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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best New Club

    Fifteen West - CLOSED

    Finding a cool dance club nowadays isn't the easiest thing, especially in Fort Lauderdale. Often, as soon as one opens up is as quick as it closes down. Occupying the old Automatic Slim's venue in Riverfront is Fifteen West, a hipper alternative to the velvet-roped clubs filled with snooty clubgoers. There is bottle service and VIP, but the dress code… More >>
  • Best Nightlife Event

    Swarm by Black Locust Society

    At Swarm, which pops up every few months, there are no special invitations, dress-code requirements, overpriced cover fees, or strict rules to abide by. As event organizers Black Locust Society says, "Come one, come all. It's just about bringing people together. This is just what we do." Housed in a warehouse away from the madness of the downtown bar scene,… More >>
  • Best Music Venue

    The Snooze Theatre

    The DIY, Lake Park, music-focused venue brilliantly named the Snooze Theatre started life as a blues club called the Orange Door. C.J. Jankow and Jordan Pettingill of Cop City Chill Pillars and Love Handles began throwing events there before it graduated from blues to experimental. They currently run the place with Ed and Dan McHugh, the latter of the band… More >>
  • Best Rock Vocalist

    Jeff Lloyd of the Heavy Pets

    If there is one area where many jam bands are lacking, it certainly wouldn't be in the hair department. Most of them have plenty of that, though it's often of the shaggy, unkempt variety. Rather, many jam bands are missing a good singer. Local jam heroes the Heavy Pets are not lacking in either of those categories thanks to frontman… More >>
  • Best Male Vocalist

    James "Scarecrow" Jenkins of Loxahatchee Sinners Union

    You might recognize James "Scarecrow" Jenkins as the former bull fiddler of Lake Worth's punkabilly band Viva Le Vox, but you also might recognize him because he's got a lotta look. Nowadays, Jenkins heads his own outfit, Loxahatchee Sinners Union, a rootsy Americana act that came about by accident. In an attempt to set out on his own, he ended… More >>
  • Best Female Vocalist

    Carly Astrea of Astrea Corporation

    From the magical, otherworldly sounds created by Astrea Corporation's Mike Astrea and Sandor Davidson arises the strange, mystical, and powerful vocals of Carly Astrea. Her look is majestic. She's always dressed to kill and crowned with great, big, loose curls. She's the siren to their song. Astrea's voice is often compared to that of Beth Gibbons of Portishead, the trip-hop… More >>
  • Best Rock Band

    Dooms de Pop

    Dooms de Pop is what you might call a new kind of rock band. Its music sounds familiar, but it's a whole 'nother animal creeping around, banging up the menagerie. It's like mainstream power pop and heavy rock with tasty touches of Flaming Lips and They Might Be Giants. Garo Gallo, who leads the act, is also founder of the… More >>
  • Best Live Band

    Tumbleweave

    If you wolfed down a handful of mushrooms and then sort of sat in the sun for too long without drinking water, what might appear before you in all of its glory is the two-man act Tumbleweave. These trippy mammajammas take our crazed, otherworldly hallucinations and actualize them onstage. Dressed in what is part Hershey kiss, part metallic Snork, Matt… More >>
  • Best Scene Cultivators

    Brotherly Love Productions

    The term slacker has been hurled at tie-dye-wearing, Grateful Dead-loving folks for the past half century. No description, though, could be less true of Brotherly Love Productions, the most important force in the growing jam-band scene in South Florida. BLP organizes regular and sporadic events that bring together bands from South Florida and beyond with the dancing folks who love… More >>
  • Best Country Band

    Boise Bob and His Backyard Band

    The smell of the swamp, the slick of sawgrass, the chomp of the alligator. That's the kind of authentic South Florida shit you experience with Boise Bob and His Backyard Band. Their songs take a humorous approach to country music. He talks about eating 'possum and getting shitfaced at a bar he loves more than he loves you. The act… More >>
  • Best Experimental Musician

    Chrome Dick

    With a name like Chrome Dick, you might think this guy'd be spitting rhymes about his genitals and how strong and shiny they are. But Chrome Dick is actually Raphael Alvarez, a musician who's been involved for years in popular Broward bands like .ihatejulie, Traded to Racine, Harvey and the Buckets, and now Suede Dudes. As Chrome Dick, though, pop… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop Artist

