Democrats might have halcyon memories of JFK and Camelot, but we're betting you cigar aficionados think ol' Jack can just cram it. When the 35th president put that trade embargo on Cuba back in '61, he kept you from the love of your leaf. Just ask Richard "Mick" Connors, the Chicago native who's in a federal pen for attempting to smuggle close to 50 boxes of the verboten Cuban smokes from Canada. So unless you wanna be like Mick -- or stage a Midnight Express-like flight with a few dozen hand-rolled beauties taped to your chest -- catch the Macanudo "American Passion" Tour Bus when it visits Valley smoke shops from Friday, September 17, until Wednesday, September 22 -- especially since they'll be handing out free stogies. First up is Cigar Warehouse, 13802 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, at 1 p.m., where you can kick it in the 45-foot-long, rock-star-like tour bus, replete with all the trappings of your favorite VIP cigar lounge, including leather furnishings and a humidor. See www.macanudotour.com for additional stops. -- Benjamin Leatherman
We'll Rink To That
Arizona Roller Derby brings it on
Like cheerleaders gone terribly wrong, the pretty-in-punk Bruisers meet Arizona Roller Derby rivals the Bad News Beaters in the season opener this Saturday, September 18, at Surfside Skateland in Tempe. Teams dress up to take each other down in fishnets and little bitty skirts -- giving us serious high school déjá vu. For entertainment value, Family Secret and Cut Throat Freak Show join the fray, which starts at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets, $10 in advance and $12 at the door, are available all over town at reZurrection, Plush, Zia, Stinkweeds, and Cowtown Skateboards, for starters. See azrollerderby.com. --Kim Toms
Bootyful bikinis at Martini Ranch
After a brush with cancer last spring, Valley fashion designer Susan Di Staulo wanted to swim naked at Carnivale in Rio de Janeiro. The trip was "wishful thinking," she admits, so instead, Di Staulo poured her energy into designing swimwear. The results will be on display at the Bikini Fashion Show, Thursday, September 16, at Martini Ranch, 7295 East Stetson in Scottsdale.
Di Staulo -- who had help creating the next-to-nothings from partner designers Somer Viddisom and Jaymie Sprau -- says the biggest challenge was persuading the models to grin and bare it. "I had to beg, but a lot of my girls with really tight bodies agreed to do the show," Di Staulo says. "The others were just scared to flash their asses."
Doors open at 9 p.m., and the sashaying begins at 10 p.m. Call 480-970-0500 for details. -- Jonathan Winters
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