Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Small Theater Company

    Bootstraps Comedy Theater - CLOSED

    Comedy is their middle name. This 3-year-old theater company, founded by drama grads from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, has built a fine following as the go-to group for a great big laugh. In their mission statement, founders Matt and Kim Lyle vow to use comedy to "break down the walls that exist between people shackled by societal… More >>
  • Best Young Actress

    Pam Covington

    At 15, this Hockaday School 10th-grader already has played the great trifecta of young girls' roles: Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. She's a star in major productions at Dallas Children's Theater, where she also volunteers in their theater summer camps. "I loved acting from the first… More >>
  • Best Scene Stealer

    B.J. Cleveland

    Theatergoers who know his work smile when they see B.J. Cleveland's name in the program. Something about his moonfaced mug just glows, and when he's really on, he could light up a five-state area. Now in his 25th season as artistic director at Theatre Arlington, Cleveland has acted in 362 roles (by his count) since he started in showbiz at… More >>
  • Best Theater Director

    René Moreno

    Actors love working with him and die-hard theatergoers know that when René Moreno is directing, chances are the results will be intensely entertaining. Comedies, dramas, musicals—the guy has a deft touch with every genre. This past season saw him helming Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Addison's WaterTower Theatre and Preston Jones' Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander at Contemporary… More >>
  • Best Opening Night Goodies

    Uptown Players

    When Dallas theaters schedule coinciding opening nights, as they frequently do, Uptown Players' wily producers know critics and in-the-know theatergoers will be in their seats at the KD Studio Theatre not just for the newest Uptown play but for the cuisine after the curtain calls. Free for opening nighters, Uptown's lavish buffet of hot hors d'oeuvres and champagne punch is… More >>
  • Best Shows With Strings Attached

    Kathy Burks' Theatre of Puppetry Arts

    For almost 35 years Kathy Burks has designed and produced puppet shows that make high art of non-human figures brought to life with strings, rods and hands. From a collection of puppets and marionettes that goes back to the early 1900s, Burks and her expert puppeteers make the characters so real that children in the audience, given the chance for… More >>
  • Best Stand-Up Comedian

    Six years ago, Paul Varghese made his stand-up debut at a comedy writing class showcase at the Addison Improv. This July, Varghese worked a much bigger room: national television. Featured on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, Varghese brought his wonky-smart comedy to the masses. His thirst for stage time keeps him going up at every open mike and bar show… More >>
  • Best Comedy Champions

    Linda Stogner and Jan Norton's Backdoor Comedy Showcase

    For stand-up comedians, stage time trumps all, including spouses, children, international incidents and most major sporting events. There's nothing more important than the opportunity to make drunk people laugh. It's about gaining experience, about learning what makes the masses guffaw. Nobody knows this better than Linda Stogner and Jan Norton, who, for the past 15 years, have hosted comedy shows… More >>
  • Best Drag Show

    The Rose Room at Station 4

    Boys will be boys, but at The Rose Room, they'll be girls too. And these "girls" are the jewel in the crown of Station 4, one of the largest gay dance clubs in the country. Located on the upper level of the mega-disco, the cast of The Rose Room is the crème de la crème of America's female impersonators. The… More >>
  • Best Gay-merican Idol

    Voice of Pride competition

    The popular summer TV show may be called America's Got Talent, but an argument could be made that Dallas Has Got Talent too. And it's onstage at the annual Voice of Pride competition, now in its fourth year. Open to members of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community over age 21, the American Idol-style singing contest starts in late spring with a series… More >>
  • Best Intimate Jazz Jam

    Gezellig, Tuesday nights

    Jazz gets better and better in Dallas all the time, with a number of new clubs springing up and Brooklyn Café on South Lamar Street holding down the fort. But there's still nothing quite like Tuesday nights at Gezellig. The club always puts a good trio onstage on Tuesdays, but half the fun is from other Dallas musicians who just… More >>
  • Best Theater

    Contemporary Theatre of Dallas

    When the curtain first went up at this church-turned-playhouse off Lower Greenville six years ago, some were quick to sneer that it was merely a vanity project for owner, founder and resident leading lady Sue Loncar. But it didn't take long for audiences and critics to start appreciating CTD for doing something other Dallas theaters don't: Making sure everybody, onstage… More >>
  • Best TV Newscast

    WFAA News 8 at 10 p.m.

