Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Rock Band

    Baby Robots

    Good things do come from Boca Raton: fine matzo ball soup, for instance. The blue hair rinse is divine. And Baby Robots, Boca's resident art-damaged combo, provides the town with a slightly deviant edge that it has long lacked. Why? Because the 'bots -- product of a team of visual and sonic artists creating in a virtual vacuum -- rip… More >>
  • Best Male Rock Vocalist

    J.C. Reilly

    Nice guys rarely finish first, especially nice guys with way-over-the-top baritones. But local legend John Cain Reilly is so serious about his art that he puts other frontmen to shame. From his mid-'90s days in Basketcase to his newest role leading ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist Scott Putesky's band (Three Ton Gate, née Stuck on Evil), Reilly uses his church-organ pipes to… More >>
  • Best Concert of the Past 12 Months

    Dashboard Confessional, December 11, 2001

    There's nothing quite as thrilling as catching an up-and-coming young act on the threshold of a national French kiss, which is what audiences have witnessed over the past year with Boca Raton's Dashboard Confessional. And when these saviors of the emo set, led by diminutive, tattooed love god Chris Carrabba, brought the show home to Pompano Beach's now-defunct Millennium Club… More >>
  • Best Act to Leave Broward-Palm Beach in the Past 12 Months

    James Judd

    On and off the podium, the former music director of the Florida Philharmonic was interesting. He often began concerts by regaling the audience with pithy comments about the music or the composer, then turned around and incited impassioned performances from the orchestra's players, many of whom loathed him. Judd deserves much of the credit for raising the philharmonic to its… More >>
  • Best Bar in Broward

    The Poor House

    There is no bastion of cool like the Poor House. Located in an ostensibly historic district (whose anchor is a new $65 million, pastel-shaded mall) in the center of a town bent on cannibalizing its own past, the rough wooden interior of the Poor House is as impervious to change as it is to termites. With no wet-T-shirt contests, frozen… More >>
  • Best Bar in Palm Beach

    Blue Martini

    The chi-chi atmosphere at this CityPlace nightspot simply oozes hip. The toasty faux fire in the fireplace, recessed ceilings set off with red and blue indirect lighting, marble-lit bar tops, and live jazz in the background provide a perfect stage for the martini to cut loose and show off. Mr. Jenkins, the suit-wearing Tanqueray poster boy, would definitely give his… More >>
  • Best Bar on the Water

    Le Tub

    The sky is heavy and gray. A soft rain falls. You're sitting on a dock built by hand in the 1970s from bits and pieces of other people's Hollywood Beach docks, at a table fashioned from a big hunk of flotsam that washed up here too. Russell Kohuth's littoral creation would never get past a 21st-century building inspector. The catch… More >>
  • Best Name Change

    The Factory (formerly the Metal Factory)

    As anachronisms go, Fort Lauderdale's headbanging club the Metal Factory was blissfully unaware of its dinosaur status. The chrome- and mirror-filled establishment and its throwback wait staff eventually got tired of the guffaws and smirks and outright insults that regularly met the metallic moniker, opting to drop the Metal and simply answer to the Factory. You'll never confuse the venue… More >>
  • Best Venue for Local Acts

    Dada

    The excitement of watching a live band tear it up in someone's cozy living room is usually isolated to hazy, half-remembered high-school nostalgia. But the owners of Dada, a renovated quasi-Victorian home that serves as a restaurant/bar/performance space, have been taking their ginkgo biloba and remember that intimacy with perfect clarity. It's not a bad place for a preshow nosh… More >>
  • Best Venue for National Acts

    Pompano Beach Amphitheater

    Considering that many South Floridians wisely take advantage of the environmental niceties our climate offers -- at swimming pools and in convertibles, for instance -- you'd think outdoor music venues would be on durn near every street corner. They aren't. But there are a few choices. For an experience that can be duplicated at any massive, corporate-monikered shed in the… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    The Culture Room

    Sometimes, it's hard to profess love for the Culture Room because, well, it's a Fort Lauderdale institution, which usually means a place is tacky. But that's exactly why we love the Room, a '70s throwback that nonetheless hosts a never-ending procession of local and national acts -- more than any other live music venue in the area, come to think… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Lumonics Light Museum

    Anyone who was old enough to experience the first round of rave culture and still young enough to give a damn, do you remember PLUR? You know: Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect? That was the motto behind raves when they first started, before the atrocious morph into the disgusting, cooler-than-thou mentality that now occupies clubs from South Beach to Los… More >>
  • Best Female Rock Vocalist

