Arts & Entertainment

  • BEST ACTOR

    D'Ambrose's

    D'Ambrose is unavoidable--regular theatergoers are liable to see him onstage a half-dozen times per year in an amazing variety of venues. This past year, the lanky, wry performer has graced the stage of the Park Square Theatre, the Loring Playhouse, the Mixed Blood Theatre, and, most notably, the Jungle Theater. D'Ambrose's role there was in a production called The Pavilion,… More >>
  • BEST ACTRESS

    Jaidee Forman

    The Theatre de la Jeune Lune and the 15 Head companies don't share an aesthetic, exactly, but when performers from one company show up on the stage of another, it isn't at all surprising. Both companies are meticulously, and often comically, physical. Both companies seem to enjoy creating radical new versions of classic, and sometimes forgotten, plays. Both companies are… More >>
  • BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Tommy Mischke

    At 8:00 p.m. on weeknights, Tommy Mischke signs on from "good old St. Paul," and for two hours the world is a better place to be. Not that The Mischke Broadcast is rosily predictable. During a given broadcast, its host might, variously, take calls from listeners, spin comic meditations on the day's headlines, hum an impromptu showtune, improvise stream-of-consciousness advertisements… More >>
  • BEST ART CINEMA

    U Film

    Whether or not U Film goes along with Oak Street Cinema's recent proposal to merge the two organizations (don't ask Al Milgrom for more details), the fact remains that much of what it gave us during the past 12 months was both indispensable and very much in keeping with its longstanding mission to disregard the bottom line. In fact, this… More >>
  • BEST ART GALLERY

    Waiting Room - CLOSED

    Who isn't a sucker for the dingy, illicit feel of an underground art gallery? Who doesn't get a thrill when entering a rehabilitated warehouse space where a flimsy partition hides the possessions of the gallery owners? Where a plywood floor hides the toxic ooze of the previous tenants, and where artists and various malingerers can, on any given Friday, be… More >>
  • BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR

    Packinghouse Daughter

    At first blush, Cheri Register's memoir about coming of age during the 1959 strike at Albert Lea's Wilson & Co. meatpacking plant might seem limited in appeal: The events are remote; most of the protagonists have passed on; and the conflict, which left this Minnesota hamlet bitterly divided for decades, is buried in the town's collective memory. Yet Register's far-ranging… More >>
  • BEST CHOREOGRAPHER

    Robin Stiehm

    In the 20 years that Robin Stiehm has been dancing, she has assimilated a range of styles from classical ballet to postmodern moves. Her recent choreography compresses and redirects these aesthetics into startlingly original dance images. The four works presented in Stiehm's concert at the Southern Theater in March coalesced into an erotic architecture where meticulously constructed forms throbbed with… More >>
  • BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS

    Dance is no more philosophical than its legs, to paraphrase the choreographer Merce Cunningham. The synergy between choreographers and dancers is the stuff of which this art form is made, and it was present in abundance throughout Cathy Young's concert last May. The nine performers (including Young) are among the brightest and best on the local scene, and Young created… More >>
  • BEST DANCER

    Laura Selle

    Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the work ethic, but the Twin Cities are rife with gifted dancers who make competent choreography look good, and good dances look even better. A highlight among highlights is 23-year-old Laura Selle, who currently dances for several of the best choreographers in town. As a dancer, she has the equivalent of perfect pitch. Movement… More >>
  • BEST DIRECTOR

    Andrew Kim

    In two productions this past year, Andrew Kim has demonstrated himself to be in possession of a rare quality in theater: an evolving, original directorial vision. Both City Rhapsody at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and Passage at Intermedia Arts (co-produced by Theater Mu) were daring, multidisciplinary works. Now, we hesitate to recommend anything saddled… More >>
  • BEST FILM

    I Hate Babysitting!

    Easily the most accomplished (and the funniest) local feature to come down the pike since Driver 23, this fiendishly creative, girl-centered coming-of-age farce by writer-producer-director Tara Spartz begins with a borderline obscene vignette linking babysitting to prostitution and just builds from there. Drawn from Spartz's own experiences looking after little brats for insultingly low pay, I Hate Babysitting! (which premiered… More >>
  • BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Pete Lee

    In the increasingly sterile world of Twin Cities FM radio, where three media conglomerates change formats like pairs of socks and "personalities" tend to be drab folks who quite literally may be doing their shifts from other cities, one voice on the dial resonates with human charm. Pete Lee has hosted Bop Street on this community radio station for more… More >>
  • BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM

    KMOJ-FM (89.9

    Before it moved from Saturday mornings (2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.) to Saturday nights (9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.), 2 the Break-A-Dawn's final 60 minutes represented perhaps the finest hour on local radio. Watching the sun come up while listening to track after track of the sort of rare soul and R&B and funk records that fueled a thousand hip-hop… More >>
  • BEST INDEPENDENT THEATER

