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  • Best Dance Club for Dancing ­ Before the Roof Fell In

    Vinyl

    Yeah, we know Vinyl is no more: The great blizzard of 2003 tore the roof off the place, literally, while completely demolishing Floyd's Barbershop next door. But owner Regas Christou has vowed to rebuild, and we hope he hops to. Although Vinyl lacked the flash of the high-profile Church right around the corner, among music aficionados and the die-hard dance… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch The Simpsons

    William's Tavern

    When The Simpsons come on at William's Tavern, all activity stops. The eclectic jukebox (it's got everything from The Cramps to Hank Williams to Motown) clicks off and patrons hunkered at the bar and sitting in the church pews pay their respects in the House of Simpson. Regulars know to arrive early on Sundays, not for sassy bar mistress Anne… More >>
  • Best Approximation of Love Story by a Boulder Author

    God-Shaped Hole
    Tiffanie DeBartolo

    God-Shaped Hole, Tiffanie Debartolo's tale of star-crossed love - born in the classified ads, played out beneath the artificial glow of Los Angeles life -- has all of the elements of pure romantic noir: The lead character, Trixie, has a love affair with the dreamy and intense Jacob, a writer for an alternative weekly newspaper, that is burning, tumultuous and,… More >>
  • Best Dance Club for Dancing During Reconstruction

    Starline Lounge

    The Starline Lounge has been dealing with the best kind of identity crises in the past year. While owner Curt Simms has slowly sallied forth with plans to open the former Denver Buffalo Company space as an upscale Mexican food restaurant called Cielo, the club portion has been cookin' for months. A few nights a week, the minimalist back bar… More >>
  • Best Dance Club for Looking Up

    Club Purple

    Don't wear a short skirt to Club Purple unless you're feeling flashy. The floor that separates the first and second levels is all glass, which means that ground-dwellers can get a good look at the stylish throngs dancing and drinking above. But even at right-side-up angles, the crowd is an eyeful: A be-seen spot among LoDo-ites, Club Purple attracts the… More >>
  • Best Dance Club for Hooking Up

    Alley Cat Night Club

    If you're enough of a hep cat to gain entrance into the Alley Cat Night Club - finding its darkened doorway in a Glenarm Street alley is a feat in itself -- you'll be within purring distance of some of the city's most purebred socialites. The VIP room is an A-list extravaganza, where singles swill and swoon in plush, let's-get-cozy… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up a Guy

    Diamond Cabaret

    A strip club seems ridiculous until you figure the guy/girl ratio, which is strikingly similar to that of Breckenridge. Most gents come to the Diamond Cabaret with a pimp roll to spend -- but they're grateful to see women they can touch or talk to without management stepping in and without it costing a buck a minute. So go ahead… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up an Artist

    Funky Buddha Lounge

    Art rules Tuesday nights at the Funky Buddha. Each week the popular lounge features works by a different local artist, making these opening-night parties a great foray into Denver's creative class. And if you've had your eye on someone, trust in one of the town's most gracious hostesses, organizer Michelle Barnes: She knows how to work the crowd and make… More >>
  • Best Sonic Makeover

    The Church

    We like the clubs, the clubs that go "boom." Which is to say we respect power in a sound system. But we respect precision even more. We want to hear the highs just as clearly as we feel the ribcage-massaging bass. Which is why we recognize the Church's new 100-grand main sound system as world-class, not to mention the best… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    Josh Ivy

    Josh Ivy has been typecast as a trip-hop DJ, better known for laying out cerebral, chilled-out grooves than sweaty, banging dance sets. But while Ivy is arguably the best down-tempo DJ in the city, the kid can also rock a party at 140 beats per minute. Peering out over the decks from behind his Buddy Holly glasses, Ivy smartly reads… More >>
  • Best Club Night

    Velcro Kitten
    The Snake Pit

    Under the guidance of Buffalo Exchange co-owner Todd Colletti, DJ Quid has returned to the Snake Pit alongside DJ Wyatt Earp, bringing a trunkload of the electro sounds of artists such as Miss Kitten, Peaches and Fischerspooner. Who knows how long the sound will last? Who cares? For now, the fashion/music craze has beautiful gay boys, model wannabes and local… More >>
  • Best Traveling Gay Theme Night

    Denver Guerrilla Queers

    Call it a social experiment. Borrowing an idea born in San Francisco, the Denver Guerrilla Queers and their leader Billie Trix have just one mission: Each month, they round up gay clubbers, mix them into a straight establishment...and shake well. Usually, everyone winds up dancing, drinking and hanging out together - but we can't help wondering if anyone switches teams… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar for Straight Men

    Charlie's

    Contrary to popular belief, straight men love to be ogled by gay men. But going from "God's gift to women" to "God's gift to all mankind" can be difficult, even for the most cocksure heterosexual. Most of the gay clubs make the mistake of blasting their diva ballads so loud that an honest man can't tell if he's being… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar for Gay Men

    Oxygen
    La Rumba

    In an increasingly fractured world of clique-catering clubs, now is the time to celebrate La Rumba for bringing far-flung splinter groups together. Every Friday night, the club that is famous for its salsa, tango and merengue dancing plays host to 0/2 (Oxygen), and it truly is a breath of fresh air for Denver gaydom. Leather men mix it up on… More >>
  • Best Summer Bar for Gay Men and Women

    Fox Hole Lounge

    The Fox Hole deserves more than a Best of Denver award. It deserves to be made a national historic landmark. The proud and blessed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered and questioning people of Denver also know it as a World Heritage Site and Universal Spiritual Power Center. Not just for its massive outdoor patio, but because it's the only bar… More >>
  • Best After-Hours Club