    We've romanced other newscasts in the past. KTVT-Channel 11 has had some strong reporting in recent years. But we have to come back to News 8 at 10 for four reasons (in alphabetical order): Harris, Heinbaugh, Reaves and Shipp. Everybody in the market, news professionals and viewers alike, all need to bend a knee and say thank you to the… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Tracy Rowlett, CBS 11 News

    Reading the news ain't easy. Just ask Katie Couric. Good thing the local CBS affiliate has the master news reader behind the desk, at least until July 2008 when Tracy Rowlett is due to retire. Unlike Couric, Rowlett can read a TelePrompTer without looking like a nervous hostage. He's more than an empty suit with a handsome mug, having earned… More >>
  • Best Daily Newspaper Column

    "Metro Politics" by Gromer Jeffers
    The Dallas Morning News

    Couple problems here. "Metro Politics" really isn't a column. It's a little explanatory title that the News puts over stories by Gromer Jeffers, local political reporter. And Jeffers isn't supposed to be considered a columnist. But the larger truth is that Jeffers is a better columnist than any of the typists at the News who are supposed to be columnists.… More >>
  • Best Angst-Ridden Republican

    Rod Dreher, columnist
    The Dallas Morning News

    Soon the formerly conservative Rod Dreher will find himself to the left of our very own Jim Schutze. Dreher's leftward lurch began when he came out of the closet as an environmentalist. Then he penned a column admitting that his support for the invasion of Iraq was a total mistake. He would later announce his opposition to capital punishment. Finally,… More >>
  • Best City Council Member

    Angela Hunt, District 14

    Come on, admit it. For sheer guts alone, you have to hand it to freshman city council member Angela Hunt, who stood up to the entire bunch on the Trinity River toll road issue. What makes Hunt the best council member is not so much the position she took on that river thing, but that she had the courage to… More >>
  • Best Park Building

    Big Thicket Recreation Building, White Rock Lake East Lawther toward the Mockingbird Lane end of the lake, across from the Corinthian Sailing Club

    The Big Thicket Recreation Building, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is a classic example of "WPA Rustic" architecture, made of natural materials and designed to meld handsomely into a natural setting. It was in pretty tough shape a few years ago when Home Depot and the all-volunteer Friends of the Lake took on the task of… More >>
  • Best Literary Festival

    Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference

    This summertime gathering (in Grapevine, of all places) brings writers, editors, agents and journalists to one of the premier literary events in the nation. Last year, Gay Talese, arguably the greatest living magazine scribe, was keynote speaker. This year's stars included three-time Nobel Prize nominee Joyce Carol Oates and Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer winner for The Looming Tower. In its third… More >>
  • Best Public Library

    Allen Public Library

    If you want to convince your kids that reading is cool, bring them here. Opened in 2005, this sleek $11.6 million library is 54,000 square feet of books, computer labs and auditorium. The "Teenscape" room is identified by a light blue neon sign, and at the entrance to the children's library there's a fully stocked aquarium. The best feature? It… More >>
  • Best Gay-la Event

    Black Tie Dinner

    Dallas' annual Black Tie Dinner is not only one of the most successful sit-down charity dinners in America, it is the largest event of its kind. Established in 1982, the nation's leading gay and lesbian fund-raising dinner has grown from a modest first event, which had 140 guests and raised $6,000, to more than 3,000 guests and a record haul… More >>
  • Best New Dallas Playwright

