Arts & Entertainment

  • Don Shelby

    BEST TV NEWSCASTER

    Don Shelby

    Any savvy YouTube user can find a small archive of the venerable anchor as a young pup 25 years ago, when local news was kinder and gentler—or at least less histrionic. Certainly Shelby has gone through many a makeover since then, and outlived all sorts of talking-head challengers. Yet we pick Shelby this year not just because of his longevity,… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC ACCESS CABLE TV PROGRAM

    Black Focus

    It's been a rough year for the 23-year-old network that champions such outmoded causes as free speech and power to the people. For starters, the swapping of territories by Time Warner Cable and Comcast has essentially left MTN hanging in the balance without a solid use agreement. And Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels has filed a civil rights complaint—and… More >>
  • BEST TV STATION

    TPT:Channels 2 and 17

    We can't stand it when a discussion of television prompts some would-be intellectual to sneer, "Oh, I never watch TV. I don't even own a set." Please. Do you hate novels, too, because so many of them are written by the likes of James Patterson and Danielle Steel? Okay, so 90 percent of TV programming is crap—so go find the… More >>
  • Eric Perkins

    BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOR

    Eric Perkins

    We try to hate Eric Perkins. Our inner curmudgeon generally recoils at the sight of someone with such an unfailingly sunny disposition. Anyone who's that happy and enthusiastic all the time either isn't paying attention or is a bit dimwitted. But Perkins consistently foils our cynicism. His "Perk at Play" segments, while hokey as a rhubarb pie-eating contest, are unfailingly… More >>
  • BEST COLUMNIST

    Patrick Reusse

    Patrick Reusse is ridiculously prolific. The veteran sports scribe churns out at least four columns a week and takes vacations about as often as the U of M wins Big Ten football titles. And that's not even taking into account the countless radio gigs that he juggles. Reusse deftly covers the full sports landscape, from the improbable Division II basketball… More >>
  • Paul Allen

    BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST

    Paul Allen

    A funny thing has happened to sports radio: They don't yak about sports nearly as much as they used to. Take Dan Barreiro, the top-rated talker at the Cities' leading sports radio station, KFAN (1130 AM). The former Strib columnist lards his show with his meditations on current events and interviews with Norm Coleman, which, while modestly interesting, do nothing… More >>
  • Tom Mischke

    BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Tom Mischke

    Naming the best AM radio personality is a perennial stumper. That fact is not due to any great mystery about the identity of Minnesota's best AM host. Everybody knows it is Mischke. Now in his 15th year at KSTP 1500 AM, he is among the best radio hosts in the nation, let alone our little scrap of flyover territory. No,… More >>
  • Bill DeVille

    BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Bill DeVille

    Bill DeVille is not your prototypical rock 'n' roll DJ. He doesn't have the booming, hyper-enunciated delivery that's apparently pounded into prospective DJs at broadcasting schools across the nation. The Current (89.3 FM) host's voice is nasally and monotone. At first listen you'd be inclined to think that DeVille might be better suited to delivering the agriculture report at an… More >>
  • BEST RADIO PROGRAM AFTER MIDNIGHT

    Radio Riot

    Contrary to the claims of last year's documentary American Hardcore, the subculture inspired by angry early-'80s punk bands such as Black Flag and Bad Brains didn't dry up in 1986. It went further underground, especially as punk and commercial rock blurred in the queasy twilight of "alternative." You can argue about where it was hiding or what it sounded… More >>
  • Redefinition Radio

    BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM

    Redefinition Radio

    Still younger than the average public radio listener, rap music has gone from being a big deal within a seven-square-mile area of the Bronx to being the largest commercial force in broadcasting. So why would Minnesota Public Radio station the Current need a specialty program about rap? Because somewhere between back-in-the-day and now, a vast universe of good music was… More >>
  • BEST RADIO STATION

    KFAI (90.3/106.7 FM)

    You can argue that MP3 players and podcasts and on-demand streaming audio have supplanted the radio as an all-day/every-day form of entertainment. But it's kind of a moot point as far as Minnesota's most adventurous station is concerned. The best reason to tune in to KFAI isn't to catch something you've been waiting to hear (though there's plenty of that);… More >>
  • Minnesota Orchestra performing Beethoven\'s Fifth Symphony

    BEST CLASSICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS

    Minnesota Orchestra performing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony

    A thrilling, sometimes disorienting, effect of going to hear Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra perform Beethoven these days is how swiftly they inspire a kind of radical re-listening. We settle down for a favorite symphony, not quite aware of the way past exposures have dulled or sugared our expectations. And then within bars, we find ourselves wondering if we'd… More >>
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    BEST OPERA