    Robb Bank$

    Robb Bank$ has a serious gold grill and looks as young as 15. But his sound is savage and his voice smooth. The music is trippy. It's like he's laying rhymes over ethereal experimental soundscapes. Robb Bank$ is likely to catch the eye and ear of the industry, and soon. This jit is half of the group Tuesday Thru Sunday… More >>
  • Best Tribute Act

    Crazy Fingers

    It has been several years since the utopian Deadhead night at Fisherman's Wharf on Pompano Pier went the way of Jerry Garcia when the bar/restaurant gave way to new ideas for "development." In the period since, South Florida heads have followed Crazy Fingers, the well-loved Grateful Dead tribute act, around to a few new Thursday-night spots. But none has felt… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hip Group

    Paper Chaser Committee

    Paper Chaser Committee, or PCC, began in 2003 as a clique only. It has since grown to a five-man crew, consisting of some recognizable names in the underground hip-hop scene in West Palm Beach. There's Cookem Up — the CEO — then a mix of rappers including Vandam Bodyslam, Mic Check, A.I., Breezy, and Moneyman. They came together in 2008… More >>
  • Best Metal Band

    Orbweaver

    Orbweaver describes a common group of spiders. Spiders spin webs, and in these webs, they catch their dinner. Orbweaver is an experimental psych-metal band created by its singer, Broward native and main songwriter Randy Piro. He's been weaving tales and catching ideas in them, creating music that is as heavy as it is deadly. Piro once played with Gigan and… More >>
  • Best Electronic Group

    Astrea Corporation

    It's difficult to lump the musical group Astrea Corporation into just one category, as the group's talent and sound break the barriers of any one genre. In a world that's flooded with dubstep and iPod DJs, the trip-hop beats made by Michael Bachman and Sander Davidson, complemented by the sultry voice of frontwoman Carly Astrea, are refreshing. It's safe to… More >>
  • Best Soul Artist

    Blowfly

    Can you imagine what the body of South Florida would look like without its soul, the flamboyant fabulous hometown boy Clarence Reid? It'd be sad, skinny, serious, and sour. A body no one'd wanna bang. Reid, better-known as Blowfly, is a pervy old performer who knows a thing or two about keeping feet tapping and hearts beating heavy. His filthy… More >>
  • Best Album

    The Band in Heaven's EP

    Scuzzy, fuzzy, psychedelic. You can use all of these words to describe the Band in Heaven's new four-track EP featuring A-side "Sleazy Dreams." The first 475 copies of this seven-inch were pressed in February by a garage, noise, psych, and punk underground label out of Chicago called HoZac Records. The band creates not so much celestial sounds but more like… More >>
  • Best Band to Break Up

    The New

    Just last year, the readers (that's you) chose the New as the best local band. The alt-pop outfit isn't done entirely, but a break from its label and a switched-up lineup leaves the New in the hands of lead singer and guitarist Lori Garrote, and in her hands alone. Her off-again, on-again bandmate is now officially no longer part of… More >>
  • Best Album to Sample Videogames

    The Adventures in 8bit: Cartridge 1 by the Benchwarmers Clique

    OK. Get stoned, sit back, press play, and try to figure out what videogames were sampled in each of the 12 tracks of the Benchwarmers Clique's The Adventures in 8bit: Cartridge 1. For so many — mostly stoners and boys, but in many ways for all of us — the first electronic music we listened to was the soundtrack to… More >>
  • Best Music Festival to Die in the Past 12 Months

    Langerado

    Like Jesus Christ himself, this festival has died, resurrected, and, unlike JC, died again. In 2003, the inaugural fest made us feel warm and fuzzy. In 2006, the event made us swoon with Florida musical lovin'. Just two years later, we were still gaga for Langerado, but in 2009, it died in the planning stages. In 2011, it looked like… More >>
  • Best Music Festival

