Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Guitar Player

    Juan Montoya of Disconnect

    Formerly known as Ed Matus' Struggle, the recently rechristened Disconnect is one of the area's most popular rock bands. Occupying a niche in the psychedelic/shoe-gazer/emo realm, the band's surreal, shifting songs allow listeners to lose themselves in an intoxicating haze of swirling guitar. That his band was once briefly dubbed the Juan Montoya Experience is a joke with a kernel… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast

    The Laramie Project

    Artistic director Michael Hall did South Florida theatergoers two favors this season. First he brought the socially relevant and riveting docudrama The Laramie Project to his stage. It was the play's first production after its off-Broadway debut. Second he assembled a troupe with the range and experience to make the production not only important theater but good theater as well,… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Tri-Rail on Weekends

    Here it is a rainy Saturday afternoon, and there's not much to do. Going to the movies doesn't seem like such a good idea, unless you're dying to see Crocodile Dundee Got Fingered or whatever. So how about this? Ride the Tri-Rail. If you live down south, hop on at the Hollywood station and locomote through Fort Lauderdale, Pompano and… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Festival Tribe Musical Event

    Back in January a group of dirty, greasy hippies decided they'd had enough of the lack of jam-oriented music in South Florida. The form is dear to the hearts of all these types, years of following the Grateful Dead having inured them to hours of musical enterprise. They wanted to create a happening that would gather the bands they enjoyed… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Bridget Connors

    An actress's success in a dramatic role can fall into one of two categories: the ability to make the unbelievable believable, and the ability to make the believable unbelievably incredible. Bridget Connors managed to do both in her role as a young Jewish woman dying of a terminal illness. That's the believable part. Rachel's plight could easily have been a… More >>
  • Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months

    The Rocking Horse Winner

    Growing up in a suburban labyrinth of faceless strip malls, endless asphalt, and cookie-cutter subdivisions -- instead of Hades, we've named it Davie -- wouldn't seem to foster good music. But that's the hometown of most of the young members of the Rocking Horse Winner. And they've produced one of the most sublime albums Broward and Palm Beach counties have… More >>
  • Best Local Pop Band

    See Venus

    The six members of the Broward/Miami-Dade combo See Venus like to describe their heady sound as somewhere between Brian Wilson and Stereolab. Damn them, but we can't think of a more accurate comparison. Venus' space-age, bachelor-pad music is at once futuristic and retro, impossibly cool, and uncommonly catchy. Leader Christopher Moll began strolling down the pop path in the early… More >>
  • Best New Musical Trend

    Tribute bands

    If work and other commitments prevent you from catching concerts by AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Van Halen, or Aerosmith, fret not; Fort Lauderdale hosts one of these dinosaurs, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof, almost every week. If you're tired of Axl Rose lying low for years at a time, you can stoke your fire with… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    Skydive America Palm Beach

    If you get your kicks by hurtling toward the earth at more than 120 miles per hour from an altitude of about two and a half miles -- and who doesn't? -- Skydive America is your kind of place. But it'll cost you: as much as $159 for the jump. (Find four or more friends foolish enough to accompany you,… More >>
  • Best Act to Leave in the Past 12 Months

    Chris Chandler

    He was just passing through, never staying in one place more than a year. We knew that, but it's still hard to admit that's he's really gone -- with no forwarding address. That's probably why we feel a little like a jilted lover. The good news is, Chris Chandler liked us. He really, really liked us. He wrote about the… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Paul Tei

    Theatergoers found a lot of reasons to dislike Paul Tei this season. He played a cold-blooded child-murderer in New Theatre's Never the Sinner and a hot-blooded serial killer in GableStage's Popcorn. But he is so good at being bad that we can't really hold it against him. Tei is the kind of actor who looks at a role not only… More >>
  • Best Country & Western Bar