    Matt Lyle, Bootstraps Comedy Theater

    Some playwrights want to be the next Chekhov or Albee. Matt Lyle, 29, just wants to be the guy who writes the plays that make you laugh out loud. He's been doing that for the past few years in his role as resident playwright and founding artistic director of tiny Bootstraps Comedy Theater. With actress-wife Kim as his muse, Lyle… More >>
  • Best Gay-borhood Bar

    Illusions - CLOSED

    Tucked away on an unassuming stretch of Maple Avenue (at Throckmorton Street) perches a nightclub that, while modest of appearance, has heaps of heart. Although the club prides itself on diversity and inclusion, it's mainly a welcome watering hole for gay boys, gay gals and their friends and fans. Everyone is welcome to kick up their heels, have a laugh… More >>
  • Best Reason to Walk


    Why not walk a few miles, raise funds for a worthy organization and have a blast doing it? That's exactly what participants in this annual event say. Now in its 17th year, LifeWalk is the largest fund-raising event for Aids Arms Inc., whose purpose is to assist individuals in accessing the health care, resources and support necessary to successfully manage… More >>
  • Best High Heels for High Drag

    Off Price Shoes

    OK, Off Price Shoes isn't really a store for drag queens, but because they specialize in fabulous feminine footwear in sizes 9 to 12, you just might think it is. All standard women's shoe sizes are represented, but for those guys and gals heavy of hoof, the dizzying display of plus-sized pumps is positively perfect. Wander through racks of flats,… More >>
  • Best Gay Airwaves

    Pride Radio

    As technology expands, so do our entertainment options. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Radio has made a resurgence as a niche entertainment source. North Texas is home to the sixth-largest GLBT (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender) community in the country, and Dallas now boasts its first and only station representing the gay community. Don't bother trying to tune… More >>
  • Best Afternoon Tunes

    Good Records

    Call us lame, but we've gotten to the point where we sometimes enjoy a Good Records in-store a lot more than a club show. No smoke, no late nights, no cover charge, no drive to Denton, no drunken sound guys with a bass fetish. It's all of the fun without the majority of the hassles. And guess what? When you… More >>
  • Best Waxahachie Weird

    Webb Gallery

    Galleries located on small-town squares usually aren't exactly on the cutting edge of the art world. But in Waxahachie there's a rare jewel that doesn't traffic in bluebonnet photos and Thomas Kinkade prints. Since 1987, the Webb Gallery has been a haven for killer oddball stuff, a fitting description for the outsider art and folk detritus that adorns every available… More >>
  • Best Surreal Concert

    The Gothic Archies at Waxahachie High School

    We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw that Magnetic Field/Gothic Archie/indie-pop genius Stephin Merritt was accompanying one Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, on an October 2006 book tour promoting the final installment in the Snicket saga. And when we saw the tour was stopping not in Dallas proper, but in Frisco and Waxahachie, we were truly beside ourselves.… More >>
  • Best Film Series

    Rock 'N' Reel Wednesdays at the AllGood Café

    Most repertory film series focus on things we have, at best, a middling interest in. You know, like, '70s slasher flicks, zombie movies and, uh, French stuff. The Rock 'N' Reel Wednesdays series, however, is a whole different animal, catering mostly to music nerds, aging hippies and hungry stoners with selections such as the Maysles brothers' immortal Gimme Shelter, Sam… More >>
  • Best Legitimization

    Tony Bones

    A couple of years ago, Tony Bones was a wayward kid with a can of spray paint, tagging brick walls, cargo trucks and, well, any flat surface with his signature stick figures. His graffiti addiction earned him a criminal record and years of probation. But Bones rallied, moving his artistic inclinations from the streets to the walls of the art… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    The Public Trust (formerly Art Prostitute)

    Public Trust owner/director Brian Gibb moved from Denton to a space on Commerce Street in 2006 and people crammed the joint, spilling out of the door and onto the asphalt. The Public Trust makes art a party and everyone's invited. Over the course of the last year, and through a transition from Art Prostitute into the Public Trust, the gallery… More >>
  • Best Dramatic Actor