    15 Head Productions

    15 Head productions can sometimes be cold: Most of the performers in the company's staging of The Insatiate Countess wore their faces frozen in masklike expressions and moved with near-clinical calculation. So this is not theater oriented toward audiences looking for the experience that Aristotle, bless his critical soul, labeled catharsis: the process of seeing emotions acted out onstage, ridding… More >>
  • BEST JAZZ RADIO PROGRAM

    KFAI

    If jazz is dead--or safe, or in the monopolistic possession of Ken Burns--no one has told Fresh Ears host Richard Paske. Even among the impassioned and obsessive DJs at KFAI, he's something of a maverick and a fanatic. You can usually tell when you've come across Paske's show even without hearing his gentle voice or noting the day and hour… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL IMPRESARIO

    Dean J. Seal

    The Minnesota Fringe Festival continues to grow like that pinkish gelatin that terrorized Steve McQueen in The Blob: This past year's festival featured 104 shows in 17 different venues, seeping through the walls and floorboards of every possible performing surface (including some decidedly unexpected venues, such as basements and the back seats of cars). Total attendance: 24,349, making our festival… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Lagoon Cinema

    Our beloved local museum of the moving image went above and beyond its retro roots this past year by playing host to the two greatest films of 2000, Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flowers of Shanghai and Edward Yang's Yi Yi (A One and a Two...)--both from Taiwan, both unspeakably beautiful, and both requiring special care in a culture that too often seems… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    The Minnesota Historical Society

    The Minnesota Historical Society is a wise old uncle of a museum, sitting on the back porch watching the world pass by. After all, the society, which predates Minnesota's acceptance into the Union by a good nine years, has pretty much seen it all--from fur trappers and log rollers to railroad barons and rim cities. Today the Minnesota Historical Society… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM EXHIBITION

    "An Acre of Art,"

    This past fall, the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) mounted "An Acre of Art," an exhibition of the rural-based work of Mark Knierim and Robert Lawrence in the Minnesota Artists' Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It was a perfect way to end the year--a spare and elegant exhibition that raised the national hackles of animal-rights protesters, most of… More >>
  • BEST MUSIC WEBZINE

    www.readexiled.com

    If you're a music fan, the information available from the Web's compulsive catalogers can be mighty useful. Sometimes you do need to know every tour date the Minutemen played in 1985, the index numbers for every release on the ESP label, or the guitar tabs for that Yo La Tengo song you keep singing in the shower. But spending too… More >>
  • BEST NEW ART TREND

    Much like the fin-de-siècle Ottoman Empire, today's art world is stagnant and unproductive, a victim of the bloated success at the upper echelons (Manhattan's art scene being a distant and inaccessible sultan's palace, so to speak). Fortunately for the Ottomans, a collection of transnational army officers, dubbed the Young Turks, led a successful coup and after 1908 instituted a sweeping… More >>
  • BEST OBSCURE MUSEUM

    The Bakken

    As a child growing up in Minneapolis in the 1930s, Earl Bakken was fascinated by electricity. Ensconced in the family garage, he invented all sorts of odd contraptions that relied on battery power to turn levers and cranks, creating bright arcs of light that wowed neighboring kids and his family. But what may have looked like boyhood science fiction eventually… More >>
  • BEST OPERA

    Houston Grand Opera

    A few years back the Houston Grand Opera put its production of Kurt Weill's Street Scene up for sale. The folks over at the Minnesota Opera, who had long wanted to perform the piece, couldn't have been more delighted and quickly snapped up the sets and costumes. The production staff restored the exquisitely detailed four-story sets, and in February the… More >>
  • BEST PIRATE RADIO STATION

    Free Radio Twin Cities

    Since relocating last winter to yet another freezing shed somewhere in south Minneapolis, Free Radio Twin Cities has had a good run, for an operation that's been on the lam. "The black cat of the FM dial" was named best pirate radio station by this paper one year ago; it has since boosted its signal from 25 watts to 100… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC ART PROJECT

    Huie's summa poetica

    If you spent any time on Lake Street this past summer, you were part of photographer Wing Young Huie's six-mile-long ode to the Twin Cities' most diverse artery. Perhaps you stopped to admire one of the black-and-white photos placed in storefront windows along Lake Street--images of drifters, artists, cowboys, teenagers, mothers, poets, and everyone in between. Maybe you glanced at… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC-ACCESS CABLE TV SHOW

    Polka Party

    How to pick just one when there are so many to love? Who knows what you'll find flipping through the channels? The nobrow camp of Joanie Loves Furbies? The tawdry thrills of Thomasina.com? Murky, incomprehensible recordings of poorly written sketch comedy? Wedding videos? That freaky Dr. Sphincter show that pops up now and again? Yes, all this and more, making… More >>
  • BEST RADIO STATION