    Davie Junction

    One look at the dress code, outlined on a sign above the front door, and you know you're in the right place. It reads: "No muscle shirts, tank tops, cut-off or beach shorts, spurs, knives or guns." And for good measure, keep those cigars, pipes, and clove cigarettes in the car, buddy. You're at Davie Junction, the most Western bar… More >>
  • Best Local Jazz Artist

    Ira Sullivan

    Picking out a top local jazzman is easy when he is also one of the greatest of all time. Ira Sullivan was a guiding light in Chicago's hard-bop scene of the 1960s. One of the few jazz musicians equally skilled with trumpet, flügelhorn, and every flavor of saxophone, Sullivan has played with more or less every big name in jazz… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor

    Ray Lockhart

    This year Ray Lockhart proved that you can trick the devil, but you can't fool an audience. As Lem, the man who murdered musician Robert Johnson, Lockhart was not only pivotal to the play's denouement but also essential to the emotional chemistry on-stage. Portraying a long-absent and embittered husband, Lockhart filled M Ensemble's tiny set with the emotional intensity and… More >>
  • Best Rum Joint

    Pusser's at the Beach

    Not since the death of Admiral Nelson at Trafalgar have jack-tars wept such tears as they did July 31, 1970. That was the day the British Navy ceased issuing daily rations of rum, a tradition that was 315 years old when the government finally put a stop to it. It was one thing to be a drunk sailor in 1700;… More >>
  • Best Punk Band

    Plutonium Pie

    Grab a helping of Plutonium Pie, but expect no creamy dollop of whipped cream to soften the blow. No, brave reader, you will need lead mittens, protective visor, and earplugs of titanium to withstand the ferocious storm emitted by this local trio. After a brief fling with "punktry" last year, singer-axsmith J. Christ, his girlfriend Max Pluto, and his sister… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress

    Tanya Bravo

    To succeed in a supporting role, an actress must know her part within the context of the play as well as she knows the character she plays, and Tanya Bravo is one local actress who accomplishes this feat so consistently that her presence on the cast list always ensures an enigmatic evening of drama. She possesses the intensity and stage… More >>
  • Best Bar, Palm Beach

    Elwood's Dixie Barbecue

    The oldest gas station in Delray Beach is still the best place in town to get gassed. All right, so that's a bad pun. But there's something about the funky, open-air bar in Delray's now-trendy downtown that inspires goofiness. And it's not just the giant picture of Elvis, the mounted fish, the moldy-looking moose head, the stained longhorns, or the… More >>
  • Best Local Rock Band


    Straddling the line between high art and unadulterated, lowbrow, cover-band fun, Fort Lauderdale's Hashbrown appeals to hard-rockers, hip-hop heads, and fans of Parliament-style funk. The quartet is adept at kicking down a thickened, spicy, funked-up, urbane rock that's guaranteed to make your booty move and your mind follow. But the dance floor isn't the only place to enjoy Hashbrown: Plenty… More >>
  • Best Solo Show

    The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith

    Very early on in The Devil's Music, Miche Braden belted out a low blues note to let audiences know she is not just an actress; she's also a phenomenal singer. But Braden's acting was the real prize. The range of her characterization was sassy, wise, bitter, and flirtatious. She was inexhaustible, singing 13 gut-wrenching tunes in 90 minutes with no… More >>
  • Best Bar, Broward

    Shakespeare's Pub & Grill

    When considering such a lofty title as this, there are a great many factors to consider. The easiest thing to do is first rule out any place that is overpriced, which excludes the beach bars, the Las Olas Riverfront, Himmarshee Village, and, well, just about every other place in Fort Lauderdale. Next lose any place where you can't get a… More >>
  • Best Club Night

    Voodoo Lounge - CLOSED

    An unsuspecting man walks into Voodoo Lounge on a Sunday night. It's a bit too early to be going to a club, but he's bored at home and figures, "Well, what the heck? Let's start the night off early." The first patron, he saunters up to the bar with blasé self-confidence. He orders a Stoli and Red Bull, then casts… More >>
  • Best Stage Design

