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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Film Festival

    Fort Lauderdale International 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… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Haitian Art Collection

    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… More >>
  • Best New Play

    A Bicycle Country

    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… More >>
  • Best Production of a Play

    Quills

    In many American political plays, a guy (it's usually a guy) comes on stage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting -- they're all window-dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright's 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. It's a play… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Carefree Theatre - CLOSED

    The Carefree Theatre is about as ugly as you can get in a movie theater: The seats are bereft of stuffing, the one screen is annoyingly old school, and the floor is, well, let's just say you wouldn't want to sit on it. But in a place about as arty as a late-night B-movie Baywatch rip-off, we're willing to forgive… More >>
  • Best Free Thrill

    Locations along Perimeter Road

    Aviation has been around for oh, 80 some years, but the sight of flying machines still inspires awe in people. That's why dozens of aeronautics enthusiasts can be seen, practically any time of the day or night, parked at two locations on the fringes of Fort Lauderdale's major airport to watch the planes take off and land. These are serious… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast

    How I Learned to Drive

    Paula Vogel's 1998 Pulitzer Prize winner How I Learned to Drive is not an easy play to sit through. Incest, alcoholism, self-destruction, and probing questions about the nature of love are the subjects it takes on. Told through the eyes of Li'l Bit, a woman who looks back at her youth and girlhood to recount how she was molested by… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Cathode Ray Club

    Cathode Ray is more than a bar: It's three distinct places to hang beneath one television-strung roof. Take a left past the giant saltwater aquarium by the front door and you'll enter a plush foyer bar complete with wing chairs, honey-color wooden floors, and a pristine white piano. Feel like playing around? The back bar gives clientele a chance to… More >>
  • Best Blues Band

    Nucklebusters Blues Band

    Over the course of its 13-year run on the South Florida club circuit, the Nucklebusters Blues Band has served as the house band at a number of reputable local venues, including the legendary Musician's Exchange in Fort Lauderdale. Having suffered innumerable lineup changes over the years, the Nucklebusters are still riding high in the saddle with a current roster consisting… More >>
  • Best Band to Leave Broward/Palm Beach

    The Creepy T's

    We can only hope CBGB's has booked them for a show by now. The sloppy punk-rock sound of the Creepy T's was made for New York City, where vocalist-guitarist Derek Hyde and drummer Eddie Brandt recently moved the group. While part of the South Florida scene -- originally with guitarist Will Trev, bassist Mark "Crypt" Burton, and drummers… More >>
  • Best Supporting Player

    Lisa Morgan

    Actress Lisa Morgan is a great supporting player in the sense that, no matter how cast, she magnificently supports the interests of theatergoers, directors, fellow actors, and playwrights. Last season she appeared most notably in two shows. As the twittery, resolute mother of the flapper Sally Bowles in New Theatre's I Am a Camera, Morgan's on-stage time was less than… More >>
  • Best Solo Show

    Judith Delgado

    In a season fraught with top-drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Media Noche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland's motto: "Give 'em what they didn't know they… More >>
  • Best Acoustic Performer

    Raiford Starke

    Hailing from the wilds of Falls Church, Virginia, now making his home in Hallandale Beach, Colin Kenny, a.k.a. Raiford Starke, has injected the otherwise touchy-feely local acoustic scene with jagged, rawboned blasts of accomplished pickin', singin', and harp-blowin'. Sure, Starke plays a mean electric guitar for local swamp funksters the Shack Daddys and sits in with Chief Jim Billie's band… More >>
  • Best Road Show

    The Gin Game

    There's plenty of choice horseflesh in South Florida each winter, but the most appealing thoroughbreds to pass through the region were Julie Harris and Charles Durning. The two arrived as part of the touring production of the National Actors Theatre's The Gin Game, directed by Charles Nelson Reilly. This sentimental piffle of a play by D.L. Coburn won the Pulitzer… More >>
  • Best Theater for Plays

    Caldwell Theatre Company - CLOSED

    Artistic director Michael Hall brought together such a disparate collection of dramas, comedies, and other compelling offerings last season that it's difficult to characterize the personality of his Caldwell Theatre Company. From the tense, prickly production of Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive to the unrealized yet maniacally funny rendition of Oscar E. Moore's King's Mare to Charles Nelson… More >>
  • Best Punk Band

    A New Found Glory

    A cursory glance at or a quick listen to A New Found Glory won't likely make you expect overnight success or imminent world domination. But that's because you're not 16 years old. If you were you'd probably know that the Coral Springs band is currently being courted by representatives from a couple major record labels; that their concerts regularly become… More >>
  • Best Concert

