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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Comedy Troupe

    Punch Drunk

    It's no secret why KERA called Punch Drunk Comedy one of Dallas' best-kept secrets. The quartet of comedians serves up funny and unpredictable shows every Thursday for four to six weeks at the Home Bar off of Greenville Avenue. It also takes the revues--often centering around a theme and involving costumes, music and more--one step beyond during the final week… More >>
  • Best Radio News Reader

    Valerie Moore, WRR-FM (101.1)

    You're taking your early-morning jog with your pet dog Old Blue and desperately searching your headset for some music to run by. Frustrated, you are willing to settle for anything other than the mindless prattle of two self-absorbed DJs who laugh at their own canned jokes as if they were entertaining someone other than themselves. You stumble onto WRR, the… More >>
  • Best Public Sculpture

    Oakland Cemetery

    OK, we've got bronzed cattle-drive re-creations, statues of hard-throwing Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers, mustangs, et al. around town, but if it's real art by master craftsmen you want to see, the Oakland Cemetery, established in 1891, will blow you away. Elaborate memorial sculptures in granite and marble, some done as far away as Florence, Italy, are shipped here to stand… More >>
  • Best Promoter of Cultural Diversity

    Dallas International

    With Dallas being home to more than 200 ethnic communities, Dallas International sees its mission as attempting to harness their cultural diversity by providing a forum to express the richness of their heritage and thereby create a better understanding of each group to the rest of the city. We think. Each year (generally in June) the organization produces the Dallas… More >>
  • Best City Council Member

    Dr. Elba Garcia

    Too bad we don't have a category for Best-looking City Council Member so she could win twice. Dr. Elba, a dentist, wins this one because we have a very simple criterion: Does the council member do more or less what her constituents want? Garcia attacks her job obsessively as if every single constituent complaint were a dental cavity. She parked… More >>
  • Best One-man Show

    Rob Becker, Defending the Caveman

    Just as the stand-up comedy boom of the 1980s was fizzling out, comedian Rob Becker began his research into the oddities of human behavior. Do women carry a shopping gene? Do men have a territorial imperative when it comes to the remote? Becker took what he learned and wrote Defending the Caveman, an insightful, enlightening and hilarious two-hour monologue explaining… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn About Black Dallas History

    African American Museum

    Besides the free parking and free admission, the African American Museum in Fair Park contains some really cool stuff about African American history in Dallas that you are unlikely to find elsewhere. One of the current displays contains artifacts from Freedman's Town, a black enclave in old Dallas that was buried under a freeway until some local black-history buffs banded… More >>
  • Best Coverage by a Graffiti Artist

    "Sekt"

    It doesn't matter where you are, Sekt has been there. Street corners, drains, rain gutters and brick walls. Our very own building has been graced with the tag of the elusive being. We have to wonder, is that a name, a statement, some sort of slang or just a favorite word-cum-identity? We counted 100 "Sekts" in a quarter-mile walk to… More >>
  • Best Acting Debut

    Joey Steakley, Barbette, Kitchen Dog Theater

    Talk about commitment to one's art. For the title role in Barbette, a new biographical play by Bill Lengfelder and David Goodwin performed at Kitchen Dog Theater in June, Joey Steakley spent nearly a year learning the art of the trapeze and perfecting the moves of the "Spanish web," a balletic circus act on a rope 30 feet in the… More >>
  • Best Place to See the Famous Wilson Brothers Eating Mexican Food with Their Parents

    Javier's

    Owen and Luke Wilson, this year's Hollywood It-Boys, make it back home to Dallas pretty often, and when they do, they inevitably drop in (with their handsome 'rents) at this pricey but delish Park Cities Mexican spot. The country-club crowd this restaurant attracts (need the valet parkers for the Rollses, doncha know) generally ignores the Wilson clan and lets them… More >>
  • Best Cheesy Public Sculpture

    Longhorns in Pioneer Park

    Unlike its crosstown cousin, not much of Dallas resembles the days of cattle drives or cowboys, and maybe that was the idea behind this popular public sculpture. The large herd of longhorns and cowboys, which promoters say is the "biggest outdoor sculpture of longhorns and cowboys in the world," is a most impressive sight. Plopped down in the middle of… More >>
  • Best Local TV News Show

    KTVT-Channel 11

    Let's admit something to each other. For the most part, they're all the same. Sure, there's a difference in the personnel, in the tone, of each station. Channel 8 has a bunch of vets and an air of superiority, which works if you don't watch 'em every night. Channel 5 HAS THIS LATE-BREAKING NEWS DA DA DA DAAAAA. Channel 4… More >>
  • Best Debut by a New Acting Company