    Rich Simone

    This past season, every time a set caught the eye as aesthetically pleasing or clever, it was inevitably one of Rich Simone's creations. Simone's sets always seem to help bridge the gap between the audience and the actors, using the stage not only as a meeting point but also as a point of departure. Most recently his specialty seemed to… More >>
  • Best Bartender After After-Hours

    Susan Hayslett

    When the well drinks have gone dry at other Broward bars, parched partyers' divining rods point to Casey's. Seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m., ice cubes are clinking, the DJ is spinning, and nobody (thank God!) knows your name. Best of all, after-hours gal Susan Hayslett provides service with a sympathetic smile. She doesn't smirk when… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Holiday Lanes Bowling Center

    Holiday Bowl might be small, but it has a '50s ambiance that you can't find at gargantuan game rooms and theme parks. This joint's sincerity so impressed Carnival Cruise Lines last year that it shot a commercial here depicting tourists on vacation -- in the Bahamas. Its 16 lanes, café, and lounge have catered to bowling aficionados, Québecois tourists, and… More >>
  • Best Lesbian/Gay/Straight/Undecided Bar

    K&E's II Doors Down

    Elaine Roberts wants to make one thing perfectly clear: K&E's II Doors Down is not a lesbian bar. It's not that Roberts is lesbian-averse. After all she and co-owner Kathy Spatenga have been together -- both personally and professionally -- for more than 20 years. It's just that this is a new millennium and it's time to quit classifying things.… More >>
  • Best Spot for Skinny Dipping

    Harbor Beach

    There is a little neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale called Harbor Beach, most of which is south of the 17th Street Causeway. It is a place of retired folks in nice little houses; until you reach the beach, where little houses are replaced by massive condominiums. Beyond this wall of high-rises is a small private beach, the existence of which is… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Gay Bar

    Bill's Filling Station

    What once was a place to fill up your tank is now a place to get tanked. Bill's Filling Station, for six years a popular fixture in a converted gas station, fills up every day after work with regular Joes (the gay ones, anyway) enjoying two-fers till 9 p.m. -- and all night on Monday. A cozy patio and bar… More >>
  • Best Venue for Live Music

    The Poor House

    The bare-wood, dimly lit, rustic interior of the Poor House is a stark contrast to the majority of nightlife locales around downtown Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee Village. Likewise, denizens of the Poor House are likely to be locals hoping to groove to live, original music (from the likes of Hashbrown, Plutonium Pie, Mr. Entertainment, or the Hep Cat Boo Daddies) rather… More >>
  • Best Place to Drink Your Lunch

    Mark's Las Olas

    There's something all too gratifying about skipping a traditional meal and heading straight for the hard stuff. So why not head over to Mark Militello's eatery in the heart of Fort Lauderdale's restaurant row? Bypass the white tablecloths and go straight to the bar, which, like the restaurant, is void of Chanel suits and Armani wallets after 2:30 p.m. Order… More >>
  • Best New Venue for Live Music


    A lot of folks sit around and wonder why up-and-coming bands don't make it to South Florida. Sure, lots of local bands appear in our clubs and bars. And we get the occasional hit-maker playing at an arena or amphitheater. But what about all those groups that are popular and receive plenty of radio airtime yet couldn't fill an arena… More >>
  • Best Literary Evening


    Every Tuesday at 10:30 p.m., culture high and low meets and makes out at Marya Summers's poetry slams. Among our favorite parts is lap poetry, the perfect expression of slammistress Summers's sophisticated appreciation of the South Florida sleaze factor. The décor and the crowd at this restaurant, lounge, and coffeehouse are about as cool as things get -- the retro-chic… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Palm Beach Ale House