    Lake Worth Reggae Fest

    For two consecutive days in April, Bryant Park in Lake Worth was as bright as could be with smiles, sunshine, and irie vibes. Ya mon! The inaugural Lake Worth Reggae Fest went off splendidly, bringing together a diverse crowd, stellar bands, and quality vendors for a weekend full of Jah-loving fun. Rastas coursed the scene as boomers relaxed in beach… More >>
  • Best Drag Show

    Drag It Out

    Last year, we spotted this crew of performers and teachers and declared them Best Nonprofit. The queens at Drag It Out aren't just hams in a lotta lipstick and heels; this is a caring group of motherly ladies and gents and gender nonspecifics. They teach the art of drag to young drag aficionados, mentoring and inspiring them. Their workshops are… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Women

    Girls' Club Collection

    What's the sexiest area of a woman's body? Her brain. So where does one find a sexy female brain in the land of beaches and liposuction? The Girls' Club Collection is an art space created, curated, and managed by women featuring art photography by female artists. The gallery itself was designed by a female architect, and it shows in the… More >>
  • Best Painting Exhibition

    "American Treasures: Masterworks From the Butler Institute of American Art"

    Not to discount installation art or performance art or conceptual art or any other kind of art that has trended upward in recent years, but there are times when you just want to look at a bunch of paintings. For those times, there are shows like this one at the Boca Museum, made available to South Florida courtesy of Ohio's… More >>
  • Best Solo Exhibition

    "Jenny Saville"

    With canvases measuring up to 16 feet by eight feet, British artist Jenny Saville's eponymous retrospective at the Norton was literally the biggest show of the year. But what really makes Saville's art big, aside from its sheer scale, is its emotional content. Her images of haunted, fleshy, sometimes physically battered faces speak to a culture that gorges on itself… More >>
  • Best Group Exhibition

    "All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition"

    Sometimes the best shows sneak up on you, registering only faintly while you're still in the museum or gallery and then later coming together in your head as a cohesive whole. The Boca Museum's 60th-annual "All Florida" was such a show. First there's the scale of the exhibition to consider: 101 artists represented, out of the nearly 600 who submitted… More >>
  • Best Photography Exhibition

    "Artist Unknown/The Free World"

    In 1955, photographer and curator Edward Steichen organized more than 500 images into "The Family of Man," which traveled to 37 countries and reached about 10 million people. In 2008, New York-based teacher and photographer Oliver Wasow and South Carolina painter John D. Monteith began assembling a collection of "found" or vernacular photography that now includes roughly 20,000 pictures. The… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Deborah L. Sherman - CLOSED

    When casting like this falls into your lap, it's a gift. Deborah L. Sherman has said she has a history of mental illness in her family, including bipolar disorder, which undoubtedly helped her absorb the dangerous mood swings of Melinda, the bipolar wife of a pandering politician in Side Effects. Whether she was slinking about their immaculate living room with… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Todd Allen Durkin - CLOSED

    Six Years was one of the more underrated productions of the past year, especially for the colossal performance of Todd Allen Durkin. He essentially carried the entire play on his shoulders, discovering a complete spectrum of human emotion in an otherwise imperfect postwar panorama. Many months later, it's difficult to recall the goings-on in Six Years, which followed the tumultuous… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor

    Alex Alvarez

    Alvarez is onstage only for a few minutes in each of the two scenes in The Unseen, but he dominates — nay, towers over — both of them like a mad, yet-to-be-deposed dictator. As a secret prison's brutal guard with a heart of... something, he hulks back and forth between two crude cells, and you can't take your eyes off… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress

    Laura Turnbull - CLOSED

    Laura Turnbull's Marie Lombardi was a grounding force, the ego that kept a raging id in check. She was wife to Ray Abruzzo's larger-than-life title character in Mosaic's winning drama. And while Abruzzo's performance was all jazz, flash, and volume, Turnbull had an arguably greater challenge: to remain compelling while keeping everything low key. In a convincing wig and period… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast

    All My Sons

    Palm Beach Dramaworks' first production in the Don and Ann Brown Theatre proved to be an embarrassment of riches — an opening salvo that turned a corner in the company's history. No more was Dramaworks limited to cramped sets with small casts. To wit, this ambitious 1947 drama by Arthur Miller featured an ensemble of 11 actors from South Florida… More >>
  • Best Set Design