    Paige Alison Harvey

    Fort Lauderdale has always been one of those towns where talented bands grow too big for their britches and then bolt for the good life elsewhere. But the Livid Kittens have stuck around for nearly ten years to help make a good life right here. And it's a colorful one too: Paige Harvey is certainly the most eye-catching frontwoman around.… More >>
  • Best Club VIP Room

    Cream at the Liquid Room

    Cream is what you call an equal-opportunity VIP room. You can sport Puma sneakers and '70s glam sunglasses and throw in some spending cash -- and it's all good. Head to the back of the Liquid Room, beyond the velvet rope, through the etched glass and cherry wood doors and you might feel like you've walked into a Target commercial… More >>
  • Best Club Night

    Poptopia

    Drummer Steve Copeletti flies around in a helicopter during the day, working as an aerial photographer. Maybe his employment has given him ample opportunity to scout out locations for his monthly alt-music showcase, Poptopia, which has moved more often than a mobster in the Witness Protection Program. You'd need a helicopter to visit all the venues that have hosted Poptopia… More >>
  • Best Intention Gone Bad

    The Chili Pepper's Plea

    The owners of the Chili Pepper nightclub in Fort Lauderdale were faced with a problem this winter. One of their employees, Russell Davis, had gotten into some trouble and was facing time in the slammer for a parole violation. Back in 1997, Davis had been sentenced to a year in prison, followed by five years of probation, for bank fraud… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Max's Grille

    An embarrassment of post-workday riches: 3-for-1 drinks from 5 p.m. to closing, seven days a week. This warrants exploration. You walk into Max's and say, "Whiskey-ginger ale," and minutes later there is a trinity of golden W-GAs before you. The tab, mind you, is for one. Yes, yes, there are of course a few restrictions about the top-shelf stuff,… More >>
  • Best Country and Western Bar

    Red, White & Country

    You'll hear a lot of tunes about Texas at this Pompano Beach bar, where the people are friendly and the drafts are served in frosted mugs. But that's country. Until someone writes a hit tune about Florida cowboys, those are the little indignities that a cracker cowboy has to deal with. Red, White, & Country is located in an industrial… More >>
  • Best Biker Bar

    Quest Lounge

    You've got your leather chaps and dew rag, a beard down to your belly button, and a Harley with enough chrome to blind anyone with oversensitive eyes. But where to show off all of this and hang out with a similarly tough-as-nails crowd? South Florida has a large number of biker bars, which is not surprising, given that the weather… More >>
  • Best Dive

    Geni-Lee's Saloon/Package Store

    Über-regulars set this joint apart from your usual hole-in-the-wall. (That and the fact that the place doesn't have a phone.) The faithful patrons of Geni-Lee's perch upon their barstools like moss on gravestones. They aren't even aware that the drink prices -- $1.50 for a bottle of Budweiser or a rail drink -- hearken to a time of leisure suits… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar in East Broward

    Coconuts

    A neighborhood joint on A1A in Fort Lauderdale may seem like an oxymoron, but the section that draws crowds from all around the area can be said to stop at Pusser's Rum, the south end of the beach strip. Beyond that stretches a line of hotels, convenience stores, and restaurants, before the commercial zone finally gives way to the upper-middle-class… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar in West Broward

    Jacaranda Bar & Grill

    It's blinding bright outside, but inside the Bar & Grill, a soothing darkness rests the eyes and welcomes the world-weary. The walls are painted a clubby forest green. Three television sets are tuned to sports news, sound off. During football season, Pittsburgh Steelers fans gather here for games. Tonight at the bar, a short guy with a big vocabulary is… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar in Palm Beach

    Surf Café

    Having celebrated its fifth anniversary in April, this joint rocks on. With its funky, Hawaiian-themed décor -- surfboards on the walls and television sets showing big-wave videos on a loop -- the Surf Café seems the perfect spot to hang ten -- or just hang out. (It also ain't bad for the FAU college crowd to take a breather from… More >>
  • Best Bar Band

    The Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice

    The Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice's succinct, silly, and unimaginably catchy songs (about worms, weirdos, weed, unpaid bills, alien abduction, and other important concerns) have been collected on a self-titled disc and another, soon-to-be-released offering. But your best bet is to catch the 'Mowers trimming their turf on-stage. That's where the band's offbeat humor is best appreciated and where gangly, bespectacled… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Ty Fenton

    The bar scene in South Florida leaves much to be desired. You spend the entire night competing for the attention of the harried bartender. You repeat the mantra, "Make eye contact, make eye contact, and maybe he'll notice me," but to no avail. By the time you place your order, happy hour has ended, and instead of… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Arena Sports Bar