    The owners of this sprawling affair, which is convenient to both I-95 and the yuppie communities along Village Boulevard, say it is among Florida's largest sports bars, with more than a hundred TVs. Only two of them are big-screens, but that's of a piece with the intimate atmosphere. There are 5 a.m. sports bars -- slightly seedy, aprowl with lonely… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Mary Tyler Whores

    Who can turn the world on with a smile? Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Better still, who can sponsor a punk-rock food fight, inviting fans to attend a show and pelt band members with fruits and vegetables? It's the Mary Tyler Whores, of course, Broward's messy purveyors of stripped down, below-the-belt punk.… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    WLRN-FM (91.3)

    Fifty years old on May 10, this station would wipe the floor with the competition -- if there were any. As it is WLRN remains a beacon of taste and intelligence in the vast wasteland of corporately controlled South Florida radio. The station's NPR news and public affairs programming is reliably enlightening, but locally produced shows are also first-rate. Standouts… More >>
  • Best Local Acoustic Performer

    Rod MacDonald

    The resemblance to Bob Dylan is probably not entirely coincidental. A Palm Beach resident since 1995, MacDonald moved here to care for his aging parents and, it would seem, the small South Florida folk community. MacDonald paid his dues as a journalist, law student, conscientious objector, and traveling folksinger before becoming a major player in the Greenwich Village Fast Folk… More >>
  • Best Venue for National Acts

    Broward Center for the Performing Arts

    If you live in or around the "Venice of America" that is Fort Lauderdale and don't have a boat -- or even that much more economical option, a friend with a boat -- try attending an event at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Architect Benjamin Thompson designed the Au-Rene Theater to replicate the experience of being on an… More >>
  • Best Local Songwriter

    Chris Carrabba

    Boca Raton resident Chris Carrabba is a newfangled hybrid in the acoustic singer/songwriter mold. Though he uses roughly the same approach Woody Guthrie employed during dust bowl days, he's updated the formula slightly. Using the name the Dashboard Confessional, Carrabba strums unplugged, emo-punk anthems that connect on a gut level with his teenage and twentysomething audiences. The new Dashboard Confessional… More >>
  • Best Dance Club


    Finally a nightclub does it right. Unlike typical dark rooms with bars and dance floors, Sutra has a theme that it sticks with. After getting past those velvet ropes and walking down a hallway with straw mats, one enters a place that can be described only as haremesque. The dance floor is small, but only because there is a bar… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Muvico Parisian 20

    We laughed. We cried. We begged for more. Then we saw Muvico Parisian 20 and realized we could never go back to another theater. While the trend-setting Fort Lauderdale-based theater chain's other South Florida multiplexes -- its Egyptian-themed temple of film in Pembroke Pines, its salute to the '50s in Pompano Beach, and its palatial tip of the hat to… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ


    You can take your fingers out of your ears now. Since 1998 the folks at NSU's Radio X have made the local airwaves safe and, yes, sound, for the discriminating listener. Radio X, South Florida's only FM college station, has a lot riding on it. If it sucked, listeners craving alternative and local music would be out of luck. Fortunately… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Respectable Street

    If our strip of lights between ocean and swamp bore more than a passing resemblance to normalcy, clubs that stage rock music wouldn't be such an endangered species. But in South Florida (a place about as easy for touring acts to reach as Michigan's upper peninsula in the wintertime), venues worthy of live national talent are as rare as the… More >>
  • Best Cheap Flicks

    Movies of Lake Worth

    It's a rickety old place with only six screens. But how can you go wrong at $2 admission on weekdays and $2.50 on weekends, especially when the person who books the films always manages to include one or more features from the art-house circuit? Maybe the choices reflect the fact that most of the clientele consists of retirees from the… More >>
  • Best Pirate Radio Station

    90.9 FM

    Tune into 90.9 FM on a Friday night, and you'll probably wonder if the Federal Communications Commission has suspended its rules regarding off-color language. The truth is, the FCC would love to find the secret location of surreptitious, scandalous Nine-Oh-Nine and shut it down but quick. Until it does so, however, this is the place to listen to the thuggiest,… More >>
  • Best Bar on the Water


