Thursday, November 15, 2018

Laughing Stock: “Southern” Accents.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Allen Strickland Williams dresses up for laughs at Borderlands Brewing Nov. 19 - OMNIPOP TALENT GROUP
  • Omnipop Talent Group
  • Allen Strickland Williams dresses up for laughs at Borderlands Brewing Nov. 19
Allen Strickland Williams comes to Brew Ha Ha

How much love can Tucson muster for a prep-school-named comic in a suit and tie? You’re not from Stanhope country, are you, son? Somehow on him, though, the anomalous sartorial choice is kinda hot. You know he could beat the pants off Idris Alba in trivia. Then there’s that telltale Southern accent.

Allen Strickland Williams has performed twice on Conan and been named to Comics to Watch lists on both Comedy Central and the Los Angeles Times. He’s performed at South by Southwest, Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival and LA’s Riot Fest, among many other festivals. And he trained with UCB in both improv and sketch.

An iPhone flip through his YouTube channel is the best choice in any waiting room. Plus, he plays guitar, writes for Vice and, in an impossible case, landed a role in the 2018 season opener of Corporate.

Brew Ha Ha co-producers Rory Monserrat and Matt Ziemak regard his booking for their Nov. 19 Brew Ha Ha a big step in the project’s growth.

“Our main goal for Brew Ha Ha has always been to produce a quality stand-up showcase,” Zeimak says, “so being able to bring in these comics we respect and enjoy lets me know that the hard work we’re doing is paying off.

“(Partnering) with such a caring local business (Borderlands Brewing Company) has definitely helped make this a show people come back to month after month.”

The rest of the Nov. 19 bill includes New Yorker Brian Bahe, Phoenicians Tristan Bowling and Dana Whissen, and Tucsonan Eli W.T.

There’s a Brew Ha Ha every third Monday at Borderlands Brewery. The cover is $5, payable at the door and includes one of any Borderlands brew.

Blame it on Estrogen

Our top women-run comedy show, The Estrogen Hour, and the upstart Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby, both play for your adventurous mind this week.

A benefit for cancer research, The Estrogen Hour isn’t entirely about sex, but it always sells out. The show is at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2. It’s $15 plus a two-item minimum. Go to Estrogen Hour on Facebook for reservation details and the lineup.

Rebecca Tingley says her “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby” on Thanksgiving, is all about giving and receiving. That show’s gift is that we always learn something new. It’s at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 22, at Club Congress; $3. 

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Arizona Farm & Food Festival

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 10:27 AM

click image Visit the Arizona Farm and Food Festival on Saturday, Nov. 10. - THE SOUTHERN ARIZONA ARTS & CULTURAL ALLIANCE (SAACA)
  • The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA)
  • Visit the Arizona Farm and Food Festival on Saturday, Nov. 10.

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and Casino Del Sol are partnering for the Arizona Farm & Food Festival on Saturday, Nov. 10. The festival will include live cooking demonstrations, food samplings, a farmer's market, children's activities, cultural entertainment and opportunities to meet with local chefs. 

The festival will showcase more than 35 sampling stations. Some of the stations will offer foods like truffle artisan popcorn, gourmet salsa, lavender lemonade, ceviche, smoked brisket and many different variations of tacos. Local restaurants that will be participating include Boca Tacos y Tequila, Grand Canyon Brewery, Brushfire BBQ Co., KingFisher, El Charro, Seis Kitchen, and many more!

click image Visit the Arizona Farm and Food Festival on Saturday, Nov. 10. - THE SOUTHERN ARIZONA ARTS & CULTURAL ALLIANCE (SAACA)
  • The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA)
  • Visit the Arizona Farm and Food Festival on Saturday, Nov. 10.
There will also be an interactive wine and beer tent that will showcase local spirits purveyors. Libations from local breweries and distilleries will be offered along with tasting tours for individuals over the age of 21.

While festival goers sample on foods and drinks, live bands will be performing including The Blues, Americana, Alt-Country, Kevin Pakulis and his Band, The Begave Trio and Navajo music.