    The key to a great sports bar is televisions. They must be legion -- a whole array of boob tubes should be scattered throughout the place so that at any moment, all one has to do to check the score is look up from the beer bottles and hot wings strewn across the table. This is Arena Sports Bar, where… More >>
  • Best Place to Humiliate a Date

    Slattery's Irish Restaurant & Public House

    Slattery's, a tiny, dark watering hole where only the Irish dare go, can make winners feel like losers. At least, that's one possible outcome if you enter the bar on a Wednesday night for Slattery's "Alternative Pub Quiz." The proprietors promise fun and games all night, with the chance to win "T-shirts, drinks, and God Knows What Else." The ad… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    Orchid Blues by Stuart Woods

    Vero Beach's answer to James Patterson, Woods has written another punchy, charming mystery featuring the recurring character of police chief Holly Barker. This time, she is joined by her father, Ham, as they go deep undercover to infiltrate a cult of right-wing, trigger-happy crackers. Finely detailed characters and a tight plot have helped Orchid Blues remain on the New York… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    90.9 FM

    Those who dare upset the status quo can be dangerous (like those death-defying drivers on Interstate 95) or they can be entertaining and basically harmless, like the illegal pirate station 90.9-FM, which has shoehorned itself into a spot on the dial. Sure, it upsets folks like the legitimate stations whose signal it smothers. But it's easy to appreciate an outlet… More >>
  • Best Radio Station to Disappear in the Past 12 Months

    Classical WTMI-FM (93.1)

    Upper-crust audiophiles in South Florida moaned December 31 when WTMI shed its 30-year tradition of playing classical music in favor of a format that caters to the younger techno-dance crowd. It morphed into "Party 93" as executives explained that classical fogies just didn't spend enough money with their advertisers to keep them going. Party now crows that it plays fewer… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill(s)

    Calypso Bay Waterpark

    If you're a kid, nothing is better than going to a playground. "No, Mom, a swimming pool." "No, Junior, a playground." "No, Mom, a swimming pool." "No, Junior, A PLAYGROUND!!" All right. All right. Enough with the family disputation. Thanks to the wonders of our modern age, kids can now do both. While no one's talking about why we had to wait until… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Canoeing on the ocean

    You can see them each sunny Wednesday evening and Saturday morning on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Six intrepid paddlers push a Hawaiian-style outrigger canoe into the surf and paddle off. Sometimes they hug the shoreline; sometimes they head toward the horizon. Maybe the opening notes of "Hawaii 5-0" will run through your head before you think, "Hey, this is the Atlantic!"… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    Moroso Motorsports Park

    Imagine: A day at the races, but with you and up to nine of your closest -- or loopiest -- friends as the drivers. This dream can become reality at Moroso Motorsports Park, which is available for private rentals. But you'll pay dearly for the privilege of playing Paul Newman. Rates start at $1800 per day for up to four… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Hatsume Fair at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

    Built on the site of a long-defunct Japanese agricultural colony, this now-25-year-old tribute to Japanese culture continues to thrive in its unlikely South Florida locale. Perhaps the best expression of its Japanophilia are the numerous festivals it hosts, honoring the important holidays of Nihon. Of these, the Hatsume Fair, which celebrates the first bud of spring, is our favorite, what… More >>
  • Best Solo Musician

    Fabio Zini

    Harvard Square in Boston. Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park. These are places to find street musicians who rock. Not SoFla. Or at least that's what we thought before running into 33-year-old Argentine guitarist Fabio Zini one sunny Sunday at a picnic shelter on Hollywood Beach. On his Takamine, he played electrified flamenco, tango, and bar mitzvah… More >>
  • Best Museum in Broward

    Coral Springs Museum of Art

    Call it "the little museum that could," although with 8000 square feet of exhibition space, the Coral Springs Museum of Art hardly lacks for room -- and what a grand display space it is: a series of spacious, interlocking galleries and a light-flooded main showplace that includes a high ceiling and huge plate-glass windows. (Amazingly, it was a gymnasium before… More >>
  • Best Museum in Palm Beach

    Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art

    When philanthropists Robert and Mary Montgomery bought and restored a grand old art-deco movie house in Lake Worth nearly three years ago, it was a turning point for contemporary art in South Florida. The building had provided space for some adventurous work in its brief incarnation as the Museum of Contemporary Art, and during the 1980s, as the Lannan Museum,… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Schacknow Museum of Fine Art

    OK, so it bills itself as a museum. But this West Broward institution is, in concept and execution, the work of one man. One man who owns, runs, and programs it without having to answer to anyone other than himself -- no pesky board of directors, no temperamental curators, no meddlesome partners. One man who has the chutzpah to stock… More >>
  • Best Gallery Openings

