Scorpius Dance Theatre brings Duran Duran to Phoenix Theatre

Duran Duran music lovers were treated to a band extravaganza this past weekend during Scorpius Dance Theatre‘s Catwalk at Phoenix Theatre. The show featured two Duran Duran-themed acts, first with a slew of dances choreographed by Scorpius founder Lisa Starry (whom you can learn more about on Phoenix People here), then with live music by Duran Duran tribute band Rio.

Rio Duran Duran tribute band

Scorpius has been entertaining Valley dance lovers for 15 years now, and their shows are fun, colorful and full of talent. The troupe of more than 20 members has plenty of adept hot bodies, including aerial specialists who flew around the stage on ropes and hoops to add a cool layer to the show.

Scorpius Dance Theatre at Phoenix Theatre

I am not super-familiar with Duran Duran music, but I really enjoyed the show because the music was upbeat and lent itself to eye-catching moves. There was a sexy bedroom scene, an intense aerial solo, and lots of group numbers that showed off toned glutes under short skirts.

Starry has put on Catwalk several times now, and my only suggestion would be to have added more dancing to the live band aspect, which was awesome to see toward the end.

You’ll definitely want to check out one of Scorpius’ upcoming shows, including their classic stand-out A Vampire Tale (which I’ve always loved seeing.) Find the full Scorpius schedule here.

Gadzooks enchiladas paradise for cheese lovers

Mmmm. Enchiladas have always been one of my favorite foods, and there’s a Phoenix eatery solely devoted to cheese-filled tortilla bites of heaven: Gadzooks.

Gadzooks enchiladas

For those of us who always dreamed of an enchilada bar, Gadzooks makes those reveries come true. The spot serves up just about any type of enchilada you’d like, as well as quesadillas, soup, tacos and salad. The tortillas are freshly made, and the combinations are endless.

Gadzooks soup quesadilla and tacos

Fillings include chicken, pork, potato, bison, mushroom, short ribs and two types of cheese ($6.50-$6.75 for two tacos or two enchiladas), and then you get to douse your order in salsa, sauce, slaw and more. You can order three, but two were plenty for me, and I left with a full, happy stomach.

The joint is order at-the-counter with a patio, and it’s a really great alternative to Chipotle if you’re looking for some new fast Mexican food. They also serve sangria, margaritas and beer. Find more info on Gadzooks here.

Arizona Wrestling Federation at Peoria Community Center excites all ages (VIDEO)

If you’re into muscle-laden guys in hot pants, check out the Arizona Wrestling Federation, which brings WWE-style action to local masses, with an entertaining show filled with humorous storylines and exciting ring smackdowns.

Arizona Wrestling Federation at Peoria Community Center

I checked out the competitors this past weekend at the Peoria Community Center, and a packed house cheered on guys such as Alexander Hammerstone and The Prophet, as they picked each other up, slammed each other on the ground, hit each other in very sensitive places, and dropkicked each other while hyping up fans with witty banter.

A suited-up emcee guided audience members through the action, as each wrestler was introduced to his own theme music and promo video before high-fiving fans and running up into the ring. The costumes were colorful, the trash talk seemed genuine, and the pain was real – I saw more than a couple bloody faces at the ends of matches.

Arizona Wrestling Federation at Peoria Community Center

I was really impressed with how passionate all the competitors seemed, from the care they put into their looks, to the sassy crowd interaction, to the precision of their fighting moves. There was never a dull moment, and the fans, which included many little kids and more than a few diehards with T-shirts bearing their favorite wrestlers’ logos, ate it up.

I had no idea something like this existed in the Valley, and while it’s a bummer it’s a bit of a drive all the way out to Peoria for us Scottsdale dwellers, it was well worth the trip. Tickets are cheap at only $7, since the amount of production that goes into the show is high-quality and could demand a much higher price – or at least a larger venue where they could reach more people. Tempe Center for the Arts comes to mind.

The Arizona Wrestling Federation has only been around for about a year, and they have another show coming up Saturday, August 9, again at the Peoria Community Center. It’s a fun family event, and if you love wrestling, you’ll definitely be impressed by the line-up. Find more information here.

Strawberry Hedgehog natural, vegan beauty products will make your nose happy

If you want eco-conscious beauty products and love to support local businesses, check out Strawberry Hedgehog. Now.

Strawberry Hedgehog

The local soap, facial mist, body cream, beard oil and deodorant line uses natural, vegan ingredients to create heavenly smelling offerings, which are cruelty-free. It was founded in 2007 by charming local lady Tracy Perkins and is sold in Whole Foods stores around Arizona, as well as online and in shops around the Valley and in California.

After a recent visit with Tracy, I took home a bag full of goodies I’m sort of addicted to smelling. The packaging is also adorable, and the soaps are really pretty – like extra decorations for your bathroom.

I’m absolutely in love with the Tea Tree-Rosemary Face bar, $9, with organic coconut oils, organic palm oil and natural herbs, spices and minerals. It’s ideal for oily to combination skin, promoting antioxidant activity and includes invigorating peppermint and gentle exfoliating qualities. It smells amazing – probably the best thing to cover your face with on the daily – and really leaves you feeling clean and refreshed.