    The Grapes of Wrath

    When at last the Minnesota Opera's Dale Johnson and composer Ricky Ian Gordon secured rights from the Steinbeck estate to compose an opera from The Grapes of Wrath, Gordon must have resolved then and there not to squander the opportunity on the kind of gauzy Americana that similar coups have inspired. He took to heart the meaning of opera: four… More >>
  • BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR

    900 Miles from Nowere

    This exquisitely produced collection was assembled by St. Paul writer Steven Kinsella and published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. It consists primarily of letters and diary entries from folks who homesteaded on the Great Plains during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Their stories are often grim—like this 1873 missive from a recent transplant to Marshall, Minnesota: "I try… More >>
  • Anytown: Stories of America

    BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS

    Anytown: Stories of America

    "How beautiful the river flows and the birds they sing, but you and I, we're messier things," laments Bruce Springsteen in his song "Big Muddy." With November's Anytown: Stories of America, Shapiro & Smith Dance discovered a folk opera in Springsteen's songs, with their one-damned-thing-after-another understanding of blue-collar living. Anytown's community is a place that works hard and plays rough,… More >>
  • BEST DANCER

    Karen Sherman

    This is actually a twofer since Karen Sherman is equally talented as a choreographer and a dancer. But this year we'll praise her moves on stage. The artist, who splits her time between Minneapolis and New York, is agile and fearless, no doubt a result of her training on the trapeze. But she sets herself apart with an ability to… More >>
  • Ananya Chatterjea

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHER

    Ananya Chatterjea

    It's not unusual when artists declare that they are commenting on, or responding to, the cultural forces that shape our lives. It is less common, however, when an artist states that her goal is to create "an active citizenry for dance," one that combines a populist spirit with a firm commitment to technical excellence in a creative form. It is… More >>
  • BEST DIRECTOR

    Wendy Knox

    Frank Theatre queenpin Wendy Knox has been rightly lauded for bringing us works by Bertolt Brecht, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Sam Shepard in recent years—pieces that we surely wouldn't have seen otherwise. But in addition to her good taste in scripts, Knox has a directorial style that deserves praise. We've long searched for ways to describe the experience of seeing one… More >>
  • BEST ACTOR

    Ansa Akyea

    The actors who captivate us are those who can carry the weight of a heavy role while communicating hints of what makes life so ambiguous and, at best, hopeful. Ansa Akyea brings a combination of dramatic heft and humane lightness to every role he touches. While he isn't particularly tall, he has such a physical presence that he could pass… More >>
  • BEST ACTRESS

    Tracey Maloney

    Maloney's a familiar name to patrons of the local stage, having appeared in shows as diverse as Ten Thousand Things' jailhouse classics, Thirst Theatre's cocktail experimentation, and the Guthrie's Christmas cash cow. In person she's down-to-earth, sharp, and funny. Onstage she plays off the friction between her fresh-faced comeliness with a sense that a powerful spirit lies beneath. And while… More >>
  • Last of the Boys

    BEST STAGE PRODUCTION

    Last of the Boys

    The Jungle staged Steven Dietz's Vietnam hangover with a fine mix of pain and cutting humor, drawing obvious parallels to our current national situation without leaning too hard on the obvious. The show revolved around Ben (Stephen D'Ambrose) and Jeeter (Terry Hempleman), two war buddies hanging out at Ben's place in an abandoned trailer park. (Joel Sass's ornately ramshackle set… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY

    Brave New Workshop

    It finally happened. In See Dick Shoot, a night of sketch comedy loosely based on our light-hearted jokester of a vice president, BNW artistic director Caleb McEwen's head exploded. Sure, he was playing a spelling bee competitor hopped up on steroids, but we knew the folly of the world was going to make his cranium pop open one of these… More >>
  • BEST INDEPENDENT THEATER

    Emigrant Theater

    Emigrant is only two years old but the company has damn near established a brand name in staging hip, gotta-see area premieres. Emigrant also has a knack for luring hungry young talent to the kinds of roles that establish a performer's craft and identity. Last year the Emigrant crew tackled Jordan Harrison's absurdist impossibility Kid-Simple with appropriately goofy aplomb. The… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA

    Children's Theatre Company

    You'd be forgiven for not keeping up with every show CTC opened last year. Between the main stage and the Cargill stage for teen shows, the production list numbered nearly a dozen. What's startling is how many of these shows were developed for CTC: Greg Banks's high-wire adaptation of Antigone, Whit McLaughlin's Prom, Naomi Iizuka's Anon, Lisa D'Amour's Tales of… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Riverview Theater