    Enigma Afterhours

    In the heart of LoDo rather than up in that slightly scary warehouse district, Engima Afterhours is 21st-century fresh, not '90s stale. The decor is a notch above the basic black-paint-on-wood look found at many other late-night locales, and this newish addition to Denver's club index pumps out the latest sounds in electronic music for the small but sprightly wee-hours… More >>
  • Best New Club

    Butterfly

    Occupying the remodeled space formerly known as Sanctuary is the officially unnamed club every glow-stick waver in Denver is calling "Butterfly" because of the chrysalis symbols on the club's fliers and the giant butterflies suspended above the dance floor. Whatever its appellation, we just applaud the club's unusual reliance on local DJ talent instead of overpaid out-of-towners: Hometown heavy hitters… More >>
  • Best Heavy-Metal Club

    Bottoms Up Tavern

    The past year saw several venues abandon original heavy metal, forcing bands and fans to run for the hills -- or the suburbs. Fortunately, Bottoms Up was waiting in Aurora. With a new name, new owners and a newly renovated interior, the bar formerly known as Heimmie's Pub quickly established a reputation as a place headbangers could feel comfortable. Little… More >>
  • Best Place to Bang Your Head

    House of Rock

    Heavy-metal fans, leather up and break out the earplugs. House of Rock's black-clad lineup of head-banging hard rock and metal proves that angry music never dies -- it just fades from radio airplay. House of Rock operates from a nondescript warehouse building in Northglenn and features original local and regional bands like Brutal Infliction, Concrete Sandwich, Rogue, Sickbox...you get the… More >>
  • Best Country-Western Club

    Grizzly Rose

    All the cowboys in cowtown know that for the best country music, you've gotta go where the rose is grizzly. Even the Country Music Association named the Grizzly Rose one of the top clubs in the country. The huge complex offers free dance lessons on Wednesdays, weekly performances from local C&W bands, and a roster that brings some of Nashville's… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club

    Dazzle Supper Club

    What more could a world-weary, bop-starved jazzaholic ask for? At Dazzle, a cozy and stylish boîte in Capitol Hill, the management provides a broad array of fresh talent -- local and national -- every week, along with a superb sound system, beautifully made cocktails and excellent saloon food, including a perfect hamburger. From the framed jazz photos on the walls… More >>
  • Best New Jazz Club

    Dulcinea's 100th Monkey

    Dulcinea, what did we do before you were born? Stellar live jazz, blues and funk blare -- or sometimes ooze -- from this Colfax lair six nights a week. A laid-back, hip Capitol Hill crowd helps give Dulcinea's the pervasive feeling of comfort; there's no pretension, just casual cool among the clusters of grungy-yet-comfy sofas and sturdy coffee tables. With… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Herman's Hideaway

    It's not the most high-profile club in Denver, nor the biggest. Still, when local bands snag that first weekend slot at Herman's, they know they've reached a benchmark in their careers. One of the few clubs outside LoDo to offer -- and need -- valet parking, the Hideaway has helped launch the careers of groups such as Big Head Todd… More >>
  • Best New Rock Club

    Larimer Lounge

    Many of the lofts in the Ballpark neighborhood sit empty, casting a ghost-town pall over the area during daylight hours. Still, upper Larimer Street got a considerable jolt of life late last year when the Larimer Lounge opened as a music venue with a formidable calendar. After taking over the space, formerly a watering hole known as the Sunshine Lounge,… More >>
  • Best Small Club

    Lion's Lair

    The Lion's Lair might be just a cub in Denver's club kingdom when it comes to size. But in terms of character, it's elephantine. Whether the live music is punk, alt-country or straight-up rock, expect the experience to be intimate. On packed nights, patrons are often within spitting distance of artists on the stage. Local and small touring indies dominate… More >>
  • Best Midsized Venue in Denver

    Bluebird Theater

    There probably are people who miss the Bluebird Theater's days as a porn theater, but we doubt many of them are music lovers. Unlike skin flicks -- which arguably should be viewed in the privacy of your home, trailer or motel room -- the live-music experience is genuinely enhanced by a proper theater-style environment, and that's just what the 'Bird… More >>
  • Best Midsized Venue in Boulder

    Boulder Theater

    The Boulder Theater is not the kind of place you go to get loaded on cheap beer and talk through a performance. Audiences in the palatial, deco-style hall come to actually listen to music, and for good reason: The Theater's schedule is so eclectic and well-rounded, there really is something for everyone to pay attention to. A fine jazz series,… More >>
  • Best Bar at a Local Music Venue

    The Balcony Bar The Gothic Theatre

    Perched high in the Gothic Theatre's cavernous rafters, the bar at the back of the balcony is the optimal place to quaff a drink at a show. Its lofty location allows for a near-bird's-eye view of the stage as well as the theater's lively art-deco interior. The atmosphere is cozy and unlike that of any other bar in metro Denver.… More >>
  • Best Musical Addition to the Denver Skyline

    Universal Lending CityLights Pavilion

    It's a tent! It's a theater! It's a fully modular, collapsible, portable music venue, planted smack dab in the middle of the Pepsi Center parking lot during warmer months. Replicating a seasonal venue that's been successful in Boston, CityLights was unfolded last spring as a joint partnership between two powerful local forces, Clear Channel Entertainment and Kroenke Sports. And though… More >>
  • Best Place to See Chicks Fight