    Martice Enterprises, Latinologues

    For their first theatrical production, an update of Rick Najera's comic collection of sketches about Latino life, this group of young theater tyros had to hold opening night in a cramped conference room at the Ice House Cultural Center off Swiss Avenue. With only a tiny platform, minimal lighting and a sweaty audience sitting an arm's length away, actors Otis… More >>
  • Best DART Art

    Richardson Transit Center

    It is hard to miss the eye-catching work of famed sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp as you make the walk through the pedestrian tunnel connecting the transit center and the light-rail station. The 8-foot red aluminum free-form structure in the shape of an "O" appears to be alive, undulating, seeming to change shapes as the sun hits it from different… More >>
  • Best Political Moment

    The Return of Al Lipscomb

    Much to the joy of most Dallas-area media, the former Dallas city councilman took off the electronic shackles 27 months into his 41-month sentence of house arrest (watching television). Just about everybody seemed downright giddy at the announcement that an appeals court overturned his sentence, not because Lipscomb was wrongly convicted but because of a legal technicality. Dallas Morning News… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Tracy Rowlett, Channel 11

    TV news is suddenly crowded with 20-something models who stumble on words with more than three syllables and are never quite sure if famine in Bangladesh is happy news or sad. Tracy Rowlett reassures precisely because the years have bequested him with the opposite set of traits--some wrinkles, some schnozz, a bit of jowl and a dead-on news sense. When… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Kitchen Dog Theater

    With most theaters jobbing in actors (Dallas Theater Center gets 'em from New Yawk City, no less), a good old-fashioned repertory company is getting hard to find 'round these parts. Now in its second decade, the Kitchen Dog Theater's resident acting company still is composed mostly of SMU acting and directing grads (and professors) who created this theater for themselves… More >>
  • Best Sneak Peek at Movies You Haven't Heard Of...Yet

    Talk Cinema at the Magnolia Theatre

    If you're a fan of independent cinema--movies that don't suck, usually--here's the best deal in town, in the country...OK, in the world, whatever. Pay a small fee, and every other Sunday or so you can wake up a little early and be greeted by a sneak preview of a would-be art-house hit. Now, you won't know the name of the… More >>
  • Best Book of Local Plants

    Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas

    Published this year by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, quite pricey at $89.95, this book is it, the authority, the comprehensive catalog of anything and everything that grows in this part of Texas. Years in the making, one of a series of books that will one day cover the entire state, this book is written so that lay people… More >>
  • Best Local Theater

    WaterTower Theatre

    This theater space, like a good actor, never does it the same way twice. For every play, the 32,000-square-foot interior of this glass and concrete space is reconfigured. Sometimes it's arena-style, sometimes thrust. For Book of Days, the Lanford Wilson drama performed this summer, actors trod a long runway that ran nearly the full length of the theater. For Always...Patsy… More >>
  • Best Local Singer Who's So Good She May Have to Move

    N'Dambi

    We're going to take credit for her success, so deal; we've been singing this gal's praises for years and years...a couple, at least. We'll just say this: Erykah Badu's longtime backup singer should never have to stand in the shadows again. N'Dambi's second album, last year's Tunin Up & Cosignin, contains two dozen of the groovinest and moovinest tracks ever… More >>
  • Best New House, Architecturally Speaking

    6000 block of McCommas Avenue

    Arthur Eisenberg took a lot of crap, literally, from some of his neighbors when he built this house in 2000, but it is an excellent example of tasteful contemporary design. The home, built on a stout but eloquent stucco and steel frame, consists of two "cottages" that are separate and accessible by their own stairwells. On the outside, the house… More >>
  • Best Daily Newspaper Columnist

    Ruben Navarrette, The Dallas Morning News

    Since we have trashed most of The Dallas Morning News columnists at some time or another during the year, it would be damn inconsistent, if not bordering on hypocritical, to celebrate them now. But what the heck. Crow is an acquired taste and one that we don't mind indulging, particularly when we see talent within the otherwise banal and gutless… More >>
  • Best Lie for Music Snobs

    Saying you saw Norah Jones playing piano at an Italian restaurant before she became famous

    Yes, yes, we know Norah Jones used to play piano at an Italian restaurant in North Dallas before she moved to NYC and sold a million or so copies of her debut album, Come Away With Me. But you did not see her there. No, really, you didn't. … More >>
  • Best Theater Director