    Stuff - CLOSED

    The set design in the first act of this elaborate comedic drama about the proto-pack-rats Homer and Langley Collyer is impressive enough, a stately Brooklyn mansion oozing wealth and containing the subtlest, earliest signs of hoarderdom. By the time you return to your seat after an unusually lengthy intermission, you witness an epic transformation that looks like it was an… More >>
  • Best Director

    Nicole Stodard

    At one point during Cleansed, I felt like throwing up, and I almost had to look away. If this feeling swelled up in my throat while watching, say, a Neil Simon comedy, then the direction that inspired it would be considered rather poor. But in a play by Sarah Kane, the late British chronicler of life's most sordid and deviant… More >>
  • Best Play

    Side Effects - CLOSED

    This past year saw Herculean achievements in set design, sound design, costume design, prop-heavy novelties, and large-cast spectacles. But none of them topped the simply staged Side Effects and the emotional, comedic, and dramatic magic it created with two people, a single set, and a narrative that explores mental illness in a modern marriage with profound insight. Universally, it was… More >>
  • Best Musical

    Song of the Living Dead

    For the third year in a row, the Promethean Theatre made the summertime fun, funny, and pleasantly disgusting by mounting a musical grounded in cult cinema. Song of the Living Dead was arguably the most accomplished of them all, a pop-savvy, self-deprecating, and surprisingly sophisticated satire. Margaret Ledford directed the action with loopy abandon and excess energy, and the choreography… More >>
  • Best Theater Season

    Caldwell Theatre - CLOSED

    The Caldwell Theatre may be South Florida's oldest theater company still in operation, but there was a time when it didn't have the esteem of the county's dramatic powerhouses, Mosaic and Dramaworks. In the mid- to late '00s, the theater's forte seemed to be conventional, familiar audience pleasers rather than provocative think pieces — a pair of Steel Magnolias for… More >>
  • Best Festival Returned From the Dead

    Fort Lauderdale Air & Sea Show

    Where else can you find the Air Force Thunderbirds, the Navy Hornets, the Coast Guard search-and-rescue team, and the Navy SEALs parachute team all gathered in one place? While liberals might dismiss this as a showy recruiting tool, a fossil-fuel-powered display of machismo, or an I-don't-wanna-know-how-costly waste of taxpayer dollars, the Fort Lauderdale Air & Sea Show is quite a… More >>
  • Best Nightlife Party

    Flaunt at Respectable Street

    Flaunt is one of South Florida's longest-running dance parties. Housed in West Palm Beach's Respectable Street, Flaunt is the dance floor to hit to let loose, down a whole lot of booze, and forget about all your cares. The DJs spin the best of electro-dance and new wave, the bartenders serve heavy shots, and the crowd ain't so bad-looking either.… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Hipsters

    Green Room

    You've got on tight pants, and so does he. You're drinking PBR, and so is she. You both share a few flirty smiles on the dance floor as you booty-dance ironically to the "Tootsie Roll." It's hipster love at first sight. This type of love connection can occur only underneath the glittering chandelier at the Green Room at one of… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Round Up Country Western Club

    Located out in our version of the west, in Davie, just off of State Road 84, Round Up offers South Florida country lovers a big ol' break from the bustle of electronic and booty music and a place to line up and show off their slick moves. You'll find gunslingers in cowboy boots and country girls in daisy dukes. Round… More >>
  • Best Club DJs

    Mig and Sweetswirl of Green Room

    Each week at Digital Love Thursdays, the fashion-savvy indie dance crowd bounced, grinned, and threw back PBRs as DJs Mig and Sweetswirl served up just the right jams. Mixing tracks freshly picked out of the blogosphere with old-school classics, Mig and Sweetswirl never ceased to give the room the beat it needs: When it was time for a sing-along, a… More >>
  • Best One-Nighter

    Brown Bag Wednesdays

    The Green Room has taken downtown Fort Lauderdale and slapped it upside the head with good music and a helluva lotta dancing. The rise of hip-hop haven Brown Bag Wednesdays sweetens the tragic loss of the once-popular dance party Digital Love at the same spot. Sweetens it with quarts of Colt 45 and impromptu dance-offs. Not only do Brown Bag… More >>
  • Best Strip Club

