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Arts & Entertainment

  • BEST ACTOR

    Steve Hendrickson

    This past year, Steve Hendrickson may have been the hardest-working actor in town. Most recently, he appeared as the self-loathing Roy Cohn in Pillsbury House Theatre's production of Angels in America. Before that he was clowning through Shakespeare in local prisons and homeless shelters with Michelle Hensley's Ten Thousand Things company, and hamming it up in Wendy Knox's admirably lowbrow… More >>
  • BEST ACTRESS

    Sally Wingert

    Though Sally Wingert is perhaps the most visible actress in the Twin Cities, you'll never see her acting. When she takes center stage, as in the Guthrie's 1999 production of Lillian Garrett-Groag's The Magic Fire or the more recent Lake Hollywood at the Guthrie Lab, Wingert is so attuned to the physical and vocal idiosyncrasies of her character that the… More >>
  • BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY

    If drink is the curse of the working class, talk radio is the curse of the driving class. And in the Twin Cities, where cars still rule, what a curse that is. With each passing year, the blather on the AM side of the dial becomes more insufferable. From sunup to sundown, T.D. Mischke's colleagues at the all-talk KSTP noisily… More >>
  • BEST ART CINEMA

    U Film's

    The latest rumor of U Film's demise (there are usually two or three in a given year) came courtesy of Split Screen host John Pierson, who broke the "news" to the Web site indieWIRE a few months ago that "the University has finally closed Al [Milgrom] down after 35 years." While fielding calls from a variety of overeager gloaters and… More >>
  • BEST ART GALLERY

    While Franklin Art Works--located in the restored New Franklin Theater--is a work in progress, since its November opening director Tim Peterson has made this space a major player on the local art scene. How has he done this in such a short time? It helps that this renovated movie palace has a light and spacious interior, and handsome architectural touches.… More >>
  • BEST ARTISTIC COLLABORATION

    Dance is tricky enough without purposely avoiding the ground, yet choreographer Robin Stiehm's City at the Southern Theater not only dared to literally elevate the action but did so within a decaying, futuristic urban world. Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities inspired Stiehm's vision, but scenic designer Joseph Stanley gave her ideas an architectural life-force by creating a dreamscape complete with taut… More >>
  • BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR

    Jonis Agee

    Jonis Agee has a thing for cars. Though her passion for NASCAR races may not be widely shared at the College of St. Catherine, where she teaches, her story collection of last year, Taking the Wall (on local Coffee House Press), provided an opportunity to examine the drivers and pit crews dotting the hardscrabble towns of America. There isn't much… More >>
  • BEST BUDGET MOVIE THEATER

    Riverview

    The lovingly preserved art-deco lobby, the gigantic screen, and the DTS and Dolby sound speak for themselves, but even at a second-run theater, the programming counts most. And the Riverview has improved its already careful selection, mostly in terms of volume: On some weekends, there are four or even five different movies playing in a single day. Indeed, one Saturday… More >>
  • BEST CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

    If chamber music were baseball, this might be dubbed a "rebuilding year" for the SPCO. Chamber music is not baseball, luckily. Despite the impending departure of sprightly music director Hugh Wolff, the SPCO continues to demonstrate why it is considered among the nation's preeminent small orchestras. In addition to its adventurous programming, the 41-year-old ensemble has long been an audience… More >>
  • BEST CHOREOGRAPHER

    Wynn Fricke

    Dancers who make the move to choreographer are not always blessed with a smooth transition. Performance depends upon the ability to interpret another's vision with clarity, to communicate intangible ideas through movement. Making dances demands a combination of skills, not the least of which is an understanding of how very different bodies can relate to one another, to music, and… More >>
  • BEST CONDUCTOR

    True, his appearances locally are fewer today than in the years he served as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra (from 1960 to 1979), during which time he had an instrumental hand in getting Orchestra Hall built. But when the orchestra's conductor laureate does turn up--last fall, for instance, he conducted a concerto of his own composition paired with Beethoven's… More >>
  • BEST DANCER

    Emily Johnson

    Is it possible for someone to be fluent in dance? We've all heard about that flowery concept known as the "language of movement," but surely there is more to this notion, a meaning that transcends press-release superlatives. Watching Emily Johnson perform in Paula Mann's recent Light and Dark: A Digital Dance Mystery, as well as in her own work last… More >>
  • BEST FILM

    hypercaffeinated meditation

    Writer-director Tim McCusker's hypercaffeinated meditation on the similarities between a battlefield and a French bakery in St. Paul may be the most outrageously verbose local movie ever made--and it runs only 20:15. "The redeeming roll is sweet, it's true," says the pastry-loving, clock-punching protagonist (played by McCusker) to the cabbie who whisks him away to a long lunch hour at… More >>
  • BEST FILM FESTIVAL

    Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival

    This category will remain no contest as long as U Film Society's Al Milgrom continues his annual workaholic binge otherwise known as the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. The recent 2000 edition flaunted more than 100 films from more than 49 countries, including a great many movies that had never played in this country before and might never again. Included… More >>
  • BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Ira Glass's

    Sometimes greatness is knowing when to get out of the way. When we tune in to MPR on a Sunday afternoon, we don't really care how cold it is in Bemidji, and we definitely aren't up for the news read by a guy who sounds as stiff as our social-studies teacher. We want the best six hours of radio in… More >>
  • BEST GROUP ART SHOW

    Oh, to be a new "nomadic" arts organization like Radiator bursting on the scene, heart all aflutter with its first show! This exhibition from late September of last year was a colorful, energetic, and witty conglomeration of work by ten young local artists. And its mere existence indicates that good art continues to be made in the Twin Cities despite… More >>
  • BEST INDIE THEATER

    Hidden Theatre

    Let's start with a caveat: An indie theater is a company that does not have a permanent home. That said, we might still be misemploying the term indie by applying it to Hidden Theatre. Such is this six-year-old company's prowess that they are widely considered one of the best theaters in town of any size for contemporary work. This past… More >>
  • BEST JAZZ RADIO PROGRAM

    KBEM-FM (88.5)

    There is a public radio station in New York City, WKCR-FM (89.9), that periodically devotes 100 consecutive programming hours to the recordings of jazz's giants. These broadcast bonanzas often come when an artist dies, or on a birthday. Seventy hours of the complete recordings of the Modern Jazz Quartet's vibraphonist Milt Jackson. An annual Charlie Parker festival that lasts a… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Oak Street's - CLOSED

    At the start of its fifth year, our favorite local museum of the moving image has made a few concessions to modernity, installing new seats and a booming Dolby system to make its repertoire of classics, cult movies, and recent raves feel and sound even better. But the theater's distinguishing characteristic remains its programming--which, among the ever-more-endangered species of American… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    Minneapolis Institute of Arts

    After viewing a particularly fine year of cutting-edge art, we give a nod to the only museum in town that makes us feel like we're in New York City for an afternoon (and yes, that entails a gaggle of those art snobs who intimidate us). Highlights of the past 12 months, which included a wide variety of visual and multimedia… More >>
  • BEST OPERA

    The Minnesota Opera

    The Minnesota Opera, now in its 37th year, has built a reputation for postmodern experimentation (although those who attended the company's recent Semiramide can attest that said experiments are not always fruitful). While 1999's Faust was about as far from the avant-garde as opera gets, it was nevertheless the most compelling of the Opera's recent offerings. This Faust was that… More >>
  • BEST OUTFIT WORN BY THE TIMBERWOLVES PERFORMANCE TEAM

    Having spied various members of the performance team working out at the Arena Health Club in downtown Minneapolis, we know how hard it is to don the blue and black. One poor woman spends more than two hours a day, three days a week on a StairMaster. Two hours! (And you thought Bill Walton had bad joints.) That said, the… More >>
  • BEST PIRATE RADIO STATION

    Wobblies

    Formed by local members of the resurgent left-wing labor union International Workers of the World--a.k.a. the Wobblies--Free Radio Twin Cities takes advantage of its freedom from official license to broadcast lively radical political commentary and music designed for adventurous dial hoppers. Only here can you escape the drear of Sunday public broadcasting with the irregularly scheduled Under Lock and Key,… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC-ACCESS CABLE TV PROGRAM

    MTN cable-access show

    You can keep your clear waters and your scenic lakes--those distant spots near the redoubts of one's summer cabin. And you can keep your walleye and your northern, too. This MTN cable-access show, airing Saturdays at 7:00 p.m., features men in waders, heavy coats, and boots, catching all kinds of fish right where we live--in the core of the Cities,… More >>
  • BEST RADIO STATION

    Radio K

    Like the student DJs that run the board, Radio K's sound is a likable mix of professionalism and rabid enthusiasm. The smoothest Brazilian pop and the rawest local punk bands sit next to one another in the CD player, while seasoned announcers who sound like they could host any morning show in town are slotted next to sweet kids who… More >>
  • BEST SINGLE ARTIST SHOW

    Unlike last year's cinematic installment of the Star Wars saga (to say nothing of this year's museum show) the big-budget Bruce Conner retrospective blowout at the Walker Art Center was good enough to live up to its preshow hype. Consider these scenes: "Dark Brown" (1959) was a tear-jerking and poignantly oozing mass of oil paint, shellac, wood, fabric, jewelry, aluminum… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOSTS

    Denny Green

    Denny Green apologists, overpaid pros, and cheeseheads: Be warned. The big show on KFAN is here to stay. In a genre bursting at the seams with shtick (white-guy jive, middlebrow machismo, unrighteous rage), Chad and Barreiro, on the air from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, are stubbornly sticking to the basics: compelling interviews with the day's newsmakers; guest… More >>
  • BEST STAGE PRODUCTION

    Brecht/Weill's

    As the driving force behind Frank Theatre, Wendy Knox is the ideal mix of pragmatist and dreamer: She is as artistically adventurous as any director in town, but also sensible enough never to let her ambition overleap her company's resources. Last year's Frank production of Brecht/Weill's The Threepenny Opera was proof positive of Knox's talent. Set in the gloomy warren… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY

    Theatre de la Jeune Lune

    It's not difficult to make an audience laugh. Neither is it difficult to make one cry. What is difficult--and rare--is to inspire an audience to laugh at themselves, for to do so, they must first recognize their ridiculousness reflected onstage. Such is the art and the magic of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, who have been practicing an inimitable brand… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA

    Penumbra

    If Penumbra had never done anything but nurture the work of celebrated playwright August Wilson, this 23-year-old St. Paul theater would still be one of the jewels in our civic crown. Under the sure guidance of founder Lou Bellamy, however, Penumbra has fostered the art of countless writers, directors, designers, and actors, including, to name but two, Laurie Carlos and… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR NEW WORK

    Hidden Theatre

    There are quite a few noteworthy local theater companies specializing in contemporary work--Hidden Theatre, 15 Head, Outward Spiral, and Eye of the Storm come first to mind. Yet we have to give the nod to Bain Boehlke's Jungle for producing two new plays by local playwrights this season. It was, in part, a welcome surprise: The Jungle, though always one… More >>
  • BEST THEATRICAL SALVAGE

    Shubert Theater

    So far, the only success downtown's Shubert Theater has enjoyed is as a public engineering project--a nifty $4.7 million exercise in lifting and hauling. In the meantime, a pair of unreconstructed cineastes, previously prosperous in the field of ice-cream sales, have been turning a $155,000 theater into the most unlikely of art houses. When Tom Letness and Dave Holmgren bought… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWSCASTER

    Amelia Santaniello

    Accuracy? That's up to the editors. Empathy? Leave it to Oprah. These days, an evening news anchor should be just that: A functional fixture that tethers our collective consciousness to the ground while the usual slew of scandals, crises, and meteorological misfortunes tug our frail Midwestern mortality to and fro. That's an especially tall order when you've got the eternally… More >>
  • BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOR

    Randy Shaver

    When we turn on the tube to catch the latest stats and scores, we occasionally wonder what would happen if all the world's sportscasters were to switch network affiliates for a day; would anyone notice? An even better experiment might be to cross genetic material from each and breed an überschlemiel--a creature fluent in glib ESPN-speak and with the natural… More >>
  • BEST TV STATION

    MTN

    Last year's winner, Fox-29 (WFTC-TV), screwed up bigtime by cutting back its daily Simpsons diet and adding two portions of the lifeless, inexplicably popular Third Rock From the Sun. (We only wish Simpsons fans had staged the kind of protest that saved Cheers reruns from the KARE-11 chopping block years back.) In theory, the persistent Millionaire madness would peg KSTP-TV… More >>
  • BEST TV WEATHERPERSON

    Douglas Paul Kruhoeffer

    When Douglas Paul Kruhoeffer, a.k.a. Paul Douglas, left KARE-11's "back yard" in 1994 for a forecasting job in Chicago, we guessed the guy had just gotten too big for this place. After all, the affable weatherman had, among other things, created a computer graphics firm (which provided special effects for Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park), and published a book (Prairie Skies:… More >>
  • BEST WRITER AT A LOCAL DAILY

    Brian Lambert

    "It troubles me to say this, but I'm looking forward to watching television," confessed Pioneer Press media columnist Brian Lambert in a November 1999 column. "These days, I watch because I'm paid to, not because I like it any more than I did before I took this job." Lambert has been watching the Twin Cities radio and TV scene warily… More >>
  • BEST WRITERS' WORKSHOP

    At this year's Gotham Awards for Independent Screenwriting, where two Minnesota locals won prizes, host Sandra Bernhardt was heard to exclaim: "God, what's going on? It seems like all the good projects are coming out of Minnesota." With all the well-known mainstream writing centers and workshops in town vying for the attention and resources of the local lit scene, it… More >>
  • BEST-DRESSED TV NEWS ANCHOR

    Robyne Robinson

    Clothes, that old windbag Polonius was known to say, do often make the man. Nowhere, perhaps, does that cliché seem more apt than in the sterile confines of the newsroom, where women with sensibly short hair make uneasy chitchat with mellow fellows in charcoal-gray suits. Let's face it: When it comes to fashion, most anchors are dead weight. In the… More >>
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