Th [sic] Sense and Arizona Curriculum Theater Move Out, Leaving Soul Invictus Vacant
The end of 2007, just before the closure of the Paper Heart gallery, performance space, and beer and wine bar, was the approximate heyday of the Grand Avenue alt-arts scene, at least so far. Not that it isn't still fun and diverting and full of promise for the future, but we'll get to that.
The cheesy lights are going out for a while at 1022 Grand Avenue.
Years of struggling to keep more than one bar of any kind, let alone more than one decent bar, open anywhere in the Seventh-to-15th-Avenue stretch, or to keep some sort of artsy endeavor open in the storefront between Trunk Space and Bikini Lounge (a.k.a. the one decent bar, and only if that's your groove), not to mention keeping food available in anything other than the dodgy spot around the corner by the boxing gym (hurray, Bragg's Factory Diner, but still no dinner) have been rough for people who simply want to hang out and have fun. But the situation's been even harder on the remaining retailers and venue operators, who depend on synergy to keep crowds at the break-even level.
- Three and a Half Kick-Ass Christmas Plays in the Valley
- Th [sic] Sense: Sic of the F#@*ing Heat! Is, Nonetheless, Fully Clothed -- but Fun
- Head: The Musical Is Pure, Horrifying Joy at Soul Invictus
When Paisley Violin moved out of the spot at 11th Avenue in 2011, we lost yet more food, wine, coffee, live music, and visual art, along with that all-important place to hang out before or after other events. Paisley's next-door neighbor, Soul Invictus, home to musicals and other plays, Th [sic] Sense sketch comedy troupe, public performances by Arizona Curriculum Theater, live nude body painting, occasional tiny band gigs, and so forth, was hit especially hard by the palpable disturbance in mood at that end of the street.
Nevertheless, audiences have continued to find the gallery/venue, and Soul Invictus/[sic] Sense honcho Franc Gaxiola confirmed to New Times what we've noticed: "Over the last couple of years, both of us [ACT and T[s]S] have been selling out shows and having to add extra seats." Faced with shouldering the expense of upgrading an adventure-prone HVAC system at a space in which they might well choose not to remain in the near future, the two companies have banded together to embrace their growth and find new digs in another neighborhood.
Gaxiola says he's happily anticipating "having the flexibility of being able to do shows in the summer with A/C," though in terms of 2013, while wrapping up a move-out that continues through this weekend and raising funds to equip a new theater, "the goal is to have the venue ready for Th [sic] Sense in September and the Arizona Curriculum show in October." (That latter is usually the creepy and ultra-literate Poefest.)