    Enter the tent of white sailcloth and gauze. Supreme Beings of Leisure play on the stereo, which is apropos, as leisure reigns supreme here. Proceed to the marble-top bar and order a drink, which will be ready in approximately the amount of time it takes to cast your lazy gaze across the Intracoastal. It's all trendy white upholstery in here,… More >>
  • Best Independent Theater

    Gateway Cinema 4

    Some national movie chains continue to shrink, while others focus on constructing mammoth multiplexes. Our Best Movie Theater of two years ago, meanwhile, has survived by morphing into that rarity, a true independent. The Gateway still snags the occasional mainstream flick, but it has become the best bet for such edgy independent fare as Requiem for a Dream, Nurse Betty,… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Boca Raton Museum of Art

    For much of its half-century history, the Boca Raton Museum of Art was crammed into a woefully inadequate structure on Palmetto Park Road -- an acoustically atrocious set of galleries that was hardly worthy of the extensive holdings. Under the stewardship of long-time executive director George S. Bolge, the museum built a solid track record of creative programming, but there… More >>
  • Best Local Director

    Joe Adler

    In an interview with New Times last year, GableStage artistic director Joe Adler said, "Television, and to some extent movies, is about maintaining a level of mediocrity. This is not the case with theater. It's a much bigger commitment. The audience is a participant." Adler combined his numerous years of film and TV experience with his passion and directorial savvy,… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

    Last year we honored the FLIFF in this category almost begrudgingly, in part because it was "pretty much the only game in town." Well, after a decade and a half it's still the biggest game in town and at 28 days has expanded to claim the dubious honor of being the longest film fest in the world. (Palm Beach, of… More >>
  • Best Art Experience

    Lumonics Light & Sound Theatre

    There are traditional galleries, and then there's Lumonics, "a specialized sensory environment," as its founders put it, which is easily South Florida's most unusual venue for multimedia art. Housed in a nondescript strip of businesses just north of the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Lumonics brings together light sculptures, water sculptures (in other words, fountains), performance art, digital video, laser art,… More >>
  • Best Locally Produced Drama

    The Music Lesson

    The Music Lesson dismantled the myth that good drama must arise from a dramatic situation. In this play by Tammy Ryan, a couple of musicians, Irena and Ivan, take refuge in Pittsburgh from war-torn Sarajevo and end up giving music lessons to American children from a broken family. What made Florida Stage's production exceptional was the acting, featuring the talents… More >>
  • Best Dive

    Sneakers Sports Grill

    The last time we stopped at Sneakers, a guy was bellied up to the bar wearing a boa (constrictor, not feather), a woman was lying on the bar as the bartender poured a drink into her mouth, and a band was playing Skynyrd covers on the minuscule stage. We chatted with a tipsy dude who insisted he was a helicopter… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    Anita Giteck Drujon

    You won't find Anita Drujon holed up in some musty warehouse living tortured-artist clichés as she goes about producing her work. Sure, she spends plenty of time working in her Pompano Beach studio, a sunny condo not far from the ocean. But she's also actively engaged in the South Florida arts community. She's an adjunct professor at Broward Community College,… More >>
  • Best One-Act Play

    Iphigenia in Orem

    Even people who aren't theater buffs love one-acts. Perhaps it's because our brains have been conditioned by too many Budweiser and Taco Bell commercials, but one-acts have the strange appeal of being enigmatic, energetic, and, most importantly, short. This season Chuck Pooler took the one-act a step further by packing Neil LaBute's Iphigenia in Orem with so many maniacal twists… More >>
  • Best Strip Joint