    James Crawford

    With his soft jowls and graying hair, James Crawford, 42, isn't a typical leading man. But Dallas theaters compete to cast this powerful actor, who's as versatile as John Lithgow, with a bit of Kevin Spacey's penchant for dark humor. At Contemporary Theatre of Dallas last season, he was stoic but romantic as Brit author C.S. Lewis in the tragic… More >>
  • Best Defiant Spirit

    Kettle Art Gallery

    The Kettle Art Gallery really shouldn't exist. In a missive on the official Kettle Art Web site, co-owners Frank Campagna and Kirk Hopper admit that they rarely represent artists who sell work for bucketloads of cash. They have no major benefactor and don't live in the space or hold fund-raisers—all elements that keep most galleries afloat. To top it off,… More >>
  • Best Reason to Take DART

    Lilliputian parking spaces

    Normally, we wouldn't suggest taking public transportation in Dallas. We love the environment and all, but let's face it, unless you have a few hours to spare or you're traveling to the zoo, the Angelika or the American Airlines Center, Big D is way too spread out for the system to work efficiently without some more rail lines (which are… More >>
  • Best Music History Lesson

    "The Stars Come Out in the Afternoon With Redbeard on Lone Star 92.5"

    Used to, we immediately hooked up the iPod for the drive home. That was before Lone Star 92.5 came around, putting Redbeard back in our ears right where he should be. At afternoon drive time, 'Beard often nestles a little nugget of the past in with his mix of outlaw country and bluesy rock in the form of what we… More >>
  • Best Blast from the Past

    KEOM-88.5 FM

    There's no shame in diggin' on a little Starland Vocal Band or some Supertramp. Don't feel bad if you truly love Judy Collins. There's a place for you where people understand. That place is in Mesquite and it's a radio station with high school kids for DJs who probably have no idea whom they're playing. We'll give them the benefit… More >>
  • Best Leisurely Lunch Hour

    Hanging with the sloth at the Dallas World Aquarium

    The workday can get so hectic you just need a breather from computers and voicemails and people you spend at least 40 hours a week with. Head downtown to the Dallas World Aquarium and take a lesson from a creature who really knows how to slow down. For the price of a counter-service lunch, you can cruise on through to… More >>
  • Best Sleeper (Car) Attraction

    Museum of the American Railroad

    History buffs, especially the little ones, would be remiss if they never visited this gem in Fair Park. The Museum of the American Railroad (formerly the Age of Steam Railway Museum) boasts more than 30 pieces of actual railroad equipment. Like, real reach-out-and-touch-'em old-school locomotives. Pullman sleeper cars, dining cars and a complete passenger train from pre-World War II days… More >>
  • Best Blogger

    Sam Merten, DallasBlog

    Sam Merten's coverage of Dallas City Council meetings on DallasBlog is a must-read for political junkies, capturing the drama, intrigue and the contentiousness that the daily paper often overlooks. We were particularly impressed with his dispatch on the debate over allowing Trammell Crow to raze a safe, modest apartment complex for a strip mall. Add Merten's no-fuss journalism to his… More >>
  • Best Purse Snatchers

    The Bag Snobs

    Dallas-based blogger-mom Tina Chen Craig and her best friend Kelly Tsou Cook love handbags. Crave them. Obsess about them. On their site, they write as the connoisseurs of the perfect posh purses. The new python Devi Kroell Carlyle clutch at Barney's? They declare it "delicious" even at $1,100. The $600 ruched Kooba tote? A "cheap thrill." But thumbs down for… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KZPS-92.5 FM Lone Star

    What does Lone Star, which just switched formats this past year, have going for it? 1) They brought back famed local DJ Redbeard (isn't it gray by now?). 2) They have no freakin' commercials or, at least, "traditional" commercials. Instead they rely on "charter sponsors" like AT&T, Coors and Southwest Airlines. 3) Willie Nelson is the voice of the station.… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    DJ Wild in the Streets