    Carioca Cafe

    Carioca Cafe, also known affectionately as "BAR," after its generic neon sign, squats on the desolate corner of 21st and Champa. The astoundingly cheap drinks and great Tuesday-night DJs Chuck and Brian attract a strange mix of clientele: scooter folk, indie rockers, Joe Hundredaires and, of course, your typical crusty, decrepit barflies. But these barflies bring their girlfriends, and therein… More >>
  • Best Place to Sing Along Drunkenly to Marvin Gaye

    Streets of London Pub

    Every Thursday night at Streets of London Pub, DJs Rob Hostetter and Dan Shattuck spin the sweet, deep sounds of '60s soul music. Shattuck focuses on the Jamaican strains of rocksteady and ska, but Hostetter specializes in northern soul -- the stomping, exuberant, dance-inducing style of American R&B originally championed by British DJs over three decades ago. His sets slide… More >>
  • Best Place to Sing Along Drunkenly to Piano Music

    Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill

    Saddle, stumble or slump on up to the piano in the corner at Charlie Brown's. Even if you've overindulged in the bar's strong cocktails -- that's what people do at Charlie Brown's, after all -- Pauly Lopez's playing will only sweeten the buzz. A veritable ivory-tinkling encyclopedia of Tin Pan Alley songs, show tunes, even sweeping classical pieces, Lopez welcomes… More >>
  • Best Place to Perk Up With the Blues

    Acoustic Cafe

    People can get their groove -- and their buzz -- on at Nederland's Acoustic Cafe. This funky coffee shop, founded by state representative Tom Plant, attracts both yuppie skiers and hippie townies. The diverse clientele comes not only for the beans, but also for the beats. Most Friday and Saturday nights, folk and jazz bands perform. And on Sunday afternoons,… More >>
  • Best Place to Make Fun of Hipsters Making Fun of Yuppies

    The Red Room

    Yuppies go to the Red Room to feel edgy and urban, not to mention partake in a kick-ass selection of microbrews. Hipsters go to the Red Room for the amazing appetizers and $1.75 cans of Old Milwaukee...and, of course, to make fun of the yuppies. The rest of us go to the Red Room to comment on this behavior like… More >>
  • Best Winterized Lounge

    The Ginger Bar at Funky Buddha Lounge

    The see-and-be-seen bar that is the Funky Buddha has an equally fancy-pants upstairs lounge that keeps its cocktail-toting patrons nice and toasty, even in the heart of a snowstorm. In the summer, the plastic eaves roll down, and the place transforms into Denver's most beatific rooftop patio -- and we're not just talking about the view or the decor. With… More >>
  • Best Smoker's Paradise

    Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill

    As Boulder's goody-two-shoes influence spreads insidiously across the Front Range, more and more smokers are forced to find public spaces that still allow the open practice of their vice. At Charlie Brown's, smoking is not only allowed, it's practically encouraged. Four people settling down to dine will be provided with at least three ashtrays, regardless of their location beneath the… More >>
  • Best Men's Room in a Bar

    Sancho's Broken Arrow

    For a bathroom to be considered "the best," it must reek more of personality than of your drinking buddy's puke. The men's restroom at Sancho's may not be the cleanest in Denver, but like the tie-dyed audience at a Phish show, hygiene is not central to its appeal. With elaborately airbrushed portraits of granola-centric staples like Bob Marley, Jim Morrison… More >>
  • Best Women's Room in a Bar

    Gabor's - CLOSED

    A women's restroom must always give a little bit more. For the ladies, it's a place not only to take care of business, but to seek refuge when the guys are going over the score of last night's Avs game for the umpteenth time. Gabor's offers a collage-crazy restroom that mostly resembles an introverted teenage girl's bedroom. The walls are… More >>
  • Best Social Melting Pot

    Sundown Saloon

    It's hard to believe that one can actually find a bar with some diversity in a town teeming with rich white frat boys. Everyone from toothless locals cadging ciggies in the penalty box (smoking room), to burly Air Force guys out for some rugged homo-social bonding, to poor graduate students taking advantage of the free pool (until 10 p.m.) can… More >>
  • Best Club Doorman

    Larry Daniel

    Larry Daniel is the unflappable gent who has been running the door and deejaying at the Climax and its predecessor, the Raven, since the locale's disco heyday. He's also been putting up gracefully with hordes of punk brats and drunk scenesters since the venue started hosting rock shows in 1994. When he's trying to clear the room at 1:45 in… More >>
  • Best Soundman

    Mike Maloney

    Golden's historic Buffalo Rose is one of the state's better music rooms. What makes it so special? A split-level roadhouse layout and soundman Mike Maloney. The always-accommodating Maloney finesses the Rose's full-sized P.A. to perfection, thrilling listeners with a sound that's big but never blows out eardrums. Patrons enjoy Maloney's artistry, and players reap the bennies from behind the stacks… More >>
  • Best Rock-and-Roll Bartender

    Ronnie Crawford

    Ronnie Crawford could probably bench-press more than all of the young rockabilly kids who sidle up to the Skylark Lounge's long bar combined. At sixty, the stylish, sunny barkeep pulls pints and chats up the retro and twang-loving crowd that frequents the Baker neighborhood watering hole with a vigor and youthfulness that belie his technical status as a senior citizen.… More >>
  • Best Musical Lawyer

    Kelly David

    The idea of a lawyer for Qwest -- a company that just saw four of its executives indicted on a variety of nasty charges -- making new-age music in his spare time makes perfect sense: Who in such a position couldn't use a little stress relief? But considerably more unexpected is the fact that Broken Voyage, Kelly David's debut recording,… More >>
  • Best Grammy Winner

