Best Theater for Drama - 2007
Theater is fun, but theaters usually aren't. Too often, they're viewed as life-support systems for stages places for an audience to hunker down and passively observe beloved artists at work. Not so at Sol. There's a definite vibe happening, a vaguely grimy DIY aesthetic that spices up the theatergoing experience from the moment you set (trembling) foot to (cracked) asphalt and begin walking (quickly) to Sol's front door (which looks more like the entrance to a pawn shop, a storefront church, a strip joint, or a biker bar than an outpost of high art). On the way, you'll pass chairs and big antebellum iron ashtrays, glowing dully in the neon wash from Sol's garish signs. In the lobby, things are cramped as people get in line to guzzle free shiraz from plastic cups. Stepping into the theater, you pass a big poster of the Mona Lisa sucking on a spliff. Then you get comfy on a big, soft couch next to a friendly stranger or two. Even the worst seats in the house are less than 20 feet from the stage close enough to feel a part of the action instead of simply a spectator.