    KFAI

    There is a sound that, next to "dead air," is assumed to be the least ratings-friendly noise you can imagine on the radio: people speaking in a foreign language. If listeners can't understand what's being said, goes the logic, they'll tune out faster than our president at a Korean peace summit. But many who listen to community radio savor just… More >>
  • BEST SINGLE-ARTIST SHOW

    Shannon Kennedy

    The best art effortlessly captures something about the spirit of its age. It does not try to be contemporary; it simply is, by virtue of its timely essence. Shannon Kennedy's October 2000 show at Franklin Art Works, in which she presented "Untitled #3," a single seven-minute video projected in an otherwise empty room, is just such art for our times.… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST

    Dan "The Common Man" Cole

    Since arriving on the Twin Cities radio scene with an evening sports talk show on the FAN in 1994, Dan "The Common Man" Cole has slowly but steadily built his following. Nowadays, his listeners proudly refer to themselves as members of "the Commonwealth." The guy just has a way of growing on you. Even Strib gossip scribe C.J., who used… More >>
  • BEST STAGE PRODUCTION

    American Safari

    Jacques Lecoq, Jacques Lecoq--sometimes it doesn't seem like a week goes by that we don't hear about another theater taking its inspiration from this French educator. Who would have expected he would have so profound an influence on the Twin Cities? But in the world of physical theater, there is another influence of equal note: Etienne Decroux, who taught that… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY

    The Acadia Cafe and Cabaret

    Comedy is pretty mobile in the Twin Cities. Let us take as an example comedian/storyteller Ari Hoptman, who has in the past year performed at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, Intermedia Arts, the Phoenix Playhouse, a Minneapolis church, and Berlin. One suspects that if there were no venue at all, Hoptman would simply take a soapbox to Powderhorn Park, stand atop it,… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA

    Mixed Blood

    Do we take this quarter-century-old theater for granted? We do, don't we? Nowadays, when directors frequently cast plays without regard to color (and sometimes gender), and when most local theater companies produce several plays per season that tell stories of diverse ethnic and cultural experiences, it is easy to forget how radical the Mixed Blood was when it first opened… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR NEW WORK

    Playwrights' Center

    We're talking really new work here. The ink may have dried on the pages of the scripts that rotate through the Playwrights' Center's various educational programs and workshops, but the photocopies are still warm and smell of toner. A random sampling of one week in the center's calendar reveals two staged readings of new plays (Trans State by James Livingston… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWSCASTER

    Julie Nelson

    Julie Nelson's rise to the top slot at KSTP sure was quick. After a two-year stint at Louisville's WAVE, Nelson arrived at Channel 5 in the summer of 1998 with little fanfare, initially anchoring the dreaded 5:30 to 7:00 a.m. morning show. Barely a year later, she was regularly filling in for the leave-taking Colleen Needles on the station's flagship… More >>
  • BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOR

    Joe Schmit

    Sure, he's a blowhard. But tell us, what sportscaster isn't? Schmit is the King of the Blowhards for two reasons. First, his Sunday-night show, Sports Wrap, is the best of the bunch. It features the usual stew of plays of the week, game recaps, and insipid banter. Yet Schmit also sneaks in some thoughtful interviews and intelligent commentary. Last year,… More >>
  • BEST TV STATION

    MTN

    As anyone who watched Survivor knows, the term Reality TV is more than a little misleading. Think about it: A deep-pocketed production company carefully screen-tests hundreds of applicants, cherry-picks the most telegenic of the lot, inserts them into elaborately contrived situations in exotic locales, waves huge piles of cash under their noses, rolls the cameras--and somehow we're supposed to believe… More >>
  • BEST TV WEATHERPERSON

    Ken Barlow

    When he steps out into the KARE-11 Backyard, he's immediately reassuring--even if he's about to proclaim another record-cold evening or an anticipated 14-inch snowfall. Is it the quirky, crooked smile? The way he looks so suave in that winter overcoat? The mellifluous voice that predicts without panicking? Back in 1994, when KARE-11 tapped Barlow to lead its weather team after… More >>
  • BEST WRITER AT A LOCAL DAILY

    Charles Laszewski

    "Kaiser carried his shotgun everywhere. Sometimes at night, the priest who jumped out of airplanes, stitched his own leg after a motorcycle accident and stalked caped buffalo, called out in his troubled sleep." So ended the third installment of Pi Press reporter Charles Laszewski's series investigating the death in Kenya last August of Minnesota-bred missionary John Kaiser. The passage, like… More >>
  • BEST-DRESSED TV NEWSCASTER

    Paul Magers

    Those piercing eyes, that elegantly coiffed hair, that chiseled bone structure--Paul Magers would be the hottest local broadcaster even if he joined co-anchor Diana Pierce in selecting a wardrobe off the T.J. Maxx clearance rack. But it's the suit, that mini-houndstooth check paired with the harvest-gold dress shirt that keeps viewers tuned in to Channel 11 between Law & Order… More >>
Loading...