    India.Arie

    While Norah "Where the hell did she come from?" Jones went home with an armful of awards after the 2003 Grammy awards in New York City, Denver-reared India.Arie managed to grab two of her own. The soulful singer snagged statues for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the song "Little Things," and Best R&B Album for her sophomore release, Voyage to India.… More >>
  • Best Changes in Programming

    Swallow Hill Music Association

    Change, especially the easygoing kind, takes time. But after a while, it starts to show. Such is the case at Swallow Hill, where in the few years since the venue moved to its present space and Jim Williams took over as director, the concert hall/music school has quietly turned into an entrenched community presence. Something goes on there almost every… More >>
  • Best Underground Party Series

    Beats and Bowling
    Elitch Lanes

    Taking the Rock 'n' Bowl concept to a higher level, the Beats and Bowling underground parties at Elitch Lanes offer glow-in-the-dark bowling 'til 5 a.m., with a continuous underground party-music soundtrack, for the imminently justifiable cover charge of fifteen bucks (which includes all bowling). Upon arrival, bowlers pick up their shoes and declare allegiance to one of several local DJ… More >>
  • Best Spoken-Word Series

    Cafe Nuba
    Gemini Tea Emporium

    You'd be wise to arrive at the Gemini Tea Emporium early on the last Friday of every month; by 10 p.m., the bright, lovely Gemini spills over like a too-filled teacup. Packing them in is Cafe Nuba, a performance-poetry series that draws the most energetic, passionate and politically infused young writers, lyricists, hip-hop rhymers and straight-up new-school bards. Host Lady… More >>
  • Best Rock-and-Roll Game Night

    Pinball Challenge
    Climax Lounge

    Most evenings at the Climax Lounge, the game area in a back room is open to everyone. But every Thursday night, novices are advised to step aside and let the experts do their thing. Boasting one of Denver's only competitive p-ball competitions, the Lounge has become a sporting destination for indie rockers, punks and pinball wizards who like to ping… More >>
  • Best Blues Musician

    Otis Taylor

    In 2002, Otis Taylor was named Best New Artist at the W.C. Handy Awards -- the Grammys of the blues field. Of course, Taylor is anything but a new artist, having been part of the Colorado music community since the '70s. But this acknowledgment, as well as a pair of nominations for the 2003 Handys -- including Acoustic Blues Artist… More >>
  • Best Roots Musician

    Tony Furtado

    When Tony Furtado first moved to Colorado, he was known as a bluegrass banjoist -- but the tag soon proved far too restrictive for such a talented player. American Gypsy, Furtado's latest CD, is as eclectic as it can be, touching upon folk and acoustic styles from across town and across the globe.… More >>
  • Best Trad-Country Vocalist

    Halden Wofford

    Halden Wofford's authentic bray is a vocal time machine, a stirring, nasally joy that yanks traditional country fans back to the days of Hank Williams and other classic country singers. It sends chills down the spines of listeners and gives Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams a huge, genuine-article stamp. The bespectacled Wofford also yodels like the dickens and pens… More >>
  • Best Bluegrass Band

    Open Road

    In the pre-O Brother, Where Art Thou? years, many bluegrass musicians felt that the music they loved would appeal to a wide audience only if they changed it in substantial ways. But Open Road, which calls Fort Collins home, makes no such compromises on Cold Wind, its latest release on the Rounder imprint, and thank goodness. These musicians make tradition… More >>
  • Best Band to Get Sweat All Over By

    The Risk

    Now don't get us wrong: On stage, every member of the Risk (bassist Nick Anderson, drummer Greg Wildermuth and guitarist Nathan Marcy) burns more calories than Bush did death-row inmates. But this group's prince of perspiration is definitely singer/guitarist Joaquin Liebert, whose sweat glands could stand in for squirt guns as he leaps, writhes and howls his way through songs… More >>
  • Best Supergroup

    Line of Descent

    Screw Audioslave. Featuring past and present members of celebrated Denver punk groups like Four, Deadlock Frequency, the Messyhairs, Crestfallen, Still Left Standing, the Facet, Contender and Pariah Caste, the newly formed Line of Descent has a Mile High pedigree a mile long. The group recently split a thunderously heavy and brutal release with the notorious Scott Baio Army, and its… More >>
  • Best Sunday Church Service Without the Church

    Reverend Leon's Revival

    Reverend Leon's Revival calls to those who believe that the Sabbath day should be reserved for peace, quiet, and reflection...in order to recover from Saturday night's hedonism and the inevitable hangover. The Revival offers a wicked, campy combination of sin and salvation that hasn't been seen since the days of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Jim and Tammy Bakker.… More >>
  • Best Band That Sounds Like a Vacuum Cleaner

    Bright Channel

    Picking up influences from My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver, Bright Channel plays the kind of music that was once called "shoegazer": melodic guitars buried under thick, swirling drones of digital effects and noise. Echoes swell and static rattles throughout every song, sounding for all the world like an orchestra of Hoover Uprights plugged into a wall of amplifiers. Underneath all… More >>
  • Best Country Act

    Dalhart Imperials

    Think Denver's twang torch-bearers can't cut it next to those of, say, Texas? Pardner, soak up a set by the Dalharts and see the error of your ways. Singer Les Cooper and his mates are the best of Colorado's kingly country crop, a honky-tonk/Western-swing act that can rule alongside the best from any of America's roadhouses. Cooper's crooning, the mastery… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Alan Greenspan Project

    Faster than a nose-diving stock quote, able to leap plummeting interest rates without crying like a diaper baby, the Alan Greenspan Project sounds like the last of the big spenders. In fact, you can have 'em for a song. … More >>
  • Best White-Trash Jukebox

