Arts & Entertainment

  • BEST ACTOR

    Casey Greig

    Short, lean, ruddy-cheeked, and mop-topped, young actor Casey Greig is one of the most recognizable faces in the local theater scene. In fact, Greig is impossible to ignore, whether he's effortlessly stealing scenes in the Jungle Theater's production of Torch Song Trilogy or fleshing out larger leading roles, such as his turn opposite Sally Wingert in Cowbird at Eye of… More >>
  • BEST ACTRESS

    Phyllis Wright

    The Frank Theatre has made excellent use of actress Phyllis Wright's seemingly perpetual scowl these past few seasons. First there was Perfect Pie, in which Wright acted out the role of a defeated Canadian farm wife with slouched shoulders, a droll monotone, and lively eyes. More recently, Wright starred in Carson Kreitzer's SELF-DEFENSE, or death of some salesmen, in which… More >>
  • BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Mischke

    Every weeknight at 8:00 p.m., a coup occurs on KSTP radio. Martial music announces the arrival of the Mischke Broadcast, relegating Jason Lewis's right-wing circle-jerk to ruins. In its place a parallel universe rises, where all news is open to interpretation, Willie Dixon is more important than George W. Bush, and beer is beloved. KSTP program director Joe O'Brien describes… More >>
  • BEST ART CINEMA

    In the wake of Al Milgrom's recent show-stopping announcement--that U Film has finally accepted Oak Street Cinema's long-standing proposal to merge the two organizations, beginning in July--let's take one more opportunity to thank him for four decades of devotion to one of the most distinctive and iconoclastic art-house programs in the U.S. Indeed, few exhibitors anywhere in the world are… More >>
  • BEST ART GALLERY

    Midway

    It takes a keen eye and a steady nerve to run an art gallery. The eye is necessary to bag artists in their native habitat--the wild estuaries and studio complexes where they feed and breed and make their art. Sometimes, no one has noticed these beautiful creatures before. One false look and the artist will spook, stampeding away--slides and artist… More >>
  • BEST ART SERVICE

    mnartists.org

    A nod here must go to Springboard for the Arts, the laudable St. Paul-based group that assists artists with career planning, money management, taxes, rights licensing, and job-seeking. (It even provides low-interest loans for entrepreneurial arts projects and small grants to help artists meet emergency expenses.) This year, though, we recognize mnartists.org, the New York Yankees of the local art-service… More >>
  • BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR

    Lake Street U.S.A.

    Usually when we think of great books we think of those that use words to paint a picture and create an idea of place, time, and emotion. But last year, the most interesting portrait of a time and community was accomplished with literal snapshots (and some fascinating text, too). Lake Street U.S.A. is the book version of Wing Young Huie's… More >>
  • BEST CHOREOGRAPHER

    Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith

    According to the cliché, two heads are better than one. But in the case of Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith, it's the noggins and the bodies beneath them that make for a complementary pairing. Shapiro works a damn-the-torpedoes moxie while Smith is all elegant understatement. As leaders of their eponymous 17-year-old company, the New York transplants have established themselves locally… More >>
  • BEST COLUMNIST

    Nick Coleman

    The story was a doozy. Billy Baldwin, a 63-year-old parking-lot attendant in St. Paul's Midway neighborhood, loses his son in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Two months later four of his family members are killed in a head-on collision in Wisconsin. Overcome by compassion, the office workers who park at the ramp raise $6,000 to help Baldwin pay… More >>
  • BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL)

    Emily Johnson

    There's something to be said for a performer who can put on a pair of pants five sizes too big and dance around to Dolly Parton with a serious look on her face--and, in the process, thoroughly convince us that she has a very bright future. Emily Johnson, of course, doesn't have to explain what she does. She does most… More >>
  • BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (ROAD SHOW)

    PASTForward

    When the avant-garde Judson Dance Theater was in its early-Sixties heyday in a small church on New York's Washington Square, none of the artists involved likely thought that, some 40 years later, mainstream audiences would be applauding their efforts. Then again, Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project wasn't around at the time. Misha, as he's known to just about everyone,… More >>
  • BEST DANCER

    Greg Waletski

    After months of rigorous rehearsal and performance, you'd think Greg Waletski, an 11-year member of Zenon Dance Company, would want to take a break from physical exertion. Instead, he heads to Bristol Bay, Alaska, and spends the summer working as a commercial salmon fisherman. One wonders if the time spent in the pristine northern air adds that extra buoyancy to… More >>
  • BEST DIRECTOR

    Joel Sass

    Joel Sass set out to dazzle us this year, particularly with two plays he directed for his own company, Mary Worth: The History of the Devil and Shakespeare's R&J. His extraordinary sense of low-budget spectacle and his ability to draw epic-sized performances out of every actor must be given due credit. Additionally, his choice of material deserves note, The History… More >>
  • BEST FILM