    Lalush Gallery

    Sure, every gallery and museum has little soirees when they introduce artwork to the public, but most of these consist of violin quartets and a bunch of people dressed in black talking about stuff you've never heard of. Lalush's exhibit openings we can understand. A variety of local bands, from the Livid Kittens to Cous Cous, have played at the… More >>
  • Best Artist

    Bruce Helander

    The West Palm Beach-based Helander remains one of the foremost advocates and practitioners of collage, a mixed-media art form pioneered by Pablo Picasso nearly a century ago. His subtle, complex compositions continue to demonstrate that this widely misunderstood medium is far from exhausting its possibilities. Unlike some of the well-known figures who have dabbled in it and moved on --… More >>
  • Best Artist to Skip Town

    Master Jeffrey Holmes

    In a town where crossing a busy street is more dangerous than the art scene, the loss of Master Jeffrey Holmes is significant. Last October, when Holmes finally made good on his threats to abandon Fort Lauderdale for New Orleans, the small outcast community he helped unite lost its strongest tether. Holmes's fascination with macabre and eerie images (tombstones, bloody… More >>
  • Best Anarchy in Action

    Unarmed Underground Art Center and Flamingo Art Studios

    Now in its eighth year, this all-purpose, free-form artists' collective is still a gathering spot for whatever avant-garde there may be in the West Palm Beach area. Housed in three connected, enormous Quonset huts -- big enough to be airplane hangars -- on a dead-end street off the Florida East Coast railroad tracks in newly gentrified Flamingo Park, the UA… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Peter Haig

    Haig's performance in Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (at the Mosaic Theatre in Plantation) was little seen but indelible. An insular literature professor imprisoned in war-torn Beirut, chained in place for the entire play, Haig could barely move, not even stand, but still managed to conjure a moving, nuanced portrait of a limited, conflicted man who discovers a well of… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor

    Paul Tei, Black Sheep, Florida Stage

    As Max, a spoiled rich kid turned film critic, Tei turned in an over-the-top performance that stole the show, no small feat in a strong cast and strong play. But Tei's done it before, in the fabulous Popcorn last year at GableStage and other productions around town. It was time, however, for Tei to break mold, and this year he… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Pamela Roza, Boy Gets Girl, GableStage

    Roza was memorable as a tightly wound professional woman in Manhattan being stalked by a would-be suitor. Her emotional range and willingness to explore the character's ugly sides helped turn Rebecca Gilman's issue-driven potboiler into a dark, troubling character study. We've seen Roza before in other psychological dramas, such as Extremities, where she played a rape victim who turns the… More >>
  • Best Acoustic Performer

    Bill Cruz

    You don't see Bill Cruz around very much anymore. In fact, the last time we spotted him (November 2001), he opened a Little Havana concert for difficult ingénue Cat Power, who suffered an on-stage breakdown that created a most uncomfortable evening for performer and audience alike. But her rather unglamorous self-implosion served to illuminate Cruz's polish and effortlessness. His 1998… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress

    Brenda Thomas, Bee-luther-hatchee, Florida Stage

    Thomas was outstanding as Libby Price, a world-weary black woman adrift in the Southern racial struggles of the 1960s in this interesting production. ("Bee-luther-hatchee" is early 20th-century African-American slang for a faraway, damnable place, the next station after the stop for hell.) This was the New York City-based actress's first stop in South Florida, and her emotionally compelling work was… More >>
  • Best Director

    Joseph Adler

    And the winner is.... Once again, the award goes to Adler for his range of work and the professionalism with which it is produced. From gritty naturalism in the creepy and mind-bending Boy Gets Girl to lyrical musical drama in The Dead to the brilliant absurdism of Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby, Adler moves all over the stylistic… More >>
  • Best Locally Produced Drama

    The Play About the Baby

    Who's afraid of putting on Edward Albee? Not GableStage. And this production of the playwright's mind-bending verbal labyrinth was a dizzying, enigmatic tour de force. Strong all around, from Joseph Adler's crisp staging through the tight and engrossing performances (including some nifty work from John Felix and Cynthia Caquelin). Add to the mix the excellent work of Jeff Quinn, Daniela… More >>
  • Best Costume Design

    Ilona Somogyi, Red Herring, Florida Stage

    Somogyi gets the nod for her droll, inventive 1950s design scheme, in itself a hilarious social critique. From nightmarish polka dots and pony skirts to her big-shouldered suits for men, the New York City designer brought Red Herring an added level of comedy and social commentary. Somogyi has tailored her craft to this era before.… More >>
  • Best Stage Design