"The Arizona Farm & Food Festival is an investment in the sustainability of Arizona's cultural food heritage. Connecting chefs and restaurants with local food producers supports preservation of our culture," said Kate Marquez, SAACA Executive Director.

The Arizona Farm & Food Festival will be on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Casino Del Sol's AVA Amphitheater located on 5655 W. Valencia Rd.

Tickets for general admission will be sold at $35 and upgraded tickets to sample alcohol will be $50 per ticket.

For more information about the festival and to purchase tickets, visit

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Wildcat Wine Club Starts at UA

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 3:10 PM

  • Courtesy Wildcat Wine Club

It's easy to find t-shirts, bumperstickers and water bottles in Tucson stamped with the Wildcat  logo or University of Arizona "A" but now, thanks to a partnership with Mano's Wine, you can receive engraved bottles of wine in the mail to celebrate the Wildcats.

Mano's Wine and the UA have partnered to start up a wine club, which will send members three bottles of wine every quarter, each painted and engraved with a different UA Wildcats designs.

"We think this is a really fun way for Arizona fans and alumni to engage with the university," said Alixe Holcomb, director of Arizona Trademarks and Licensing.

Proceeds from the wine club will benefit the university and help create new programing and enrichment opportunities.

Perfect for graduations, alumni parties and other UA themed events, the high-quality bottles would make a perfect gift for any Wildcat.

"This collaboration with Mano's Wine gives our alumni another way to display their Wildcat pride," said Melinda Burke, president of the Alumni Association. "We look forward to the wine club's growth, which will open up future opportunities to collaborate with out talented alumni in the wine industry."

Currently, Mano's wine sources their grapes from around the world. After the wine is selected, artists create designs for the wine club members. Each new wine club member will receive a custom-etched bottle with their name and member number.

Throughout the year they will receive three hand-selected varietals each quarter, all with Wildcat designs.

For members who join soon, this quarter's selections are Mano's Pinot Noir, a Handcrafted Reserve which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a California Rose.

The initial bottle costs $29.95 and the three bottle packages are $89.95 each quarter after that.

For more information about Mano's Wines click here and for more information about the Wildcat Wine Club click here.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Salsa, Tacos and Tequila, Oh My!

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 3:16 PM

2018 Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge at La Encantada - COURTESY SAACA
  • Courtesy SAACA
  • 2018 Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge at La Encantada

A little rain couldn't dampen the festivities on Sunday night at the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance's Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge. There was plenty of music, food and drink to go around.

39 local restaurants, distilleries and chefs flooded the La Encantada mall this past weekend and the community turned out to circle their way around the many tasting tables and end up on the dance floor. Local band Zona Libre played a combination of "latino urbano" and "pop americano" that set the fun and festive mood of the evening.

Zona Libre playing at the Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge, Sunday, Sept. 2. - COURTESY SAACA
  • Courtesy SAACA
  • Zona Libre playing at the Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge, Sunday, Sept. 2.
Guests were handed a bag of chips upon entering the mall, and the salsa tasting commenced. A personal favorite in the food category were the tacos from Crossroads Restaurant, which were a tiny meal complete with a side of rice and beans, but all of the salsa and tacos ranging from traditional to unique were delicious.

An abundance of mini margaritas also filled the courtyard, with flavors like prickly pear, mango and citrus. Varying levels of added jalapeno or Tajin (chili lime salt) added a particularly Tucson-esque flair.

Other stand-out challengers included Highwire Lounge, which gave tasters a magic berry to eat that changed their tastebuds to taste sweetness, and then provided a very sour margarita that tasted surprisingly sweet. The only downside to this science experiment was that the sweet taste stayed in your mouth for about 15 minutes after eating the berry, a little problematic when there were other tacos and tequila to taste.

SpunLight Cotton Candy was another a fun stop in the line around the courtyard, and slightly tequila-drunk adults dancing around with large white fluffs of cotton candy made for a comical scene.

Challengers set up their tasting table on both levels of the mall and tasters milled around under the string lights and impressive lightning show overhead.

The event's competition was split into multiple categories, each of which had judges choices and people's choices.