    Booby Trap

    So let's say Goldilocks has come to South Florida to find the strip joint that is juuuuust right. And say, for this issue of New Times, that little Goldy is a hetero guy. She looks for a club that's neither sleazy nor overly pretentious, a place where ham-fisted security goons aren't watching your every move. Our fairy-tale voyeur would feel… More >>
  • Best Bar Band

    Hep Cat Boo Daddies

    What sort of music do you like to hear when you just wanna party? In South Florida some folks gravitate toward whumpity-whump thumpatronics. That's fine, but when you want a rippin' guitar solo and high-octane rockabilly, there's no better choice than the Hep Cat Boo Daddies. Comprising rip-snortin' guitar slinger/singer Joel DaSilva, bassist Sean "Evil" Gerovitz, and drummer Randy Blitz,… More >>
  • Best Road Show

    The Vagina Monologues

    It's about sex, so it must be good, you say? You're damn right! But The Vagina Monologues is not just about sex. More specifically it's about female sex and -- anatomically speaking -- the vagina. Eve Ensler's play was originally produced in an Obie Award-winning run in 1997 and has been playing to packed houses and rave reviews since then.… More >>
  • Best Entertainment for a Buck

    Knollwood Groves - CLOSED

    Did you know alligators can climb trees? Or that they can hear your pinky hit the water four miles away? Or that the blazing color of bougainvillea comes not from its flowers but from its leaves? These fun facts and more can be had for a buck and 30 minutes of your time at Knollwood Groves in Boynton Beach. Originally… More >>
  • Best Concert of the Past 12 Months

    Brian Wilson and the Pet Sounds Orchestra

    Upon its release in 1966, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album was seen as a stumbling block in the band's career, a detour from the AM-radio hit parade. Thirty years later you can't swing a surfboard without hitting a critic who places Pet Sounds in any position but best record of all time. The album has even warranted a four-CD… More >>
  • Best Theater for Plays

    Florida Stage - CLOSED

    Besides delivering first-rate performances, Florida Stage artistic director Louis Tyrrell this season struck the right chord with music lovers and theatergoers alike. His productions of Syncopation, The Music Lesson, and The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith proved theater can sing, dance, wail, and waltz. Syncopation, the story of two immigrants in 1911, underscored the basic human… More >>
  • Best Cheap Date

    Dania Jai-Alai

    So you and your mate are tired of evenings spent vegging out to Friends or Ed? Dinner on Las Olas or Clematis too pricey for your slender wallet? Try Dania Jai-Alai, where the entry fee starts at $1.50 and the game is faster than the NHL and NBA combined. The competitors, who are mostly from Spain and France, play a… More >>
  • Best Live Music in a Restaurant

    Mangos Restaurant & Lounge

    Where is it written that a jazz club must be a bar? Something about the form lends itself more to lingering over dinner than the tenth beer. The jazz kicks in around 9:30 p.m., and the local jazz bands booked there play to a packed house. In the smoking section, which is closest to the stage, an open table is… More >>
  • Best Floorshow

    Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant

    With its rum-voiced narrator nattily attired in white à la Fantasy Island's Ricardo Montalban, the nation's longest-running Polynesian floorshow could easily be played as a joke. But while the enormous restaurant trades on fantasy, it is refreshingly free of irony. Opened in 1957, the Mai-Kai hails from a time when exotic meant chic, fondue was fun, and women dressed for… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Maguires Hill 16

    If you're driven to drink as soon as you punch out, chances are it's not because you're dying for loud Top 40 drivel and preternaturally perky service. You want to get down to business after a day of conducting business. That's why New Times staff members have long been fixtures at Maguires -- where dark wood paneling and photographs depicting… More >>
  • Best Neon Sign

    Tropical Acres

    If you're visiting Fort Lauderdale and you rent a car at the airport, chances are you'll drive by this sign, which is nestled amid the foliage along Federal Highway. The aqua and pink tubes of its classic roadside advertisement have flickered since 1949, beckoning would-be diners to the table. The sign would seem a good omen for visitors and locals… More >>

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