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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Art Gallery

    Plush, Purple Orchid

    Some galleries trumpet their so-called hot artists with more pageantry. Other spaces are more conceptually ambitious (Angstrom). One has an indisputable track record that marries respectability and quality (Barry Whistler). And some have more consistently solid shows year-round (Photographs Do Not Bend). But Joe Allen's Purple Orchid and Randall Garrett's Plush--not necessarily a joint venture, though they share the same… More >>
  • Best Visual Artist

    Erick Swenson

    Anticipating disagreement and dissent, please allow us to make one thing nice and sparkling clear: We feel your scorn, and we accept it. With something as subjective as art, you have to go with your gut, and this year ours points to sculptor and occasional armchair comic Erick Swenson. The University of North Texas graduate's delicate, surreal creatures would read… More >>
  • Best Theatrical Marketing Tool

    Casting a Porn Star in Your Holocaust Drama

    As important as Martin Sherman's Bent is to the world stage canon--it was one of the first major works in any field to acknowledge the Third Reich's persecution of gay men--the play hasn't aged terribly well. It's didactic, melodramatic and sensationalistic--or can be, in careless hands. John Templin and Jeff Sprague, co-founders of Fort Worth's Sage & Silo Theatre, didn't… More >>
  • Best Touring Corpse

    Casper The Musical Stinks Up the Music Hall

    Based on our childhood memories of the cartoon series, we thought Casper The Friendly Ghost was about life after death, not the messy business of dying. This summer's four-city tour of Casper The Musical crawled into Dallas with vital signs barely registering and proceeded to meet a very long, noisy, smelly demise on the stage of the Fair Park Music… More >>
  • Best Local TV News Anchor

    Jane McGarry, NBC 5 (KXAS-TV Channel 5)

    Next year will mark Jane McGarry's 20th anniversary at the station, and we couldn't be happier that she's still around. She's not a self-promoter like Ashleigh Banfield was at Channel 4, she doesn't pontificate about the importance of television news like Channel 11's Tracy Rowlett, and she isn't as chirpy and fun as Channel 8 stalwart Gloria Campos (last year's… More >>
  • Best Train Wreck of a Local TV News Anchor

    Mike Snyder, NBC 5 (KXAS-TV Channel 5)

    Jane McGarry's co-host, on the other hand, we love for an entirely different reason: He's batshit. This is a man who takes everything so seriously he thinks Friends is a documentary. Listen to his baritone voice boom as he stares at the camera wide-eyed during some sort of catastrophe story: "Today in Dallas MANY PEOPLE DIED in a FANTASTIC FIRE… More >>
  • Best Local TV News Show

    CBS 11 (KTVT-TV Channel 11)

    If Ed Bark at The Dallas Morning News were ever again allowed to write about local TV news, we get a strong sense that he would disagree mightily with this pick. Not because Bark is a shill for Belo--in fact, we believe it's his record of objectivity that so bothers the higher-ups at the Belo Death Star (we're looking at… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Inwood Theater

    The Angelika multiplex is still too new to take this category, and we're not yet sure if it will next year, anyway. (Although it is pretty sweet. See "Best Movie Pitch Worth the Wait" in Scenes.) The Inwood is a grand old dame of a movie theater and again deserves our "Best Of" label, hands down (the Lakewood and the… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KEGL-FM 97.1 "The Eagle"

    Very few radio stations worry about music anymore. Most are built around "personalities," DJs and boring rant-talk-show hosts who do nothing more than spew banality for fours hour a day. Those stations that do play music program by focus group or by imitation, although it's hard to tell the difference anymore. One seems to beget the other, and any sense… More >>
  • Best Public Music Radio Station

    KNTU-FM 88.1

    KERA-FM 90.1 is truly a great station for news and sane talk-show programming. But let's face it: They can't do everything, and hence, they don't play music. That's where KNTU 88.1 fits in. This public radio station, which transmits from the University of North Texas, is one of the coolest in the Southwest: Its mix of jazz, classical and world… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ

    Cindy Scull, KEGL-FM 97.1 "The Eagle"

    There's no science to this choice. This is as subjective as "Best of" gets. Here's the story: Many, many years ago, in a time known as "the '80s," there was an amazingly handsome young man who had a crush on the eighth-grade bad girl. She smoked, she had big, wild hair, she cussed a lot. And she liked to rock.… More >>
  • Best Radio Talk Show

    The Glenn Mitchell Show, KERA-FM 90.1

    This is not a slight to Mitchell, who conducts sometimes-thoughtful, sometimes-whimsical on-air chats with a wide array of guests every weekday from noon to 1 p.m., but can we get a little competition here, please? This is such a no-brainer even we couldn't screw it up. Dallas-Fort Worth is such a barren wasteland for talk radio, we've actually had to… More >>
  • Best Public Sculpture