Tea Tree Rosemary clarifying facial soap Strawberry Hedgehog

I got two soaps – some Blueberry Lavender, $8, which is one of Tracy’s most popular brands, and a Lavender Vanilla, $8, which has two of my favorite scents.

Blueberry Lavender Strawberry Hedgehog

Lavender Vanilla Strawberry Hedgehog

They’re both made with organic coconut oils, palm oils, herbs and minerals, and they work up great lathers that will make you never want to stop washing your hands.

I also was treated to a Hydrating Mist, $10, a refreshing spray that is good for setting mineral makeup or to just cool off and add some antioxidant-filled ingredients to your precious pores. It contains tea, organic aloe vera and essential oils, and instead of leaving you oily, it helps to balance your hydration levels so you don’t overproduce oil to compensate for dryness. As someone with oily skin, trust me, I love this mist!

Hydrating Mists Strawberry Hedgehog

One of the coolest things about Strawberry Hedgehog is that there are “Soap Clubs” offered. Because the soaps are all made from vegan ingredients, they have a shorter shelf life than artificial stuff, so it’s best to get them in smaller quantities. With the Soap Club, you get a unique new scent each month, and each bar lasts one person who uses it for daily showering about a month. The club starts at $30 for three months, which includes all shipping and handling. You’re saving money on three bars, and you get access to seasonal or special scents. What a cool gift idea! The more you purchase, the higher the discount.

Tracy also hosts monthly workshops on the third Thursday of every month. Thursday, June 19 will be a class on aromatherapy, and you can keep up-to-date on all the Strawberry Hedgehog happenings on the Facebook page.

Find out more about Strawberry Hedgehog, and make purchases, here.

Scandalesque brings the sexy to The Pressroom

Local burlesque troupe Scandalesque has been going strong for 10 years now, and for good reason. The highly entertaining show, which includes everything from acrobatics and fire twirling, to sexy striptease and song-and-dance, features talented performers who craft carefully choreographed, polished acts for a highly professional performance.

Scandalesque at The Pressroom

I’ve been a fan of the troupe since I first saw them at the now-closed Paper Heart in Phoenix around seven years ago, and when I checked them out at The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix this past weekend, I was thrilled with how their Madonna/Marilyn Monroe-themed show turned out.

Scandalesque at The Press Room

Founders Pyrrha (Christy Zandlo) and Lady Fonatyne (Julianna Curtis) are the anchors of the show, performing many of the songs and getting the crowd pumped up for their supporting cast members. The ladies are both stellar singers with uber-hot bodies, and they draw inspiration from classic burlesque performances to put together their shows. A feisty host kept the action moving, with songs alternating between the two legendary singers.

Scandalesque at The Press Room

Each song included dazzling costumes, and there was always something cool to watch, whether it was feather fans covering up a nearly naked upper-half, or a performer climbing up and flipping around fabric high off the ground. Sure, there was a ton of skin being shown off, but the moves were classy.

Paired with live art, cigarette gals mingling in the crowd, a full bar and a ton of audience participation (including lucky guys who received lap dances), the event was captivating all around.

Find more on Scandalesque here.

Courtney Cotter King brings sunshine and happiness to Rogue Bar

Courtney Cotter King is a breath of fresh air in the Valley music scene. The cutie pie is a talented singer/pianist with powerhouse vocals and melodies that will leave you dancing and smiling.

Courtney Cotter King at Rogue Bar

I checked her out at Rogue Bar this week, a dive bar that provided a cool contrasting background to her poppy tunes. She played tracks off her current album, Rooftops, deftly tinkling the keys with a full backing band. I would definitely say Cotter King is one artist to watch out for in the Arizona music scene — learn more about her here, and watch some videos from the show below.

Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers a stellar Old Town Scottsdale sports bar

Sports bars with great service are bank in my book. Often, I visit ones where the rowdy action that’s happening on TV and throughout the bar gives servers an excuse to neglect your dining needs or act hurried in their interactions, but I’m pleased to say Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers in Old Town Scottsdale is a great exception to this rule.

Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers in Old Town Scottsdale

I went there recently to watch the Indiana Pacers beat the Miami Heat (woo!) and had a great time chilling out on the mister-filled patio. We had prime seating in front of a large flat-screen television and a cool view of Old Town Scottsdale. Now I know why the patio is constantly packed whenever I drive by – the place has great food, a killer happy hour, 25 TVs and service with a smile.

One of the things that’s greatest about Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers is that their happy hour lasts until 7 p.m., and starts at 3 p.m. It features great specials, including $3 domestic pints and $5 appetizers.

As the restaurant name implies, the beer list is huge, but my favorite part about the meal was the delicious grilled cheese sandwich and side salad. The sandwich comes with fries or chips for $8, and with my salad, it was only $10. This was great bar food, a huge portion, with three types of cheeses and tomato. I added avocado, which is my favorite way to have it. I was impressed with the fresh salad, and left taking half my sandwich home.

Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers in Old Town Scottsdale

My companion’s Turkey Burger ($12) also looked generous, and he said it tasted graet. I stole some of his sweet potato tots (an extra $2), and they were worth the splurge – perfectly crispy and, again, a massive portion that had him taking half the meal home.

Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers in Old Town Scottsdale

Throughout the night, I was pleasantly surprised any server that passed by our table checked on us. Servers should work as a team, helping out each other’s tables with whatever they need, and that’s the philosophy here – really impressive.

The atmosphere was fun, with friendly banter and cheering among tables for the games. It’s casual and unpretentious, yet you’ll feel valued and have a great meal. Also, be sure to “check in” on Yelp, Facebook or Twitter to score 10 percent off your bill.

Learn more about Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers here.

Nail bar terés offers great nail membership deal

Nail salons should be relaxing, comfortable and great-smelling. Scottsdale’s terés nail bar fits all that criteria, allowing customizable pampering experiences for hands and feet.

teres nail bar in Scottsdale

Walk into the nail bar, and it sort of looks like an apothecary’s station, with soothing scrubs and potions made with local ingredients neatly organized behind the manicure bar.

teres nail bar in Scottsdale

A feminine movie will be playing silently on the screen, and the medium lighting instantly relaxes you – unlike bright salons that give off a sterile vibe.

teres nail bar in Scottsdale

I got a spa pedicure ($28) during my visit, with a sugar scrub added on. My nail technician, the friendly and knowledgeable Allison, trimmed and filed my nails before sloughing off my soles, creating a smooth canvas for the polish. She then added the brown sugar scrub ($6), with natural fatty acids to keep skin smooth.

teres nail bar in Scottsdale

Each “luxury” you add on to your pedicure, such as paraffin dips and masques, include aromatherapy and are finished with hot towels. I chose the “Stress Relief” therapy, with lavender and chamomile. The scent was potent and definitely ahhhh-inducing.

Be sure to “check in” to the salon on Facebook, Twitter or Yelp while you’re there, since you’ll score a free whipped shea butter finish to your mani or pedi, normally $3.

I like the membership aspect to terés, which is free and simply transfers what you pay in membership to your next service. It’s $25 a month and gives a discount on all services. If you know you’re a once-a-month mani/pedi person, the membership is well worth it because of the discounts.

The nail bar features upgrades such as glitter, gel and hot stone massages. I liked the professionalism and tranquil atmosphere, and my pedicure looks great. For more info on terés, go here.

Head to San Diego in style with a deal from Uber

I know it’s less expensive than flying, but I absolutely hate driving more than two hours anywhere. Blame it on a rollover car accident I had where I had to be helicoptered to a hospital afterward, but I know firsthand the dangers of long car rides, especially if you’re road tripping with friends and can get distracted by loud music, on-the-road snacking and rowdy conversations.

Enter Uber, my favorite private car service in the Valley that is now offering round-trip SUV transportation to you and three friends to San Diego, for a limited time.

Uber On Demand San Diego

They’re currently running a promotion that will take up to four people to the beachy city out West, where you’ll stay for two nights at the W San Diego in a room with two double beds, as well as score breakfast each day at Kelvin Restaurant,  plus get a W rooftop private cabana and bottle of liquor, and VIP access to a downtown San Diego club of your choice.

The package, valued at up to $1,850 if you were to travel by plane, costs $1,400 through Uber, or $350 per person when four people go. One of the cool things about the ride to SD is you can drink in the SUV and get the party started the minute you depart. Compare that to pricey flight cocktails, and that might make the ride worth it in itself.

You can book Uber San Diego rides this Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10, or Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24. For more info, go here.

Scottsdale Beauty Bar offers blowouts for a steal

I love salons where the owners seem to actually care about you, which is why I had a wonderful experience when I checked out the Scottsdale Beauty Bar recently after being invited for a blowout. Owner Becca Smith took care of my locks, and her passion and genuine caring for her clients was evident by the great service I received and personable banter that included making sure I was satisfied with how every strand turned out.

Becca, an ambitious young business owner who has opened several salons in the Valley, aims to make the Scottsdale Beauty Bar a one-stop shop for all things fabulous, with full hair services including color and cuts, a nail bar and tanning. The salon is cute and cozy, and the complimentary champagne you can sip while you’re indulged is a nice touch.

Scottsdale Beauty Bar

Scottsdale Beauty Bar

Scottsdale Beauty Bar

What stood out to me most about the spot is the killer “happy hour” deal – blowouts for only $20 every day the salon is open (it’s only closed Sunday’s), from 4-7 p.m. Considering the salon is within walking distance of some of Old Town Scottsdale’s busiest nightclubs, including Maya Day + Nightclub, that is one smoking deal. It’s a great excuse to grab a girlfriend, unwind, and get a sleek and sexy hairdo before cocktails or a night on the town.

You can also get braids and extensions at Scottsdale Beauty Bar, and judging from Becca’s beautiful, long hair that looked completely natural but included locks from the extension brand she uses on clients, I’d say the salon is a good spot to try.

Becca said she hopes to expand her offerings but wants to grow at a pace where she doesn’t sacrifice service – if only all Valley salons had the same mentality.

Learn more about Scottsdale Beauty Bar here.