    I'm Sorry I Was Right

    One of the most fascinating characters in 20th-century Minnesota history--former Sen. Eugene McCarthy, best known for his impassioned 1968 campaign against the Vietnam War--is the subject of this half-hour documentary directed for the St. Paul-based Center for International Education by Mike Hazard (a.k.a. Media Mike). Nicknamed "Needle" on Capitol Hill because of his wit, McCarthy remains sharp in his 80s.… More >>
  • BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Cathy Wurzer

    For those of us who are not morning people, starting the day is a treacherous process that pits the desire for information against a grumpy impatience with same. Thank goodness for Cathy Wurzer. The host of Minnesota Public Radio's Morning Edition, Wurzer is with us every day from 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. And her cozy and mellifluous voice offers… More >>
  • BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM

    B96

    Now that hip hop is a thriving commercial entity, everybody wants a piece of it. (Though it's a shocking indication of how slowly capitalism moves in these parts that hip hop's infiltration of commercial Twin Cities radio took so long.) But regardless of industry trends, KMOJ has been breaking the latest tracks ever since Travis "Travitron" Lee relocated here from… More >>
  • BEST INDEPENDENT THEATER

    It's been a year of transformation for this half-decade-old company, cofounded and overseen by the pathologically overworked Zach Curtis: They grew more professional, switched venues, and gained greater visibility. We've commented on their shows throughout this past year, such as the Matt Sciple-directed Escape From Happiness. This production took a tricky script by George F. Walker and, through keen casting,… More >>
  • BEST JAZZ RADIO PROGRAM

    Tom Surowicz

    Tom Surowicz sees more live concerts than anyone in town, which not only adds new chapters to his encyclopedic musical knowledge, but also enables him to corral great radio guests such as Blue Note bassist Herbie Lewis and local luminaries such as Herb Pilhofer, Peg Carrothers, and Steve Yeager for his three-hour (8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) weekly program. Buttressed… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL IMPRESARIO

    Philip Bither

    In 1998 we bestowed the title of Best Local Director upon Philip Bither, the Walker Art Center's performing arts curator, but now, four years later, he deserves a grander accolade. No one around town is provoking audiences the way this guy is. A particularly fine example of Bither's booking work is the recent Out There series: four weeks of uncompromising… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Oak Street Cinema - CLOSED

    At a time when even upscale cafés have turned to unspooling art cinema as an appetizer, the Cities' venerable museum of the moving image has focused on a healthier variety of film nourishment: local premieres (e.g., the surrealist Little Otik, the globalization doc Life and Debt, the Iranian feminist drama The Circle); proven classics in pristine prints (Ashby's Shampoo, Fellini's… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    Minneapolis Institute of Arts

    Sometimes the obvious choice is the best choice. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is the down comforter and cup of cocoa of local museums. It is the known entity, the old standby where we've spent countless hours and never left feeling unsatisfied. By now, we can all recite its charms by heart: the three floors of art history from all… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM EXHIBITION

    Mill City Museum

    Do you miss the late 1990s: the heady techno-optimism, the delusional market bubble, the free Internet offers? Remember when everything was e-this, and e-that? When the goatee-and-pierced-face set was going to run the world? Remember when virtual reality--with its clunky headsets and electronic interface--was going to change our lives? Well, we can't go back. It's a what-you-see-is-what-you-get generation now--nothing virtual… More >>
  • BEST NEW TALK SHOW HOST

    Ian Punnett

    Ian Punnett is a kinder, gentler, more intelligent version of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. In January the Atlanta transplant took over the 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. time slot on KSTP-AM (1500) from the browbeating advice guru--and for that alone he deserves our heartfelt thanks. Punnett's show largely concentrates on current events, like the Enron debacle or our governor's military-record shenanigans,… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC-ACCESS CABLE TV PROGRAM

    The InnerCityFishing Show

    Since the spring of 1998, south Minneapolis's Anderson brothers (Pat, Mike, and Ricky) have been quietly cranking out the most entertaining fishing show you'll find anywhere--let alone on public-access television. Truth be told, the commercial fishing program has become a tired genre, an overloaded, NASCAR-esque billboard for boat manufacturers, tackle companies, and other industry sponsors. There is none of that… More >>
  • BEST RADIO STATION

    KFAI

    "One world, two frequencies" may be the only slogan in local radio that isn't either glib or patently false. In fact, KFAI brings more communities to "community radio" than any other station in Minnesota. Weekly programming includes Hmong pop music, jazz for people who listen to too much jazz, hip-hop freestyling, a chat session in the East African Oromo language,… More >>
  • BEST READING OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS

    Michael Moore

    More like an anti-reading, wherein our lovable, pudgy agent provocateur, Michael Moore, reads exactly zero words from his new bestseller, Stupid White Men. Instead, for two hours he improvisationally entertains and enlightens the overflowing crowd of Smart White Lefties. Highlights: 1) M.M. leads audience in camp-style sing-alongs while techies scamper around solving audio problems. 2) M.M. playfully harasses humorless video-camera… More >>
  • BEST REPORTER