    Scarlett's Cabaret

    As the night winds down and the bars close, you're still drunk, you haven't blown all your cash, and you kind of wanna see some titties. Where do you go? You grab your thick-rimmed-glasses-wearing girlfriend and drag your tatted-up ass over to Scarlett's. Duh. Scarlett's not only has nude ladies dancing away way early into the morning but also free… More >>
  • Best Pub Quiz

    Slackers Bar & Grill

    Throw out everything you knew about pub quizzes and bands of cardiganed hipsters competing rabidly to nail a question on a technicality. In fact, don't call this light-beer-fueled questionfest a "pub quiz" at all. It's Trivia Night, plain and simple, and it goes down every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Your down-to-earth and occasionally lewd hosts, Dawn and Ken, holler out… More >>
  • Best Male Strip Joint

    Boardwalk

    Whether you're into Mr. Universe types or prefer cherub-faced boys who look like they ought to be at home studying for an algebra test, a trip to Boardwalk on the right night will have you tingling below the belt. Show up on Wednesday for the "new meat amateur" contest or on Friday and Saturday for "packed porn star weekends," hosted… More >>
  • Best B-List Celebrity

    Vanilla Ice

    For more than two decades, Rob Van Winkle has been the butt of jokes and the subject of parody. But the man responsible for the 1991 Grammy-nominated "Ice Ice Baby" has surged back to relevancy in recent years by branding himself as a fun-loving, dirt-bike-jumping, bong-ripping renegade of home renovation. When his music career hit a lull, he stacked cash… More >>
  • Best Art Museum

    Norton Museum of Art

    Visiting the 122,500-square-foot Norton is like shopping at an enormous department store: The most pressing question is where to stop off first. The permanent collection alone, which comes to more than 7,000 works of art, includes five sections — American, Chinese, contemporary, and European art, along with photography — any one of which could occupy you for an hour or… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Girls' Club Collection

    For anyone who finds an art gallery espousing "Contemporary Art by Women" a quaint, anachronistic throwback to the early days of feminism, it's worth remembering that one of the most surprising developments in the current political climate is a debate over contraception for women. In other words, women's issues still matter mightily. Not that Girls' Club features art by and… More >>
  • Best Museum Curator

    Jorge Hilker Santis

    It's worth remembering, as Jorge Hilker Santis edges closer to retirement after 20-plus years at the Museum of Art|Fort Lauderdale, that often the people with the most impact are the ones who keep a low profile. As the museum's unassuming but rigorous curator and head of collection research, the Cuban-born Santis has maintained strong ties to his cultural heritage. He… More >>
  • Best Visual Artist

    Bonnie Shapiro

    Artists don't come much more quintessentially Floridian than Bonnie Shapiro. Born and raised in South Florida and educated at the University of Florida, Shapiro has lived here all her life. More to the point, her art is infused with a sense of what it's like to live in the Sunshine State. Her canvases often capture that dusky, indefinable moment when… More >>
  • Best Art Event

    Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School at Stage 84

    For Brooklyn artists Molly Crabapple and A.V. Phibes, life drawing classes had become snoozeworthy: Sure, there was a naked model in the room, but said room was cold, fluorescent-lit, and filled with strangers. The experience would be so much better with friends. And alcohol. Thus, the two wizards birthed Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School — a cure for the common, drab,… More >>
  • Best Body Painter

    Keegan Hitchcock

    It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a nude woman's body painted as Superman? For more than a decade, the whimsical Keegan Hitchcock has been beautifying the world, one brush stroke at a time. She's transformed humans into zombies, bare-breasted Mardi Gras-goers into ravenous tigers, and even a pregnant belly into an ocean-view sunset. However, it's not only birthday parties… More >>
  • Best Theater Space

    Palm Beach Dramaworks

    The move had been anticipated for well over a year, with news that Palm Beach Dramaworks would be relocating from its sardine-can space off Banyan Boulevard to the former Cuillo Theater, the empty landmark at the end of Clematis Street. It was funded in part by a $2 million grant from Palm Beach Gardens philanthropists Don and Ann Brown, and… More >>
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