open, sweaty arms. Because CrossFit maneuvers are universally scalable, anyone can adjust them to suit their strength level—the coaches have guided patrons from sports competitors to complete newbies to 2010 Biggest Loser contestant Jessica Delfs.
Membership in the Reid Park Zoological Society grants you and your family (two named adults and any children under the age of 18) full access to the zoo for an entire year (open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas). Being a card-carrying member opens up numerous doors, behind which lie benefit after benefit, and sometimes tigers. From June through August, you'll get early-morning entry to the zoo grounds—a calm, crowd-free time to view feedings and animal care firsthand, as well as a chance to lick and groom one's own fur in peace. The "Zoo & You" newsletter will arrive quarterly in your mailbox, keeping readers up to date on all zoo-related happenings. You'll also receive advance notice, discounts, and VIP entry to all after-hours events. If travel plans are in the cards, use your family membership as a veritable Jedi mind trick to receive discounts of 50% to 100% off at 165 different zoos and aquariums throughout the United States. Concerned number-noshers and pachyderm pals should also note that this membership donation is completely tax deductible, and that a portion of the donation will support the construction of Expedition Tanzania, the new, expanded elephant habitat set to open in the fall of 2011.
When it first popped up at the intersection of Park and University, Wilko was a quick stop for UA students to grab some espresso or refrigerated food to-go. But a massive overhaul in 2010 transformed the space into a fully functional restaurant, and one that has continually added to its menu since.
As a modern gastropub, Wilko prepares all of its inventive comfort food right on-site. That includes sandwiches, flatbreads, and a group of "Tasty Misfits," which don't fit under any menu category, but come in the form of Sonoran bratwurst or pan-seared tilapia. In addition to the eats, diners can fill up empty water balloons or wash down bites with more than 30 wines, craft cocktails, and more than 10 beers on tap.