    The Lancer Lounge - CLOSED

    As novel as it is to see a jukebox full of Nick Drake and Modest Mouse, sometimes you just want to go to a bar and drown your coolness in a steady stream of bottled Bud and sweet classic rock. When that feeling hits, the Lancer is your oasis. Decorated like the wood-paneled den of one of your dad's bowling… More >>
  • Best Jukebox

    Don's Club Tavern

    In the era of digital boxes networked into 100,000-song libraries, mood is half the battle, and sadly, some places just don't have that good jukebox vibe. But the beer-soaked, retro aura at Don's is a perfect match for the music in its box, with discs ranging from the Beatles' "Abbey Road" to Tom Waits's "Closing Time" to "The Essential Patsy… More >>
  • Best Local Recording

    Survival Guide for the End of Time Heavyweight Dub Champion

    Electronic alchemists Resurrector and Patch enlist an impressive crew of Denver and Boulder-based artists -- Apostle, Wailer B., Elon, Stero Lion, Vill, Totter Todd, and DJ Hot Daddi 36-0 -- to create a shamanistic wall of hip-hop dubtronica that aims to topple the foundations of modern-day Babylon. The analog mix of illbient bass sounds comes courtesy of some of the… More >>
  • Best CD Title That Sounds Like a Primary-School Joke

    X Would Rather Listen to Y Than Suffer Through a Whole C of Z's
    The Czars

    The Czars have long specialized in dreamy, abstract, melancholic music, and the inspiration for their album titles over the years seems to come from an equally surreal place. Now comes further proof that the Czars are simply playing with us: Witness the lighthearted wordplay of X Would Rather Listen to Y Than Suffer Through a Whole C of Z's. Whether… More >>
  • Best Recording by a Newcomer

    Dreams of a Lost Tribe
    John Davis

    After a few years of toiling in the music shadows, Dixie transplant John Davis has finally treated the local music consciousness with his unique take on American roots music. Dreams of the Lost Tribe is a lush, layered masterpiece of deep-fried Americana that's equal parts Flannery O'Connor, deep-bottom blues and Tin Pan Alley treasure. Chock-full of imagery, emotion and fresh… More >>
  • Best Spinoff Album

    Wovenhand
    Wovenhand

    David Eugene Edwards is the grandson of a Nazarene preacher, and like a chip off the old block (or in this case, brimstone) he offers up his solo debut side project Wovenhand. The presentation sounds as though it has gathered some dust, probably because it is largely derivative of his band 16 Horsepower. But Wovenhand's message -- like the call… More >>
  • Best Compilation

    Undead in Denver

    No matter how mainstream and mall-ready punk rock gets, there's always a new batch of bands lurking in dirty bars and warehouses tearing out the type of hot-wired, four-chord rock that launched the genre almost thirty years ago. On Undead in Denver, compiler Timmy Gibb and producer Bart McCrorey have assembled a cast of sixteen local bands contributing two songs… More >>
  • Best Classical Recording

    Tchaikovsky's Symphony #4/Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
    Colorado Symphony Orchestra

    Under the leadership of music director Marin Alsop, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra released a new CD this year through the Naxos imprint. Recorded live at Boettcher Hall, the disc offers a unique take on two of Tchaikovsky's more popular symphonic compositions. So far, Naxos has distributed 4,500 copies to retail stores, and sales have been better than expected; we'd call… More >>
  • Best Internet Success Story

    Accidental Superhero

    Despite their collective name, the members of Accidental Superhero have worked hard in their seven years, making their own success instead of waiting around for a record-label deal. The Internet-savvy Colorado Springs outfit racked up close to a million downloads through MP3.com, repeatedly edging past radio-saturating bands and onto that site's top-ten list. Now their music can be heard across… More >>
  • Best Local-Music Web Site

    www.HigherListening.com

    The minds behind HigherListening.com -- Dan Vigil, Kelly Beckwith, Nate Weaver and Trish Baird -- have done a fine job in the past few years, moving from a mere message board to what is now a comprehensive online resource for those interested in local performers of all stripes. Offering a local calendar along with news, reviews, interviews and a comprehensive… More >>
  • Best Music Software

    UltraPlayer

    Louisville-based UltraCo Inc., once a darling of the Boulder-area high-tech economy, has since fallen on harder times. Founded in 1999, the company rebuffed a few acquisition attempts, only to see its business model fizzle after the dot-bomb. But UltraPlayer media software, with its customizable appearance and the versatility to play all of the most popular audio and video formats, is… More >>
  • Best Animal Encounter

    The Flaming Lips
    Paramount Theatre
    November 21, 2002

    At a show that recast the Flaming Lips as a backing combo for Beck, bandleader Wayne Coyne enlisted nearly thirty local fans to join the band on stage, cloaked in full animal-suit regalia.… More >>
  • Best Concert

    Sigur Rós
    Ogden Theatre
    November 16, 2002

    The Ogden Theatre isn't exactly a quiet room. On most nights, the music is loud and so is the crowd, the members of which angle for position, and cocktails, on the floor and in an upper balcony. But when the Icelandic dreamspace outfit Sigur Rós performed for a sold-out show in November, the place took on the feel of a… More >>
  • Best Children's Tea

    Harry Potter Meet & Greet
    Oak & Berries Tearoom

    Tea and Harry just seem to go together, like frogs' eyes and newts' toes. And nearly 200 million books sold worldwide doesn't hurt, either. So Oak & Berries Tearoom owner Roxanne Mays hosts Harry Potter teas each November for kids of all ages to get together over a cuppa to discuss the newest book's possibilities or recount the latest on-screen… More >>
  • Best Place to Soak It In

    Rocky Mountain Tea Festival

    The Dushanbe Teahouse rarely needs to coerce anyone to sip or dine there. With its folkloric Tajik craftsmanship, the teahouse is a magnificent place to sit, especially when it's open to the summer breezes like an airy, sun-filled tent. And once it year, it's even more enticing with its wonderfully celebratory Rocky Mountain Tea Festival. There's something here for tea… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse With a Player Piano

    The Vanilla Factory Coffee Co.

