Beneath their joke-slinging exterior, comedians can be fiercely competitive. When vying for club bookings or working material at open mic night, their desire to be the best bubbles up and sharpens their wit. So when Indiana Comedy Festival puts a $5,000 prize on the line, it turns the competition into a war. Across three weeks and 14 cities, 20 comedians fling their best anecdotes and observations to make it to the finals and get within a mic-stand's reach of the purse. These are no amateurs, however; many of the contestants boast credits from such programs as Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, HBO's Def Comedy Jam, and The Bob and Tom Show.
Inside Amhurst Asylum, which is rumored to have housed a real psychiatric hospital in the 1920s, things have gone terribly awry. Those who venture into its depths find remnants of what Dr. Amhurst was experimenting with before the asylum was shut down. His experiments were far ranging and often involved gruesome transplants of limbs and organs, all in the hopes of saving his wife from a degenerative disease. Some of his patients still roam the halls, and attempt to reclaim their phantom limbs from unsuspecting visitors in the asylum's darkest corners. The grounds are so scary, in fact, that only the most seasoned adventurers may enter—children younger than 10 aren't allowed in, and children younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult or Poltergeist-protection vest.
Cardinal Fitness provides a throng of workout amenities in a fully equipped epicenter of exercise. Bolster blood-pumping organs with sophisticated cardio equipment while buttressing biceps and shaping solar plexuses on top-notch strength-training equipment. Although Austrian bodybuilders have pumped the world's iron supply to dangerously low levels, Cardinal still provides enough of the strength-fortifying mineral for a wide array of free weights. Your personal training session will give you a jump-start at the gym and enhance subsequent workouts by providing you with information on the best exercises for your body, as well as individualized advice for achieving fitness goals.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or cha-cha. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Executive chef Jack Rickey brightens up his dishes at Billy Jack’s Bar and Grill by packing every recipe with crimson tomatoes, yellow sweet corn, and other colorful southwestern ingredients. The fiery flavors of chipotle peppers and chiles stimulate tongues when blended into the poblano-cream sauce poured over sizzling steak and shrimp or the aioli drizzled over sweet and spicy pork medallions. Bold ingredients find their way into seafood dishes as well, from the peaches that sweeten the BBQ roasted salmon to the jalapeno sauce that coats the restaurant's crab-stuffed tilapia and crab-stuffed piñatas.
Martinis Culinary Cocktail Lounge is aptly named—the bar's martini list boasts a roster of cocktails more than 120 drinks long. However, bartenders also pour top-shelf spirits and craft beers to complement their Mediterranean plates, which range from chicken parmesan and tortellini to build-your-own pizzas. The kitchen staff also whips up seafood dishes, such as shrimp stuffed with blue crab and linguine with clams, which evoke Italy’s seaside regions more appetizingly than free glasses of salt water. As patrons drink and dine, the lounge’s weekly shows entertain with comedy sets and live music.