Ring of Fire

Ernesto Moncada wears a lot of hats in his downtown Phoenix adventures: writer, poet, comedian, performance artist. Each one contributes to his mischievous and raunchy alter ego Ernasty, the goth-eyed host of Firestage, the unpredictable variety show and open mic that celebrates its sixth anniversary on Friday, August 15.

Between jokes and quips, Ernasty doesn’t so much control the chaos of the monthly mish-mash of music, stand-up comedy, poetry, belly dancing, and stage performance as he is its nimble tour guide. Early on, Firestage was heavy on poetry until, Moncada says, “Someone asked us if we could feature some touring bands that were scheduled to play at the new Willow House on Van Buren, a venue that was shut down that same night by their landlord.” The go-with-the-flow flavor now stands as a hallmark of Phoenix’s wiliest live show that's kept audiences returning each month for six years.

The Firestage’s Sixth Anniversary Show is at The Firehouse Gallery, 1015 North First Street, and starts at 9 p.m. The suggested donation for admission is $5. For more information, visit

Fri., Aug. 15, 9 p.m., 2014