    This coffeehouse opened last May and quickly became the social epicenter of the Curtis Park neighborhood. The building has seen many uses since it went up in 1885, including as a Prohibition-era speakeasy and a 1950s vanilla factory -- hence the name. Today the coffeehouse has plush sofas and funky furniture, as well as artwork by neighborhood residents on the… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Folk Bash

    Swallow Hill Folk Festival

    Swallow Hill's annual picnic is a glorious celebration of all things acoustic. The 2002 event featured a high-flying collection of the nation's best singer-songwriters and performers in a wide range of genres. That these electrifying and, typically, electricity-free artists are showcased outdoors in the rustic, rural setting of Four Mile Historic Park makes the event a family-style hoedown of the… More >>
  • Best Free Entertainment

    Denver Skatepark

    Dude! There is nothing cheaper than free, and free is one concept that truly befits the sport of skateboarding, which, at its best, has no rules -- except, perhaps, those agreed upon by the boarders themselves. And that's exactly how things work at this 60,000-square-foot, city-built facility, which opened to the public in summer 2001 and has been such a… More >>
  • Best Annual Festival -- City

    Colorado Performing Arts Festival

    A local staple for eleven years, the Colorado Performing Arts Festival offers locals an opportunity to revel in homegrown arts, whether it be music, theater, dance, or something a touch more avant-garde. Visitors to the 2002 event, held in late September at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, saw Aztec dancers, story weavers, poetry jazz and even kids' comedians. But the… More >>
  • Best Annual Festival -- Mountains

    Colorado BBQ Challenge

    This annual celebration of hickory-smoked meats and serious sauce (sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society) is the high country's best family-style blowout. Visitors sample 'cue from more than seventy of the nation's best grill and smoker masters, making the array of meat and sauce choices finger-lickin' heaven on earth. Sides of down-home, kid-friendly entertainment, a pancake breakfast and Frisco's… More >>
  • Best Place for Pasty Poets to Get a Tan

    Ink!

    We know, we know. Poets and sunshine go together like peanut butter and broken glass. But if you ever tire of pouring your heart out from some ratty couch in some dim, cloistered coffee shop, why not give Ink! a try? First off, they brew up some mean java, grinding beans from all over the planet and clearly explaining the… More >>
  • Best New Paperback Writer

    Erika Krouse

    In a time when a collection of short stories is as de rigueur for debut authors as the tell-all publishing roman a clef, Erika Krouse's Come Up and See Me Sometime, a novel in thirteen stories, is refreshingly honest and well crafted. In fact, the Boulder writer's collection of independent young women at loose ends even elicited a positive review… More >>
  • Best Novel About a Car Saleswoman

    Up
    Lisa Jones

    Life, love and used-car lots. It's the stuff of vanity presses. In Up, we find Becky Pine, a recent CU graduate, looking for a life (surprise) as she picks up and moves to Los Angeles. A used-car lot takes her in, and Pine gets schooled on love, life and being a newly outed lesbian. It's a quasi-autobiographical story: Lisa Jones… More >>
  • Best Sophomore Non-Fiction Book

    Blood Diamonds
    Greg Campbell

    Greg Campbell knows a bit about adventure and horror. The Fort Collins freelance writer and dad was held at gunpoint and hung with the boys of Soldier of Fortune for his first book, The Road to Kosovo. But he upped the danger quotient in 2002's Blood Diamonds, his investigation into the Sierra Leone diamond trade. In that West African country,… More >>
  • Best Young-Adult Book

    Crispin: The Cross of Lead
    Avi

    Our very own single-name artist, Avi, finally won the coveted Newbery Medal this year with his fiftieth adventure novel, Crispin: The Cross of Lead. The Brooklyn-born writer dabbles in many genres, but in Crispin, he combined historical and young adult fiction, portraying the life of a thirteen-year old peasant boy living in fourteenth-century England. The parentless lad is accused of… More >>
  • Best Shelf Life for an Arts Support Group

    Rocky Mountain Women's Institute

    Women have been trying to balance life and art since before Virginia Woolf longed for a room of her own and Tillie Olsen traded her ironing board for a typewriter. And for the past 27 years, Colorado women looking to fend off the mundane for twelve glorious months have turned to the Rocky Mountain Women's Institute. The well-connected non-profit artists'… More >>
  • Best Book Event

    Writers Respond to Readers
    Tattered Cover Book Store

    There was an international flair to the fifth annual "Writers Respond to Readers" event at the Tattered Cover, where aspiring scribes and readaholics rubbed bookmarks with known authors in a small group setting. Esmeralda Santiago, Francesca Marciano, Lynn Freed and Simon Winchester made up the eclectic writerly circle this year, suggesting that the event is crossing borders, both geographic and… More >>
  • Best Introduction to Small-Town Culture

    Artwalk Longmont

    The Old Firehouse Art Center in Longmont really knows how to throw an artwalk. The community celebration, held along the town's main drag, includes a slew of art openings, live music, artist and vendor booths, dancing, and art workshops for kids. There's the inevitable street food, of course -- hot dogs, lemonade, kettle corn and more. But what really makes… More >>
  • Best Poker Night