The official results were as follows:

Taco Awards
Judge's Choice 1st Place — Tequila Factory – Tecate Traveling Taco
Judge's Choice 2nd Place – The Living Room — Chilaquiles
People's Choice 1st Place — El Coronado Restaurant - Birria Taco
People's Choice 2nd Place — The Grill at Quail Creek - Pork Belly Taco

Judge's Choice 1st Place Tequila – Cruz Del Sol Tequila with their Cruz Resposado Tequila
  • Judge's Choice 1st Place Tequila – Cruz Del Sol Tequila with their Cruz Resposado Tequila

Tequila Awards

Judge's Choice 1st Place – Cruz Del Sol Tequila — Cruz Resposado Tequila

Judge's Choice 2nd Place — 3 Amigos – 8 Year Extra Anejo Tequila

People's Choice 1st Place – The Lodge at Ventana Canyon — Berry White

People's Choice 2nd Place — 3 Amigos – 8 Year Extra Anejo Tequila

Salsa Awards

Judge's Choice Traditional Salsa 1st Place — Crossroads Restaurant — Tomatillo Salsa

Judge's Choice Traditional Salsa 2nd Place— The Grill at Quail Creek – Brasas Salsa

Judge's Choice Alternative Salsa 1st Place — Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain — Sweet Mango Chile Salsa

Judge's Choice Alternative Salsa 2nd Place — The Tequila Factory — Fruit Pico de Gallo Salsa

People's Choice Salsa 1st Place — Angie's Kick Ass Salsa — Hot Salsa

People's Choice Salsa 2nd Place — Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain — Sweet Mango Chile Salsa

People's Choice Salsa 3rd Place — Angie's Gourmet To Go - Fire Roasted Tomato Mango Habanero Salsa

Display Award

Judge's Choice Most Creative Display — Rigo's Restaurant

The Southern Arizona Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge is a fundraising event to benefit the presenting nonprofit organizations. All proceeds that are raised through ticket sales are invested into programs that provide foundational support to the communities' well-being.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Laughing Stock: Cool Summer Comedy

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Willie Barcena headlines at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, June 16. - WILLIE BARCENA'S FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Willie Barcena's Facebook Page
  • Willie Barcena headlines at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, June 16.
Comedians Willie Barcena and Gilbert Esquivel bring their combined 50 years’ experience in high-energy showmanship and irreverent comedy to the Fox stage at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 16. Tickets for the 18-and-over show are $22 to $47 via

Barcena, a 12-time guest on the "Tonight Show," is known to fans for appearances on several TV series, tour stops all over the world, and his own stand-up specials on Comedy Central, Showtime and Netflix. He also hosted Si TV’s "Latino Laugh Festival: The Show." Barcena’s live appearances are said to cover everything we wouldn’t talk about in polite company.

Esquivel was practically born a road warrior having grown up following the harvest seasons across the U.S. with his migrant-worker family. Now he tours comedy clubs, colleges, prisons and the Las Vegas strip, taking time out to reap TV credits and produce a commercially available DVD, "Thou Shalt Laugh."

Take the kids retro!

See "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 23, and "Clueless" at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 30 at Fox Tucson Theatre. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and free for Fox members and kids under 12. Did you know that the Fox was Tucson's first air-conditioned entertainment venue?

Unscrewed Theatre Lives: Neighborly and kid-friendly.

As its new space in Midway Business Park #39 (4500 E Speedway Blvd.) is being transformed, Unscrewed sustains its fans with free weekly comedy, hosted by two of its new neighbors. Four of the company’s house teams cycle through shows at 7 p.m. Fridays at Dedicated Gluten-Free Coffee Shop, #41, and 7 p.m. Saturdays at Mama’s Famous Pizza & Heros, #79. Visit the Unscrewed Theatre page on Facebook for updates on the new theater’s progress.

Unscrewed also offers summer camps for teens. Two, one-week sessions for ages 12 to 14 and 15 to 18 take place July 16 to 20, and 23 through 27. Kids can have fun building listening and communication skills, teamwork, character development and the selflessness of making their scene partner look good, all within the context of improv games that encourage noisy, active fun. Visit for more information and to register.

Date Night!