    Terry L. Martin, WaterTower Theatre, Addison

    Addison? Theater mecca? Whodathunk that a few years ago? Then along came an Alabama grad named Terry Martin, determined to turn a small but well-loved community theater company into a major force in Dallas-area arts. He's done that by consistently raising the bar in the choices of plays, casting the best-trained professional actors and overseeing the redesign of the interior… More >>
  • Best Political Gaffe

    The police and firefighter pay vote

    Since 9-11, most right-thinking Amurkins have had lumps in their throats when it comes to the sacrifices made by dutiful police and firefighters. But the throat bone doesn't connect to the wallet bone, and sentimentality will only get you so far (not very) when you ask Dallas taxpayers for a 17 percent raise, especially when times are hard for everyone's… More >>
  • Best Thing D Magazine Ever Wrote That Wasn't Advertorial

    Tom Hicks is Going Broke

    We'll admit it: We wish we had that damned story, not Wick Allison's Park Cities Greensheet. So, when D ran that cover with Hicks, or a Photoshopped Tommy, flashing empty pockets, we pretended it was so much tabloid hogwash, Allison's way of proving to his moneyed pals he couldn't be bought by this town's richest fellers. Turns out that story… More >>
  • Best Local Actor

    Bill Jenkins

    Judging by how often he's cast in local productions, Bill Jenkins appears to be a director's darling. In the three leading roles he's had at three theaters here this year, he's proven versatile, likable and dependable as a performer, expertly tackling a wide range of accents and acting styles. For Addison's WaterTower Theatre, he roared as the ghost of John… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    The Magnolia Theatre

    Quite a fuss was made when the Angelika Film Center & Café opened at Mockingbird Station, but here's the dirty truth: Parking is impossible, and once you actually get inside the theater (if you do; shows sell out quicker than most business majors), you're surrounded by every North Dallas soccer mom who still thinks going to see independent (or--gasp!--foreign) films… More >>
  • Best Proof that Talent Scouts Have Been Ignoring the D-FW Area for Too Long

    American Idol

    Grand Prairie's Nikki McKibbin was one of the final three contestants, and Burleson's Kelly Clarkson won the whole shooting match. Maybe A&R reps will start paying a little more attention. Then again, what good did winning a televised battle of the bands do for Flickerstick (since bought out of its contract with Epic Records) or D-FW as a whole? Discuss. … More >>
  • Best Proof Dallas isn't a Cultural Wasteland

    The proliferation of art-house movie theaters

    Fourteen months ago, Dallas was home to but a single art-house movie theater: the Inwood, as rundown as an Industrial Boulevard "masseuse." Then the Angelika pulled into Mockingbird Station, and where once there were three screens, suddenly there were almost a dozen. Then, earlier this year, the Magnolia opened in the West Village, adding five more screens to the mix,… More >>
  • Best Gallery

    Pillsbury and Peters Fine Art

    Whew. Talk about a way to make enemies. They've all got their niches, as well as their weaknesses--oops, we mean quirks. Here, then, a few peeves and observations. Some of the "top" galleries in this town (no names here) are way too tuned in to the biennials for our tastes. Others (no names) try way too hard to be hip.… More >>
  • Best Local Actress

    Tina Parker

    Is there anything this woman can't do? When she's not producing, directing or designing some wild and woolly experimental thing for Kitchen Dog Theater, her home company down at McKinney Avenue Contemporary, this Texas native and SMU theater grad can take center stage and act up a storm. As "Sister Woman" in WaterTower Theatre's spring production of Cat on a… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KDBN-FM (93.3), The Bone

    You might as well give up on radio, because we can assure you, radio has given up on you. At least the people who run it have. It's all about making the numbers instead of making the listeners happy. Not so at The Bone, where they give the people what they want. Which, as it turns out, is pretty much… More >>
  • Best Reason to Move South By Southwest to Dallas

    Because Austin stopped being cool about a decade ago

    Every year, we make the three-hour trip to the, ahem, Live Music Capital of the World for SXSW, and what we find is a city that pales in comparison to our own (entertainment-wise, at any rate), a place that's been coasting on its rep since before Willie Nelson got in trouble with the IRS. We know moving the yearly music… More >>
  • Best Museum Show