    This DJ shit sometimes gets on our nerves, what with the boy culture and the wheelspinners' propensity to try to out-obscure each other at the expense of alienating the dance floor. Oh, and then there's that whole club mindset, in which anything that's not house music with a beat that sounds like a cat barfing isn't considered danceable. That's where… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ


    While the white-bread DJs come and go, or sometimes stay, and harangue our ears with a diluted version of Howard Stern's shtick or faux-independent rock, Hedkrack keeps it real. A Bronx native, the northerner crossed the Mason-Dixon line to bring DFW a much-needed taste of hip-hop. His show on 97.9 is good, yes, but what lifts Hedkrack above the fray… More >>
  • Best Local CD Release

    Polyphonic Spree

    We hate to say it. It's almost a cliché. We know that there were so many brilliant contenders for this category, it's almost a shame to decide on the Spree. But damn that Tim DeLaughter, he just keeps coming at us with such transcendent stuff that ultimately we must admit This Fragile Army wins as best local release. This, the… More >>
  • Best Local Music Web Site

    So many to choose from...and that's the problem. WeShotJR, BigDlittled, Boca Tinta, the Fine Line—and these are just the best-known tip of the iceberg—are all fine and dandy, and we appreciate each for its particular personality. Each gets the straight-up skinny, albeit with a few snags here and there (the fallout from the Great Matthew and the Arrogant Sea Debacle… More >>
  • Best Blog

    Uncle Barky

    On September 13, former Dallas Morning News TV critic Ed Bark posted to his Web site, which he calls a blog, a handful of wonderful photos of Mark Cuban sweating his ass off and making his "O" face whilst rehearsing for ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Man looked like he was going to have a heart attack; we're not sure… More >>
  • Best Dramatic Actress

    Liz Mikel

    This was the breakout year for the 42-year-old Dallas actress. After a decade as one of the area's leading musical theater stars—most recently starring in the title role in Theatre Three's Caroline, or Change—Mikel made the leap to TV and film with a year's worth of work. On NBC's critically acclaimed series Friday Night Lights, she plays Corinna Williams, tough-but-warm… More >>
  • Best School of Rock

    Good Records

    You already know that Good Records is the best record store in town. OK, maybe it's the only real record store left in this chain store-dominated burg. But it's also the most kid-friendly record store we've ever been to. A few times a year, Good Records has in-store performances especially geared toward young ears. There is no better example than… More >>
  • Best Musical Theater Actor

    Cedric Neal

    Opera's loss is musical theater's gain with this super-talented 32-year-old thesp. The Oak Cliff native and Arts Magnet High School grad headed off to the Eastman School of Music hoping one day to sing Othello at The Met. "But opera was too restrictive for me," says Cedric Neal, now one of Dallas theater's busiest singer-dancer-actors. He most recently starred in… More >>
  • Best Musical Theater Actress

    Cara Statham Serber

    Beauty pageant pretty Cara Serber, 33, played against type last season by faking a space between her perfect teeth, putting on a gee-haw accent and yukking it up as one of the trashy leads in WaterTower Theatre's Great American Trailer Park Musical (a role she's currently reprising at the Addison playhouse through October 21). The tall blonde then vamped it… More >>
  • CULTURE: Queens of Hearts (and Other Places)

    To reach Mistress Zaria's palace of pain, you must get on and off two freeways, negotiate tricky turns through a bland suburban subdivision, go over a bridge and continue right on through the looking glass. The black-clad kitten in spiked heels and Amy Winehouse eyeliner may or may not give you the most direct route to the rented two-story condo… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    AMC NorthPark 15

    Some of us spend way too much time in the dark—the literal dark, not the figurative—and there's but one theater in town in which we'd choose to spend that time: the AMC NorthPark 15, which has been open for about a year and already distinguished itself as the area's finest googolplex. We dig everything about it, from the self-serve kiosks… More >>

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