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Best Of 2000

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Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

Best Swingers' Club

"Do I make you horny, baby? Do I?" Austin Powers may claim to be the man who put the "grrr" in swinger, but he has nothing on the guys who own the Trapeze Club, which sends whatever image you may have of a swingers' club out the window. Behind its bland storefront are plush surroundings that make the Trapeze the Ritz-Carlton of "alternative-lifestyle" clubs: a stylishly lit triangular dance floor backed by a mirrored wall; an L-shape mahogany bar and lounge area; a lavish buffet of cheeses, fruits, and other hors d'oeuvres in a corner where couples engage in conversation and occasionally glance at the video screens above. On the way to the fun spots down the hallway, you'll pass a room with a pool table, couches, and adult video games, and male and female locker rooms are located across from the main social room, where there's a comfy sectional that can accommodate up to 10 or 15 people, always conducive to a "friendly" atmosphere. For people looking to get wet, there are three hot tubs side by side in another room, and the biggest room has four adjacent king-size beds. There's even a modified swing (read: sling) where a reclining body can sway freely back and forth. But it's the elegance and the cleanliness that make this hot spot an easy place to let yourself go -- little details like the tasseled throw pillows, the soft-colored walls, the intimate lighting. Of course an adult playground wouldn't be complete without fun themes like Disco Thursdays, Schoolgirl Nights, and Pumps-Only Nights, and monthly contests and events such as an erotic food-eating contest make for great interaction. Open to all willing and free-spirited adults, including singles (except for Saturdays and Sundays, which are reserved for couples), Trapeze is one club where you won't need a safety net for a high-flying act.

Best Film Festival

After 14 years this sprawling event is still pretty much the only game in town. Its days as a scrappy little upstart are long gone, replaced by an ambitious schedule that screens more than a hundred flicks from all over the world over the course of three and a half weeks. Sometimes it seems as if executive director Gregory von Hausch wants the festival to be all things to all people, but he also continues to have shrewd instincts. Year before last he gave Affliction and Little Voice exposure long before they snagged their Oscar nominations, and for the most recent festival he did the same with Pedro Almodóvar's now-acclaimed All About My Mother, which went on to win an Oscar, and Tumbleweeds, which didn't. He also unearthed such still-overlooked gems as Joe the King and The War Zone and brought gay icon Bruce Vilanch to the masses with the riotous documentary Get Bruce!

Best Film Festival

After 14 years this sprawling event is still pretty much the only game in town. Its days as a scrappy little upstart are long gone, replaced by an ambitious schedule that screens more than a hundred flicks from all over the world over the course of three and a half weeks. Sometimes it seems as if executive director Gregory von Hausch wants the festival to be all things to all people, but he also continues to have shrewd instincts. Year before last he gave Affliction and Little Voice exposure long before they snagged their Oscar nominations, and for the most recent festival he did the same with Pedro Almodóvar's now-acclaimed All About My Mother, which went on to win an Oscar, and Tumbleweeds, which didn't. He also unearthed such still-overlooked gems as Joe the King and The War Zone and brought gay icon Bruce Vilanch to the masses with the riotous documentary Get Bruce!

Best Art Gallery

Long before Haitian art became fashionable -- a dozen years ago, to be exact -- gallery owner Katie Barr was struggling to make her mark in the competitive South Florida art market. She started out with a tiny space in a nondescript little shopping plaza in Boca Raton, where she attracted potential customers with cheese-and-wine receptions and began building up a selection of world-class art from the tiny island nation's disproportionate population of artists. Three years ago she moved her shop to a slightly larger space a few feet away from bustling Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach. Her business boomed, but her mission remains the same: sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for some of the most exuberant art in the world, which she stocks in all its amazing variety, from paintings on canvas and board to metal sculptures to beaded vodou flags to decorative furniture and more.

Best Art Gallery

Long before Haitian art became fashionable -- a dozen years ago, to be exact -- gallery owner Katie Barr was struggling to make her mark in the competitive South Florida art market. She started out with a tiny space in a nondescript little shopping plaza in Boca Raton, where she attracted potential customers with cheese-and-wine receptions and began building up a selection of world-class art from the tiny island nation's disproportionate population of artists. Three years ago she moved her shop to a slightly larger space a few feet away from bustling Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach. Her business boomed, but her mission remains the same: sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for some of the most exuberant art in the world, which she stocks in all its amazing variety, from paintings on canvas and board to metal sculptures to beaded vodou flags to decorative furniture and more.

Best New Play

Nilo Cruz's haunting A Bicycle Country, a play about three Cuban balseros, arrived at the Florida Stage just a few weeks after rafter Elián Gonzalez was rescued off nearby Palm Beach. Here's betting it will be remembered long after young Elián grows up. Set in Cuba and in the waters between Havana and Miami, the play stakes a claim in the dramatic territory of Samuel Beckett, with its evocative language, startling visual imagery, and existential concerns. Cruz's portrayal of the trio who escape from Cuba is both literal and metaphorical. Indeed, less a political play than a statement about yearning, A Bicycle Country is capable of transcending the narrow politics of 1999 and 2000 and becoming a work that can shed light on any group of desperate people. Which is exactly what great art is supposed to do.

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Best Swingers' Club: Trapeze II

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