    Mondrian, 1892-1914: The Path to Abstraction, Kimbell Art Museum

    Without a doubt, the Kimbell Art Museum's show tracking Piet Mondrian's long, slow evolution into a 20th-century icon. A gloriously middlebrow effort, the show--organized by the Musée d'Orsay and on display through December 8--sets out to "analyze...the disparate influences upon [Mondrian]--aesthetic, historical, intellectual and spiritual." In other words, museumgoers are treated to that guiltiest of pleasures, a narrative of historical… More >>
  • Best Proof Dallas isn't a Cultural Wasteland, Deux

    The proliferation of film festivals

    Used to be there was one and only one: the venerable USA Film Festival, co-founded in 1970 by filmmaker L.M. Kit Carson. Now you can't shake a reel of film without hitting someone putting together a lineup of films making the fest-circuit rounds--that is, movies without distribution, and only a few worthy of it (for instance, the brilliant Tribute, a… More >>
  • Best Visual Artist

    David Bates

    To get Clintonian for a moment, what, exactly, is a "visual" artist? One can argue that this must mean movies or video or even performance, since the other folks--your painters and your sculptors and your bits-of-confetti-on-the-museum-floor types--work with physical materials and thus should be labeled plastic artists. But movies and video aren't "art" forms at all, not 95 percent of… More >>
  • Best Radio Morning Show

    The Morning Team, KKDA-FM (104.5), K104

    Did anyone really think a decade ago that K104 would survive when "flyjock" Tom Joyner left? The station has not only survived but thrived, and the Morning Team, led by Skip Murphy, is the reason. He is the perfect complement to his team--Sam Putney, Chris Arnold, the Wig and the wonderful Nannette Lee. Each morning is at once an intimate… More >>
  • Best Gallery Show

    Shelby Lee Adams' Modern Appalachia, Photographs Do Not Bend

    In some ways, this is the easiest pick. So many of the gallery shows we've reviewed were so weak that the images left our memory banks before the next week's paper hit the streets. Indeed, looking back on the last year, there's only one show from which we remember every single work: Modern Appalachia, Photographs Do Not Bend's show of… More >>
  • Best Alternative Art Space

    Forbidden Gallery and Emporium

    Besides being geographically miles away from the Dallas Art Dealers Association galleries along Cedar Springs, Fairmount and Routh, Forbidden Gallery and Emporium is miles away from them in its choice of art. Group and solo exhibits highlight artwork shown and collected on both coasts, but rarely seen anywhere else, including Tiki-themed art, Shag's space-age and retro-stylin' illustrations and works by… More >>
  • Best Radio Talk Show

    The Glenn Mitchell Show KERA-FM (90.1)

    Every weekday from noon to 2 p.m., Mitchell entertains a variety of guests--anyone from, say, Alan Dershowitz to Kinky Friedman--and the resulting conversations (they're more than mere interviews) never fail to entertain. Mitchell can hold his own no matter who's on the other side of his microphone, and his show will keep you in your car for a few extra… More >>
  • Best Place to See in Black and White

    Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

    Photographs Do Not Bend offers rotating exhibits of both black-and-white and color photography, pulling from its stable of contemporary, still-producing artists and its extensive and varied archive and creating some of the best examples of the medium through themed or spontaneous exhibits. And, besides exhibiting some of the most intriguing modern and archive photography, PDNB also has a charm most… More >>
  • Best Government Agency

    Dallas County District Clerk's Office

    It sounds a bit oxymoronic, but there really is such a thing as a competent bureaucrat, and he comes in the form of Stan Tungate, who supervises the public access area to the civil and family court records of the district clerk's office. Tungate is not only extremely knowledgeable but remarkably affable--a rare quality in civil servants these days. If… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ

    Cindy Scull, KEGL-FM (97.1)

    Don't need much to be a great radio DJ, and Cindy Scull has the most important thing on the list: a voice that sounds like butter and whiskey, and the ability to use it. She's naughty and nice and the only reason to tune in to KEGL; God knows it's not the music. Give her the afternoon-drive slot at The… More >>
  • Best Brain Food for Seniors

    Richland College's Emeritus Program

    They call it "The Joy of Learning After 55," and there's proof in the packaging. Seniors who never thought they would darken another classroom door are registering for lecture series on everything from "Opera for Dummies" to computer classes, "Shakespeare on Film" to pottery, photography and estate preservation. For fees that range from $10 to $20, there's something for everyone.… More >>
  • Best Criminal Judge

    Judge John Creuzot

    To be a truly innovative judge is a rare thing. It's so much easier just to follow the law, to mete out punishment because it's your job, to have a cuff-'em-and-stuff-'em mentality in order to get re-elected for life. But the drug addict cries out to be treated differently; he is destined to reoffend because he is an addict, sick,… More >>

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