    Victor Becker, Black Sheep , Florida Stage

    Using an all-white set and a series of mobile screens, Becker created an ever-shifting funhouse of mobile space, a perfect setting for Lee Blessing's elusive, dreamlike comedy that offered director Michael Bigelow Dixon plenty of staging opportunities. The space allowed the play itself to expand into the marvelous production that it was. If you wanted to see how it's done,… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast

    Red Herring

    More kudos for the little Florida Stage that could. And here's why: Stephen G. Anthony, Patricia Dalen, Suzanne Grodner, Kendra Kassebaum, Johnathan F. McClain, and Gordon McConnell. This outstanding cast served up an endless stream of hilarious yet sometimes touching characters in this black comedy, from Anthony's tortured G-man to Grodner's wacky Mrs. McCarthy (wife of Senator Joe) to Kassebaum's… More >>
  • Best Theater for Plays

    Florida Stage - CLOSED

    This Palm Beach County company serves up challenging productions with a nice blend of local and New York City actors and a welcome infusion of talented directors and designers from across the nation. Artistic director Louis Tyrrell has an excellent instinct for play selection and maintains close relationships with several important playwrights. The result is a sophisticated level of theatrical… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Southport Cinema Café

    In the old days, the relationship between dining out and a movie was clear and quite sequential. A matinee might lead to dinner, or an 8 o'clock show to a late-night meal, but ne'er the twain met. Videos changed that, however, and the pleasures of chewing and viewing during Hollywood blockbusters are now a living-room standard. Cinema Café is a… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

    Yeah, yeah, we know you've heard it all before: As we've declared for the past two years, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is tops. And as the festival approaches its 17th season, that's truer than ever. Organizers like to cite numbers -- how it has grown from 7 days to 28, from 20 or so films to more than… More >>
  • Best Independent Theater

    Cinema Paradiso

    From the outside, it still looks like a church -- which it was when it was built in 1926. Sixty years after opening, the First Methodist Church was renovated and rechristened the Vinnette Carroll Theatre, an intimate space devoted to showcasing small theatrical productions. In the past two years, with the assistance of Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale International… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Famous Gay Cowboys

    John Wayne was a fag. He was too, you boys. I installed two-way mirrors at his pad in Brentwood. He came to the door in a dress!… More >>
  • Best Strip Joint

    The Forum

    Sure, there's the $10 cover charge, and the place is BYOB. But how many other strip clubs are open Monday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. (and even 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday)? Just be sure to bring enough liquor to last you through the night, and enough cash as well. Lap dances in the back rooms run $25… More >>
  • Best Lesbian Bar

    Kicks Sports Bar

    Broward County boasts more gay bars than Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties combined, and while most of them welcome lesbians as well as gay men, it's rare to find a place geared primarily to gals. The market is so precarious that when one lesbian bar opens, it seems another closes. That makes Kicks, which opened in 1999, a relative old-timer.… More >>
  • Best Hangout for Hetero Women

    La Bare

    Turnabout is fair play. Strip clubs for men dot the South Florida landscape like royal palms; La Bare is a gutsy attempt toward evening out that number. For those of the fairer sex who crave the sight of buff dudes in scanty duds, your day has come. Consider Israel, a 6-foot-2-inch dancer with dark hair and eyes,… More >>
  • Best Recording

    Ruth, Remember the Ocean

    The comfortable songs of Remember the Ocean soothe and calm -- and how many South Florida bands can you say that about? The ochre corridors and smooth wood floors of Ruth, the band's debut, sprawl out like a grandmother's house with a warm scent of home-cooking and a hint of 10,000 Maniacs or the Innocence Mission. Remember the Ocean has… More >>
  • Best Recording Studio Whiz-Kid

    James Paul Wisner

    His is not a household name -- not yet, anyway -- but James Paul Wisner's golden ears have certainly made for happy households wherever he has bestowed his magic touch. The crystalline purity of Broward's wonderful Rocking Horse Winner was buffed to a blinding perfection on the band's debut, State of Feeling Concentration, and Wisner extended that courtesy on the… More >>
  • Best Jazz Artist

    Kenny Millions

    An incredible artist literally peddles his goods in our own back yard but is woefully underappreciated. Par for the course, unfortunately, where bled-dry standards and even less-interesting mendacity can be passed off as jazz music. Recognized internationally as one of the most promising avant-jazz alchemists, Kenny Millions, a.k.a. Keshavan Maslak, is accustomed to performing highbrow gigs abroad. Here at home,… More >>
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