    Dallas Police Memorial

    Public art in Dallas often falls prey to being overlooked or hard to find, which is why the city's newest addition is also the best. Sitting at the intersection of Young and Akard near City Hall, the Dallas Police Memorial is a breathtaking edifice that effortlessly blends Dallas' best assets--our reluctant postmodernist slant and ample sky. Forged of stainless steel,… More >>
  • Best Auf Wiedersehen

    KLIF-AM 570's Tom Kamb Departs

    We hope that KLIF's perpetually dismal ratings are a good sign people have grown tired of the elitist, moralistic, free-market-at-all-costs bullshit masquerading as anti-government populism that talk radio regularly spews out. And the brief reign of puny führer Tom Kamb, a self-described "homo" who pushed himself to ever-lower levels of provocation to presumably outdo his straight-boy colleagues, makes us positively… More >>
  • Best Daily Newspaper Columnist

    Scott Burns, personal finance columnist, The Dallas Morning News

    Burns is everything we want in a biz-columnist: concise, easy to understand, helpful to the average Joe and Jane living paycheck to paycheck as well as the CEO. Burns doesn’t care about trying to make you comprehend how the GNP affects the Whatzis Dow and Whozis Index of Parameters; he just wants to tell you the best way to save… More >>
  • Best Non-daily Newspaper Columnist

    Durhl Caussey, Oak Cliff Tribune

    A little folksy, occasionally philosophical and always entertaining, Caussey is one of Dallas journalism's best-kept secrets. Schoolteacher by day, his column appears weekly and earned him an invitation to the annual Dallas Press Club Katie Awards banquet a couple of years back. Now he's even syndicated in several other small Texas papers. His column alone is worth a subscription. … More >>
  • Best Reason to Keep Reading The Dallas Morning News

    Beatriz Terrazas

    There is a formula to writing for publications, and each one is unique. If you want to write for D Magazine, sound breezy and scolding at the same time. ("North Dallas' courage is apparent in the winning smiles of Highland Village shoppers whose Saturday-afternoon purchases prove wrong the liberal naysayers on the City Council.") If you want to write for… More >>
  • Best City Council Member

    Veletta Forsythe Lill

    She just does good stuff, and she does it quietly and effectively. Lill was the reason the stupid Dallas City Council ultimately restored funding to the Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Film Commission. She fought to protect the city's historic preservation law when some dude tried to gut the law so he could add a 400-square-foot closet to the front of his… More >>
  • Best Kiss-and-make-up

    D Magazine

    Remember when D Magazine pissed off mightily former Dallas Morning News columnist John Anders by reporting that he'd been fired instead of opting to take early retirement? Well, guess who wrote a lengthy piece on the wonders of a world beyond journalism in D's June 2001 issue? The magazine even let Anders take a roundhouse swing at the folks publishing… More >>
  • Best New Museum

    Meadows Museum

    King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain came to town last March for the opening. So what's your excuse? For decades, one of the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain languished in little-known, unprepossessing quarters on the Southern Methodist University campus. The new museum is a tad boring on the outside--generic SMU brick-and-columns pompous--but it's grand,… More >>
  • Best Book Title by a Dallas Author

    "I Watched a Wild Hog Eat My Baby!"

    Award-winning journalist Bill Sloan, former Dallas Times Herald reporter and author of a shelf full of nonfiction books (and a couple of novels), seems to have hit the Big Time with his colorful and applauded reflection on the supermarket tabloid newspaper industry. The title, natch, comes straight off the cover of one of the publications he edited back in the… More >>
  • Best Book Club

    Arts & Letters Live

    Impresario Kay Cattarulla's brilliant series at the Dallas Museum of Art puts famous writers on stage to talk to you about their work. The theater at the Dallas Museum of Art is just intimate enough that some of these productions turn into private confabs between the authors and the audience. It's a great chance to stick writers with all of… More >>
  • Best Flat-out Free Entertainment

    Dallas Symphony Orchestra Community Parks Concerts

    For a decade now, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has conducted a series of free outdoor concerts in the city's parks. The season traditionally gets under way with the annual Easter program in Lee Park--that one's been going on for 20 years--and doesn't wrap up until June after stops at Kiest Park, Campbell Green Park, Mountain View College and Flagpole Hill.… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Jubilee Theatre

    Jubilee Theatre… More >>
  • Best Petting Zoo of Death

    The Lacerte Family Children's Zoo fillets its fuzzie-wuzzies

    Being distinctly carnivorous ourselves, we have no problem with other members of the animal kingdom getting their meat fix--especially if they're lions and big African birds in captivity at the Dallas Zoo. The only reason we became a little apprehensive was the apparent discomfort of zoo officials, who sent out an internal memo that stresses sensitivity on the topic of… More >>
  • Best Argument Against Free Speech Part 1