With the fabulous Lola Torch as host, the Tucson Libertine League features a DJ throw down as the sound track for its burlesque show at 9 p.m., Saturday, June 16 191 E. Toole. Tickets are $12. DJ Herm and B-Rad provide the beats. Acorn B-Corn perform live music with dancers and Lela Rose is a special guest among the dozen dancers featured.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Catalina Brewing Beers Good News for Striking Teachers

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Catalina Brewing Company is throwing their hat into the educational ring, offering specials for all teachers and their allies. The support may a bit seem odd until you learn their staff is mostly made up of former or current teachers. This week they’ll be hosting a few events for #RedforEd.

Wednesday, April 25, 4 to 9 p.m.: A pre-strike special will be open for everyone who wants to show their support. CBC will sell two slices of pizza and a pint for $7. Owner and brewmaster Hank Rowe, who is a retired social studies teacher from Coronado and Amphi, will be pouring and serving!

Thursday, April 26: Teachers can get a beer and a sandwich from The Jersey Grill for $10.

This week CBC is also releasing their "Hop For Teacher" Session IPA, and their "Teacher's Aid" Scottish Ale will be kegged in the coming weeks. In addition, they always offer a 10 percent discount to all those involved in education, both current and former.

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Three B's of This Weekend's Baja Beer Festival

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 9:01 PM

(Four if you count bloat, and five if you count bliss.)

The Brews

The guys over at Sentinel Peak are bringing their Salida del Sol Amber beer, which is like a desert sunset in beer form, both because of its warm color and the way drinking it melts away the stresses of the day into the cool stillness of the evening. Equal parts smooth and spicy, it’s their most popular brew by far.

“If we brew five days a week, we brew that one four days a week, just to keep up with demand across the state,” said Sentinel Peak co-owner Jeremy Hilderbrand.

Whether you’ve admitted it to yourself yet or not, temperatures are starting to creep up, but Sentinel Peak’s crisp, light and local (some of the brew’s wheat grains are grown over in Marana) Heatwave Hefeweizen will keep you cool.

With a repertory of beers including "Señorwheata" and “Oats, Oats Baby,” the owners of Dillinger Brewing (all UA alumni!) knew they had to come to Baja Beer Fest prepared. So they’ve got the Boatshoes Hazy IPA, their entry into the festival's IPA competition, judged by the Tucson Homebrew Club, and named for their old college kicks that they still wear when they’re brewing.

Their second new offering is “The Notorious ESB.” The “ESB” stands for “Extra Special Bitter,” and the mild, malty brew is a part of Dillinger’s series of traditional beers. Said co-founder Aaron Long, "I mean, I think everyone likes old-school rap."

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. A full list of the beers available from the festivals' 40+ vendors can be found here.

The Bites

Reps from the Gastronomic Union of Tucson will be present — four teams worth of them. Chefs from all over town teamed up to put together a collection of beer-friendly menus.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 2:52 PM

If you’re already feeling nostalgic for the way the Easter Bunny hopped in and out of your life last weekend, the perfect solution for this weekend is to fill that void with a different kind of hop.

The third annual Baja Beer Festival features more than 40 vendors, all from Arizona, with a special focus on India Pale Ales, or IPA’s, this year. In fact, the Tucson Homebrew Club recently judged the
 first-ever statewide IPA competition, and the winners will be announced this weekend as well.

Another first? The fest has teamed up with the Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT) to keep your stomach full of something besides bubbles. No outside food is allowed, unless in the form of a stylish pretzel necklace.

The Baja Beer Festival takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at Armory Park.

A $35 general admission ticket includes 20 tasting tickets (one ticket gets you one 4 oz beer tasting). $60 VIP tickets get you in at 1 p.m., an extra hour early, include 25 tasting tickets and a food voucher. Both come with a commemorative tasting mug, so you’ll have something to remember the afternoon by, even if you forget everything that actually happens. Designated driver tickets are available for 10 bucks.

Check out the full list of beers available at the event.

For more information, visit

Staff Pick

@ Mission Garden Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Continues through Nov. 24 Corner of Grande Avenue and Mission Lane.

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