    Billed upon its grand opening in 1948 as "the theater of tomorrow—today," the Riverview is now the theater of yesterday, hopefully forever. On a recent night, the place had 'em packed all the way up to the back for Dreamgirls—just the sort of old Hollywood-style entertainment that plays like magic in this 700-plus-seat room. Exactly 50 years ago, then-owners William… More >>
  • BEST BUDGET MOVIE THEATER

    Roseville 4

    A while ago, we slithered out of the office for a matinee showing of the Denzel Washington time-travel thriller Déjà vu: helluva movie, believe it or not. But the real surprise was the stellar presentation at the bargain-house Roseville 4, where the old Déjà vu looked all but brand new on the big screen—sharp and vivid and free of scratches… More >>
  • BEST ART CINEMA

    Oak Street Cinema - CLOSED

    Art cinema isn't curated by corporations; you don't stack up a year's worth of Publisher's Clearinghouse mailings and call it literature. And while a museum can do reasonably well by the "art" half of the "art cinema" equation, it ain't "cinema" to us unless it's seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, with popcorn in the lobby. Thus our… More >>
  • Sweet Land

    BEST FILM

    Sweet Land

    We've spilled plenty of ink on Ali Selim's period romance—the winningest indie ever made in Minnesota—since it debuted at the M-SPIFF a year ago. Suffice it to say that if you haven't seen it, well, you need to see it. Shot in southern Minnesota in 24 days (and based on author Will Weaver's "A Gravestone Made of Wheat"), Sweet Land… More >>
  • BEST READING OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS

    Mark Mallman and Chuck Klosterman Kill Themselves to Live

    On a rainy afternoon last June, pop culture pontificator Chuck Klosterman came to town to read from the paperback release of his rock-death travelogue, Killing Yourself to Live. But instead of making a predictable appearance at the Edina Barnes & Noble, Klosterman showed up at First Avenue's 7th St. Entry for an unlikely collaboration: a mash-up performance with piano-pounding daredevil… More >>
  • BEST LITERARY JOURNAL

    Conduit

    Running a literary journal without the support of an institution of higher learning makes about as much financial sense as running a hot-chocolate stand in July. Nothing ruins literature quite as much as financial sense, though, and Conduit— "grant free since 1993" as it says in the masthea—is another testament to bookish dreamers and their labors of love. Punkish in… More >>
  • BEST ART GALLERY

    Creative Electric Studios - CLOSED

    The best art galleries bring art inward and outward: They attract a group of prolific oddballs and minor visionaries, develop an aesthetic, and then push that work out into to the world. Creative Electric Studios—a Northeast Gallery run by musicians Dave Salmela and Kurt Froehlich, Jenny Adams, and photographer Karl Raschke—is so inspired (and inspiring) it not only seeks to… More >>
  • BEST SINGLE ARTIST SHOW

    Jaron Childs: Ruptures

    Jason Childs's 17 canvases of teary-eyed figures raised the bar (and the roof) at SOO Visual Arts Center last spring. Childs's oil technique evokes a soulful Gerhard Richter, while his seemingly straight-forward reproductions of photographs work to question authenticity in the digital age. The catharsis of crying doesn't last, nor do the source images suggest anything more than fleeting photojournalism,… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM EXHIBIT

    Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love

    This first U.S. retrospective chronicles Kara Walker's metamorphosis from hip art star to bona fide contemporary master. Best known are her cutout silhouettes, which have been prepared for this show from original templates and attached to the gallery walls with a wax adhesive. (When the exhibition closes on May 13, each cutout will be destroyed and the template returned to… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC ARTS PROJECT

    Art Shanty Projects

    Sometimes the best art can be seen, smelled, and touched. It can be interacted with, walked into, stood on top of. It can be as much a part of everyday life as it is a welcome interruption from it. In the coldest months of winter, the Art Shanty Projects did all of that. The brainchild of photographer Peter Haakon Thompson… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    Minneapolis Institute of Arts

    It's usually Walker Art Center that we hold up to coastal types to prove that the Cities aren't flyover country—or at least that we're the cultural kings of flyover country. But we think any intelligent guest would be at least as impressed by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, another world-class art museum that's also a little more accessible, housed in… More >>
  • Sven Sundgaard

    BEST TV WEATHERPERSON

    Sven Sundgaard

    A warm front moved into our high-pressure regions when St. Paul-born Sven Sundgaard left KBJR in Duluth in March 2006 to become the weekend meteorologist on KARE 11. Sven's the kind of meteorologist you want to take home to explain global warming to your mother: a sweet, young charmer who also happens to know his hygrometer from his wiresonde. When… More >>

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