    Jim Ragsdale

    Why is the Pioneer Press generally more readable than its much bigger, richer rival across the river, the self-declared "Newspaper of the Twin Cities"? There are too many reasons to list here. But a comparison of the papers' coverage of the biggest political story in Minnesota's recent history--the ascent and governance of Jesse Ventura--isn't a bad starting point. For all… More >>
  • BEST SINGLE-ARTIST SHOW

    Kaplow

    Eerily exquisite and dazzlingly beautiful, Kaplow's show stood out from the masses of obvious art devoted to identity issues and political dogma. The nature of this installation was seemingly simple. At the center of the piece was a video projection screen, suspended in mid-gallery by taut wires. Here, a seven-minute video loop showed various hands manipulating a small tangle of… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO SHOW

    KFAN

    When Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial bid got him bumped off KFAN four years ago, Paul Allen and Jeffrey Dubay were a stopgap replacement. Allen, who announces the races at Canterbury Park, improvised a hip, wise-guy shtick liberally borrowed from national radio personality Jim Rome. Dubay, who'd been ironically nicknamed the "Culture Vulture" while serving as the straight man and producer for… More >>
  • BEST STAGE PRODUCTION

    Want

    Well, Andrew Kim is gone, at least temporarily. This multi-hyphenate talent, last year's Best Director choice in City Pages, has packed up his masks and puppets and moved to Seattle (although word has it he will return to assist in this year's May Day Parade). But before ditching the Twin Cities, Kim left us with a magnificent example of his… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY

    Bedlam Theater

    Bedlam Theater doesn't do many new plays--one every eight months or so, at most--but they get our kudos this year for three compelling reasons. First, there was their sole full-length play from this past season, the recently closed Terminus. This came across like a comical gloss on portentous science-fiction epics, with characters struggling through dense issues of mortality and humanity… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR NEW WORK

    3 Legged Race

    It's time to tip our hat to this venerable five-year-old outfit whose sole mission is to create new work--and by new, we mean really new. Artistic director David Moore Jr., a Yale man and the former executive director of the Playwrights' Center, takes an almost perverse pleasure in seeking out performers from varied art forms (particularly the more obscure disciplines… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWSCASTER

    Mary Lahammer

    As chief political correspondent for the now-defunct (but nonetheless noble) NewsNight Minnesota and for Almanac--still the most substantive local news program by leagues--Lahammer has distinguished herself through both the depth and breadth of her reporting. And it doesn't hurt that, of all local TV reporters, Lahammer seems to have the best rapport with Gov. Jesse Ventura (possibly because she engages… More >>
  • BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOR

    Eric Perkins

    As KARE-11's third-string sportscaster, Eric Perkins anchors the sports news only if both Randy Shaver and Tim McNiff are otherwise engaged. But though it might be a rare occasion, watching Perkins on air is a refreshing experience. Sure, he's got television in his genes: His father, Jack Perkins, is a host of A&E's Biography. But it's his personality that's so… More >>
  • BEST TV STATION

    Fox

    The medium of television has so much promise, such great potential--yet here we are watching Judge Judy. Consumers, it seems, are sending a message, and that message is: "I read the paper or have Internet sources for news. High art is best left to film, stage, and canvas. The box in my living room should be there for me when… More >>
  • BEST TV WEATHERPERSON

    Paul Douglas

    In a lot of places, it might seem weird to have a favorite TV weatherperson--they're all pretty much interchangeable, right? But this is Minnesota, where weather is less a facet of nature than a collective fixation, something to be ruminated upon, guessed at, and complained about till Doomsday. That's why local stations tease their weather reports incessantly. They know that… More >>
  • BEST VENUE FOR DANCE

    Southern Theater

    Oh, if those walls could talk! For more than 90 years the Southern Theater has anchored the Seven Corners intersection on the West Bank, evolving from a Swedish-themed vaudeville venue into a porno-movie playhouse, a heavy-equipment garage, the swanky Gaslight Restaurant, a Guthrie Theater outpost, and finally, in 1981, the headquarters for the Twin Cities dance scene. Unlike your typical,… More >>
  • BEST ZINE

    Frank Yost

    Any homemade, black-and-white comic book that opens with the words Minneapolis, two weeks into the start of WWIII... and then shows an image of a destroyed downtown skyline deserves some credit for capturing the Zeitgeist. Yet this tale of adolescent apocalypse survivors (available at zine haven Dreamhaven Books & Comics in Uptown) is as baffling on second glance as it… More >>
  • BEST-DRESSED TV NEWSCASTER

    Paula Zahn

    A few months ago, there was a minor stir when a CNN promo touted anchor Paula Zahn as "just a little sexy." Embarrassed network execs immediately killed the ad and apologized profusely. But why? It's no great secret that TV news is largely show business, or that show business is largely about looking good. Style sells substance, the theory goes.… More >>
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