    The American Analog Set

    The mellowed-out Texans who make up the American Analog Set made one of their album titles come alive at this West Palm Beach gig. From Our Living Room to Yours summed up the intimacy of the low-key performance, with the band's rich, orange-red blend of warm organ and electric piano, soft-spoken vocals, tender strumming, and wispy bass lines entrancing the… More >>
  • Best Pop Band

    Ed Matus' Struggle

    Some folks label the music of Miami's Ed Matus' Struggle "emo," which is ostensibly a shortened "emotional." But since emotional music, to us, encompasses everything from Edith Piaf to Henry Rollins, can we finally shelve the meaningless term? Ed Matus' Struggle just makes good music, no matter what it's called. Since it refrains from capitulating to trendy electronic-dance fashion statements,… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Swap Shop Drive-In

    Drive-ins are a dead breed, and that's a real shame. There's nothing more American than sitting in your gas guzzler, quaffing a beverage, smoking 'em if you've got 'em, and watching a slightly out-of-focus movie through your windshield. Try doing those things at a mall multiplex. The Swap Shop isn't quite like the drive-ins of old. First off, there are… More >>
  • Best Production of a Musical

    Finian's Rainbow

    Last fall, the average playgoer had to wonder, Did we really need a revival of Finian's Rainbow? Despite a glut of Broadway revivals in New York, the Coconut Grove Playhouse certainly made a good case for the 1947 Fred Saidy-E.Y. Harburg classic, the familiar songs of which -- "How Are Things in Glocca Morra" and "Old Devil Moon"… More >>
  • Best Location For A Dance Night

    Sonic Saturdays at Respectable Street

    Under a massive tower carrying high-tension power lines sits a Japanese Zen garden with glowing lamps hanging from trees. But the night air isn't still -- it's alive with spinning colored lights and dry ice, reverberating with throbbing drumbeats and the remarkable freestyle vocalizations of MC Millennium Collaborator. Drum 'n' bass emerged from Britain several years ago as… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Champps Americana

    For the discerning sports fan who just can't enjoy the game without a proper repast in fine-dining surroundings, there's Champps. Here the emphasis isn't on the mammary measurements of the help but on the quality of the food and the décor. The huge, split-level dining room is divided by a curved half-wall and dominated by dark-stained wood. A bank of… More >>
  • Best Actor

    William Metzo

    There's not a huge demand in the theater for naked middle-aged men, but don't blame actor William Metzo. As the Marquis de Sade, in the magnificent Florida Stage production of Doug Wright's play Quills, Metzo gave a performance that required him to (a) stop speaking after the first act (since the Marquis is relieved of his tongue by Church authorities… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Pat Nesbit

    Pat Nesbit is the sort of performer whose work finds its way to the foreground even if she's part of an ensemble, as she was in 1998's The Last Night of Ballyhoo at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. This past season, South Florida audiences were lucky to see her as one of two players in Donald Margulies' Collected Stories at the… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    WLRN-FM (91.3)

    Maybe this selection says more about the dearth of decent local radio than about the quality of the programming on WLRN. We love the kids at WKPX-FM (88.5), with their earnestness, amateurishness, and ever-changing menu of tunes. But truthfully, name us one other local station you can listen to for more than a half-hour without being driven insane by moronic… More >>
  • Best Bar/Palm Beach County

    Bamboo Room

    Wednesday night, 9 p.m. Stomp on up the leopard-print carpeted stairs at this barely year-old blues bar. No cover tonight. Upstairs, within the bamboo walls, bluesman in residence Keith B. Brown is just getting started on his Delta licks. Order up a Konig Pilsener, John Courage, or one of the other fine tap beers. Or try one of the dozens… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Hammered and Read Yeats

    Maguire's Hill 16

    We think Maguire's is the best place to souse oneself and absorb the Irish bard's musings on beauty and love because (a) it's a bar -- the booze is already there, and (b) it's a bar with three Yeats verses framed on the walls of the south room, a handy touch if you've forgotten your own copy of… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill

    Holiday Fantasy of Lights

    You'll have to wait a few months for the next Holiday Fantasy of Lights, but it's worth it. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Tradewinds Park becomes a drive-through, electrified fantasyland that is guaranteed to please the most jaded junior thrill-seeker. There's simply nothing anywhere at any price to compare with this sensory overload of lumens. Consider the stats: 1.2… More >>
  • Best Amateur Radio Station

    WKPX-FM (88.5)

    About six months ago, the Nielsen people -- the ones who survey radio and TV audiences -- came to us and wanted to know what we listen to in the car on the way to and from work. They're probably sorry they asked. We flip constantly between public radio (WLRN-FM, 91.3) and WKPX. Neither carries commercials,… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Art and Culture Center of Hollywood