    Casino for a Cause
    Breckenridge Brewery

    It's time to cut the cards -- aces high and seven-card stud. And just $10 will get you in the game every Friday night at Breckenridge Brewery. You can spin the wheel, but you don't have to worry about losing the rent or your pink slip: Once you're in, it's all Monopoly money. The door charge is given to local… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater for Comfort

    Colorado Center Stadium 9

    With good screen size and projection, state-of-the-art sound and the latest in stadium-style seating, the Colorado Center rates just fine in our theater-comfort category. But what sets it apart from the many other stadium-theater venues is the consistent helpfulness of the staff, good access to theaters and -- as the real estate people like to say -- location, location, location. Situated… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater for Food

    The Mayan

    While taking in the latest indie romance or taut French thriller at the Mayan, why not take something good into your body, too? The concession stand is well stocked with upscale delectables, including the Alternative Baking Company's new vegan cookies, in Peanut Butter Persuasion or Phenomenal Pumpkin Spice. The ice cream bars are from Ben & Jerry's (try the Heath… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater for Programming

    Madstone Theaters at Tamarac Square - CLOSED

    The arrival of the New York-based Madstone chain on Denver's art-film scene is most welcome -- especially in the affluent, educated southeast quadrant of town, where the theaters are located. At the slickly redecorated complex that was once the Tamarac 6 multiplex, Madstone unspools an intriguing mix of first-run imports and the latest homegrown films for thinking audiences. Best of… More >>
  • Best Locally Produced Documentary

    Chiefs

    Documentarian Donna Dewey is the only Denver-based filmmaker to win an Academy Award, and last year she put her heart and soul into producing a moving non-fiction film called Chiefs, which chronicles two seasons of play by a high school basketball team on Wyoming's impoverished Wind River Indian Reservation. Dewey and Wyoming-born director Daniel Junge capture the sweet hopes of… More >>
  • Best Movie in the Denver International Film Festival

    Rabbit-Proof Fence

    In 2002, Australian director Phillip Noyce returned to top form with two films -- a dark adaptation of Graham Greene's disturbing Vietnam novel, The Quiet American, and the movie that set last October's Denver Film Festival abuzz, Rabbit-Proof Fence. It's the heroic story of three half-caste Aborigine girls who run away from a Dickensian government orphanage in the 1930s, crossing… More >>
  • Best Hollywood References to Denver

    About Schmidt

    In About Schmidt, Alexander Payne's black comedy about a retired insurance man's reassessment of his bleak life, Jack Nicholson's Warren Schmidt sets out from sleepy Omaha in his huge motor home and takes I-80 to Denver, where he hopes to prevent his daughter's wedding to a dopey waterbed salesman. Payne shot very little of the film here -- a few… More >>
  • Best Cinematic Save

    The Denver Jazz on Film Series

    Last year, hard times killed the Denver Jazz on Film Festival at age four. But from the ashes rose the Denver Jazz on Film Series, a slightly shorter, but no less syncopated, bow to a great American art form as interpreted by moviemakers around the world. Thanks go to the new Starz FilmCenter on the Auraria campus (also home to… More >>
  • Best Specialty Film Festival

    Denver Pan-African Film Festival

    Most of the movies that clog area theaters fall into predictable categories: comedies, dramas, action-thrillers, idiocy. But the Denver Pan-African Film Festival, sponsored by Starz FilmCenter, offers cineastes a tasty alternative. Last year's event featured a hefty menu of fifty flicks, ranging from light entertainments to wrenching documentaries, and the 2003 version, scheduled to take place April 21 through 27… More >>
  • Best Free Film Series

    Tattered Cover Film Series

    Once housed at the venerable bookstore's LoDo events space, the long-running Tattered Cover Film Series moved to the Starz FilmCenter this year without amping up the price. Curated by critic Howie Movshovitz, the series uncovers both obscure gems and the occasional classic, such as Casablanca. They even pay for the parking, too: All you have to buy is the popcorn… More >>
  • Best Snarky Movie Reviews

    Reconstructed Bellybutton

    Wanna know who wins the Worst Parent or Guardian in a Movie award for 2002? What about Actor Who Should Have Known Better? Or Worst Attempt to Act Smart? Abby Winter and her partner, Laura Peterson, will happily slag off -- even at industry favorites. The roommates use amusing photos of their cats, Gleason and Mr. Thornhill, as their rating system;… More >>
  • Best Dance Workshop

    Frankie Manning "Nothin' But Swing" Weekend
    Karen Lee Dance International

    Each spring, lindy hop king Frankie Manning returns to Denver, like the swallows to Capistrano, for a weekend of dance, dance and more dance. The octogenarian's history as a dancer dates back to the heyday of the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, where he helped invent the original lindy moves. When swing gave way to bebop, and jazz audiences stopped dancing,… More >>
  • Best Hippie Dance

    Middle Eastern Peace Dance
    Mercury Cafe

    The Mercury Cafe's indomitable life force, Marilyn Megenity, has seen it all -- good, bad and ugly -- in the many years she's been running the place. So if she personally endorses something, it's gotta be good. Right now she's touting the Middle Eastern Peace Dance, which is held the last Saturday of every month and features live music by… More >>
  • Best Ballroom Dancing Party

    Sharp Images Singles Dance
    Continental Hotel

    First of all, there's no need to arrive single, but if you do, there's no need to be shy. Nor do you have to be accomplished on the dance floor, though you'll see plenty who are. Known for its friendly regulars and non-threatening atmosphere, the forty-and-over Sunday-night Sharp Images dance has endured for at least fifteen years, for reasons that… More >>
  • Best Swingers' Club