    The "James Earl Ray Day" sign in Sanger

    Individuals destined to become victims of natural selection managed to stay in the lines when they painted a very professional sign over Farm-to-Market Road 455 and FM 2164 in Sanger. It read "James Earl Ray Day." It was put up just in time for January 15, the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated by Ray. The sheriff's… More >>
  • Best Argument Against Free Speech Part 2

    The signs carried by protesters at Laura Miller's house

    Disagree with City Councilwoman Laura Miller if you want--there's no shortage of people in Dallas who do--but try to find a better way of expressing it than carrying signs that say "Bitch" and "Whore" while Miller's small children are at home. These were brandished by John Wiley Price-supported protesters, who pulled a strange punch with placards that referred to two… More >>
  • Best Honest Dallas Lawyer

    James Best of Best & Associates

    People think of lawyers as professionals who are paid to parse the English language until the alphabet bleeds. But James Best of Best & Associates, a four-lawyer firm whose specialty is suing for damages after car accidents, is uncommonly unslippery about the kind of services he offers. To wit: He placed a fiberglass cast of a great white shark atop… More >>
  • Best Elected Crank

    Mitchell Rasansky

    With only a few months in office, Mitchell Rasansky has taken up the mantle of the Dallas City Council's new scold and all-around grumpy old fart. Already, he has donned environmentalist garb to oppose construction in his district of a new soccer field for a championship-winning team at a Catholic girls' school. He also opposes soccer leagues in public parks,… More >>
  • Best Local Government Agency

    The Dallas County Elections Department

    Hey, we know what you're thinking: the elections department? If they're so great, how come we have so much election fraud? Look, the county elections department, under the able leadership of Bruce Sherbet, serves us in Dallas the way a good umbrella might in Seattle. So it can't keep off every drop. Would you rather not have it? The county… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood

    Lakewood

    There are no trendy sushi spots. No "fete set." No designer dogs. If that's what you want, you don't move to Lakewood. The best local eateries are a pizza joint (Scalini's), a coffee shop (Legal Grounds) and a Tex-Mex joint (Matt's). But don't mistake this lack of ostentation for want of dinero. Nice traps on the boulevard run $800,000 and… More >>
  • Best Political Gaffe

    Dallas state Senator John Carona

    After Democratic state Senator Royce West refused to give Republican state Senator John Carona a day's delay to consider changes to a piece of legislation, Carona, who is 9 inches shorter than West, came bounding across the Senate floor and poked his index finger into the chest of West. Carona huffed and puffed, and West told him to back off… More >>
  • Best Production

    A Love Song For Miss Lydia

    This past year hasn't been uniformly stellar for Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre: Its 2000 production of Black Nativity was watered-down by a mix of amateur singing and movement, and Hedy Understands Anxiety turned a career woman's hunt for the truth about her mother into a symphony of shouting, hand-wringing and brow-knitting. But the glittering successes made us feel like members… More >>
  • Best Local Actor

    Pat Watson

    It's been quite a year for Pat Watson, the technical director over set construction at Dallas Children's Theater who's emerged as one of the city's most versatile performers on the basis of a very short résumé--four roles at Pegasus and two with Theatre Quorum. He displays a strangely serene authority that travels well from futuristic political satires to intentionally silly… More >>
  • Best Local Actress

    Holly Hickman

    Ironically, one of the ultimate compliments to any actor is not recognizing her--that is, not realizing that you've seen one performer play two different roles, because she's utterly consumed inside each character. Holly Hickman fooled and startled us with two performances at Fort Worth's Stage West. They required shifts in technique and tone--from profane street hood to grieving Irish mother--that… More >>
  • Best Theater Director

    Adelina Anthony

    Adelina Anthony studied under Cora Cardona at Teatro Dallas and founded Cara Mia Theatre before moving to Los Angeles to dedicate herself to cultivating the lesbian Latina presence in American theater. Lest you think this fiercely intelligent artist double-bound herself artistically with partisan minority perspectives--a charge that's rarely leveled at the countless folks who are happy to exclusively explore the… More >>
  • Best Daring Production at Fit

    Cara Mia's Production of Latinologues

    Veteran supporters of small, envelope-pushing theater companies get used to all kinds of onstage extremes: full nudity, sweaty sex, rampant profanity, murder, even blasphemous shots aimed at organized religion. But anyone who attended this year's Festival of Independent Theatres and caught Cara Mia's entry, a miniproduction of California playwright Rick Najera's Latinologues, got an earful of vicious racial stereotypes redeemed… More >>
  • Best Sign That We're a Big City Now

    The Opening of DART's CityPlace Light Rail Stop

    The Dallas powers that be have long felt the sting of one of the biggest criticisms hurled against us--that a city of this size has no efficient method of mass transportation. Last December came the $50 million, eight-years-in-the-making CityPlace Light Rail Stop, the region's first--and very short--taste of what living in a city with a subway is like. It allows… More >>

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