    Granted, Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Art may have shaken off some of its stodginess, the Coral Springs Museum of Art may offer the best display space in the area, and the new Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art may be the most promising venue in South Florida. But right here, right now, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood is… More >>
  • Best Dive

    Fort Lauderdale Saloon & Cafe

    We probably don't need to say more than "65-cent drafts all day," but we will anyway. Two rooms greet the visitor, one with a faded, red-felt pool table and a jukebox posted on an ancient white-tile floor, and the other a barroom. The bar's surface is dark vinyl, the televisions above the bar are tuned to the National Enquirer channel,… More >>
  • Best Bar/Broward County

    Poor House

    Maybe most folks duck in here for their live-music fix, or maybe this bar's one of the last left where you can escape the coifed and lacquered minions of Himmarshee Street. Doesn't really matter. Fact is the Poor House reigns as a fine place to hunker down and drink. Maroon candles and tiny blue Christmas lights provide the front and… More >>
  • Best Hard Rock Band

    Hashbrown

    South Florida is clogged with bands trying to pass off anger, volume, and beefy muscles as some kind of artistic statement. This path-of-least-resistance approach works part of the time, covering up weak spots with a sheen of shouts and bar chords. Enter Hashbrown, a Fort Lauderdale group that's not exactly subtle itself, but there's some real innovation in the band's… More >>
  • Best Local Writer

    John Dufresne

    John Dufresne isn't really a Florida writer, even though he lives in Dania Beach and teaches at Florida International University. But Dufresne doesn't trade in detective novels suffused with only-in-South Florida weirdness like most of our local scribes. There are no hurricane-liberated rabid monkeys or drawbridge-jumping manatee lovers populating his stories. Dufresne's forte is something more enigmatic, more universal, more… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Fort Lauderdale Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival

    What festival would be complete without plenty of head-sucking? We're talking about crawfish, of course, and the annual Cajun/ Zydeco Crawfish Festival comes with 35,000 pounds of the gnarly little crustaceans alive and kicking. Then throw in red beans and rice, crawfish bisque, étouffée, alligator, and muffulettas, all of it spicy. And there's enough gumbo at the festival to fill… More >>
  • Best Strip Club The Size Of A Living Room

    Morey's Lounge

    At first glance Morey's Lounge looks like your average hillbilly hangout. No flashing neon lights announce "Topless Showgirls." No billboard promotes special appearances by porn starlets like Barbi Leigh. No valet awaits in some feeble attempt to make it seem like you're doing something more refined than gawking at naked babes. Morey's offers simply a pair of signs on the… More >>
  • Best Bar On The Water

    Ocean's Eleven Lounge - CLOSED

    One of this bar's best traits is its location, location, location. It's far enough north on Hollywood's Broadwalk to escape the teeming sunburned masses, but it's still only footsteps away from the tide. Mexican tile, honey-toned woods, and a cascade of white Christmas lights adorning the walls give the place a cozy and unpretentious feel. Two large plate glass windows… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen

    Daisy DeadPetals

    With drag queens a dime a dozen these days, it's increasingly difficult for cross-dressers to stay fabulous and original at the same time. How many more impersonations of Madonna and Cher can we take? Well, kids, if you're looking for originality, check out Daisy DeadPetals, née Ken Calabria. Daisy is the proud holder of state and national titles in gender-bending… More >>
  • Best Swingers' Club

    Trapeze II

    "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… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Respectable Street

    Respectable Street feels like three clubs in one: One moment it's a cozy theater for live music -- local, national, and beyond. Walk in on a different night, and it's a sweaty dance club throbbing with hotties and boisterous beats. During the day it'll change stripes again, becoming a comfy lounge with overstuffed couches, chaises, and a small… More >>
  • Best Bar Band

    The Dillengers

    The Dillengers have long displayed the integrity to be standard-bearers of the South Florida roots-music scene, although they have wisely opted instead for an enclosed universe: their house gig at Elwood's Dixie Bar-B-Que in Delray Beach (301 E. Atlantic Ave., 561-272-7427). There the guitar-centric trio holds court every weekend with what the members affectionately term "a bare-fisted amalgam of blues,… More >>
  • Best Female Voilinist

    Randi Fishenfeld

    We said E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons knew how to pick 'em, and here's proof: Randi Fishenfeld, the 37-year-old criminal lawyer turned electric-violin player Clemons chose for his other group, Band of Faith. When Fishenfeld goes into her patented gypsy number on stage, she becomes possessed by the music. She goes crazy, and the club crowds go crazy with… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Poopy Pants

    Hey, now. Don't shy away from a band brave enough to call itself something slightly embarrassing. We've all had poopy pants at one time or another, with most of us perfecting the art of creating them at a very young age. North Miami troublemakers Poopy Pants are youthful, snotty, and irreverent, and sometimes they go for a deep, rumbling trombone-sax… More >>
  • Best Place To Karaoke

    Ye Olde Falcon Pub

    The mood is never the same: One minute you have some raving headbanger still stuck in '80s metal straining every vocal chord to belt out an Iron Maiden song, only to be followed three minutes later by a housewife gently whispering Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Or maybe the Motown Man goes after those high notes in… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle

    The point of happy hour has never been happiness. The point is excess -- more for less. So we like our happy hours dressed in something more than fried and something other than chicken wings. Tarpon Bend fits the bill on all counts. Drinks are two-for-one from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but we prefer Tuesdays.… More >>
  • Best New Venue for Live Music

    Alligator Alley - CLOSED

    No neon bar sign. No pool table. No TV. At Alligator Alley there's just sweet, sweet music rolling out of a state-of-the-art sound system as hot and clean as any you'll hear in Broward County. Proprietor Carl "Kilmo" Pacillo and a consortium of investors opened the 10,000-square-foot club early last October. Since then an encouraging bevy of local and national… More >>
  • Best Mission-From-God Bluesman

    Ernie Southern

    Bluesman Ernie Southern does it all: He plays a mean slide guitar, he wields a wailing ten-hole harp, and he sells a demo tape that just won't quit, especially when he delivers it personally in his purple Ford like a man (you guessed it) "on a mission from God." The line from the 1980 John Landis film, The Blues Brothers,… More >>
  • Best Rock Band

    Band of Faith

    If you missed saxophonist extraordinaire Clarence Clemons when his boss -- the Boss, Bruce Springsteen -- came to town with his E Street Band, don't worry. This Palm Beach County resident has put together his own local band, and when the Big Man wants a band, the best players around are at his beck and call.… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Laurrie Pood

    In ever-transient South Florida, it doesn't take much to qualify as a local institution. Kim's Alley Bar, with roots back to 1959, undoubtedly makes the cut. And Laurrie Pood, who has been manning the bottles for seven years at Kim's, almost qualifies herself. Laurrie is the den mother of the mahogany front bar, serving up equal parts liquid anesthesia and… More >>
  • Best Place To Hear A Cover Band

    Sneakers Sports Grill

    The last place you'd want to hear "Gimme Three Steps" or "Free Bird" is some faux upscale bar resplendent with oak, brass, and forest green Boltaflex. Bleeeecch. If one has to endure Lynyrd Skynyrd (a sad but unavoidable truth in the South), one should be very, very drunk. One should also be surrounded by toothless fishermen, dust-caked construction workers, and… More >>
  • Best Place To Watch Women Lick Beer Off Each Other's Breasts

    Smith Brother's Lounge

    Saturday night and we're sitting out front at Smith Brother's admiring the parade of Harleys passing through the parking lot and avoiding the too-loud cover band inside the cramped bar. We duck inside for a refill, only to encounter a trio of scantily clad female bartenders squirting each other with beer, licking the foam from each other's well-endowed chests, and… More >>
  • Best Jazz Artist

    Lyn Moore

    Get up close to singer-pianist Lyn Moore when she's out on the town during one of her solo gigs, and she'll blow your ears right off your head. Of course the jazz chanteuse hasn't been out and about much lately. Her five-nights-a-week solo gig at Toni Bishop's Restaurant and Jazz Club ended abruptly last November when Bishop's closed amid rumors… More >>
  • Best Place For Cheap Tickets To High Culture

    Broward Center For the Performing Arts

    Up front where the rich folks sit, with a beggar's billfold -- what more could an economically challenged sophisticate desire? Pick your poison: Jascha Heifetz playing Beethoven? Pinchas Zuckerman interpreting Bach? A great symphony, a play, a musical? You aren't going to fork over $70 to $100 for the best seats in this splendid Broward County house of… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Velvet Lounge

    Finally, a place for clubbers to get their party on in Fort Lauderdale. Don't get us wrong: Velvet Lounge is an upscale nightclub on a par with anything South Beach has to offer but sans most of the attitude. As the name implies, there's velvet aplenty: red and black velvet on the walls, royal blue and black velvet couches … More >>
  • Best Swing Band

    Oop Bop Sha Bam

    Screw Brian Setzer. To hell with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. If those punks didn't have the fancy retro threads, they'd be lost causes. If you want to hear swing in all its original authentic majesty, try Oop Bop Sha Bam, which swings the house every Tuesday and Wednesday night at Mango's on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Led by… More >>

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