    Golden Circle Social Club

    Wife-swapping is dead? It simply ain't so. If you've always wanted to have group sex with a charming, friendly group of people -- and do a little drinking and dancing beforehand -- you've just hit the jackpot. Formed in 1969, the Golden Circle is Colorado's oldest and most legitimate swingers' club, a strictly couples-only affair for people who believe that… More >>
  • Best Trading Club

    Art Trading Card Swap
    Core New Art Space

    Collecting art has never been an inexpensive hobby. But even the poorest aesthete can build up a cachet of original works at an Art Trading Card swap, where painters, drawers and doodlers convene to barter tiny masterpieces. The cards are only two by three inches -- about the size of your average baseball card -- so you'll probably still need… More >>
  • Best Big Museum Exhibit

    Retrospectacle

    The homegrown blockbuster Retrospectacle, which opened last fall at the Denver Art Museum, has been described as a "Dianne Vanderlip lovefest." That's because it highlights Vanderlip's 25 years as curator of the museum's modern and contemporary art department, a job that was created specifically for her. The exhibit includes many of the great New York artists, including Robert Motherwell and… More >>
  • Best Bicultural Exhibit

    POPjack: Warhol to Murakami

    After World War II, American pop culture hit Japan like a tsunami. Tokyo, for example, is filled with Yankee Doodle standards like skyscrapers, neon signs and McDonald's. This influence extends to the arts, as well, and Cydney Payton, director of Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art, tapped into the trend with POPjack, a show combining American pop art with Japanese art… More >>
  • Best Local Gallery Show -- Solo

    Emmett Culligan

    Denver sculptor Emmett Culligan made a splash when he first emerged on the scene a few years ago, and since then, he's gotten relentlessly better. His latest efforts were featured in Emmett Culligan, at Judish Fine Arts in February. The fabulous monumental sculptures on display had gravity-defying features, with big slabs of native Colorado stone soaring at preposterous angles. There… More >>
  • Best Local Gallery Show -- Duet

    Salient GROUND

    If your ideas about Western art are limited to bronze statues of cowboys and Indians, Salient GROUND at Robischon would have quickly dispelled them. In this show, two great Colorado painters translated the familiar tradition into something new. Don Stinson romanticized the ruins of motels, gas stations and drive-ins by depicting them in magnificent natural settings, while Karen Kitchel created… More >>
  • Best Local Gallery Show -- Group

    Four Year Anniversary Show

    It's hard to believe it's already been four years since William Havu opened his flashy gallery in the Golden Triangle, and even harder to remember that the neighborhood -- now an urban enclave - was simply a deserted mess. For his anniversary last fall, Havu dedicated an exhibit to some of his favorite artists, most from Colorado. The place was… More >>
  • Best Historic Art Show

    Colorado Collections II

    The growth of modern painting from 1900 to 1950 as it played itself out in Colorado was the topic of the impressive Colorado Collections II, which hung in the Denver Public Library's Vida Ellison Gallery. All of the big names from that time were featured, including Birger Sandzén, Vance Kirkland and Charles Bunnell. The show was put together by Kay… More >>
  • Best Show by an Emerging Representational Painter

    Bob Koons: Nearness of Distance

    The quirky and elegant paintings in the Bob Koons exhibit Nearness of Distance at Carson-Masuoka Gallery were fresh off the easel -- and they looked it. Koons, who showed related work earlier at Edge Gallery, transforms old master paintings into contemporary ones. After choosing a landscape from art history, he paints the scene, but he does it out of focus… More >>
  • Best Show by an Emerging Abstract Painter

    John R. Morrison

    While kids right out of art school can often score a co-op gig if they're lucky, they almost never wind up at a top gallery -- especially one like Judish Fine Arts, a stunning space in a Victorian stone church in northwest Denver. But that's precisely what happened to John Morrison, who made his debut at Ron Judish's gallery last… More >>
  • Best Show by an Emerging Sculptor

    Continuum

    Young Boulder artist Joseph Shaeffer has some pretty wild and extreme concepts -- like using the attractive and repellent properties of magnetic fields to make sculptures. In Continuum, at the now closed and sorely missed Andenken Annex, Shaeffer employed magnets to keep his sculptures together or apart, depending on his changing mood. The most remarkable piece in the show commemorated… More >>
  • Best Sculpture Show -- Masters Division

    Manuel Neri

    The breathtaking Manuel Neri at Robischon Gallery was a stunning display of works by one of the greatest Bay Area artists ever. Neri has used the figure as a taking-off point for his sculpture for almost fifty years, ever since his first child was born to the first of his five wives. Although his pieces are highly conventionalized, the female… More >>
  • Best Installation Show

    Visual Itch

    Artyard Gallery

    The informal space in the front of Artyard took on an elegant formality when Rokko Aoyama's solo, Visual Itch, was on display. Though Aoyama lives in Colorado, she was born and raised in Japan, and the island country's taste, materials and subject matter dominated this show. The Japanese snack Manju inspired the shapes, which were then painted in the pastel… More >>
  • Best Photo Show -- Solo

    Betty Hahn

    When the Colorado Photographic Arts Center was founded in 1963, the art crowd held photography in disrepute. But times change, and the medium now has an assured place in the visual arts. To celebrate its fortieth anniversary, CPAC did something special: It mounted the exhibit Betty Hahn, which spotlighted the grande dame of New Mexico photographers who, like CPAC itself, was… More >>
  • Best New York Photo Show

    Street Level

    Even though Street Level was all about New York, it was organized right here in Denver by Simon Zalkind, who saluted his former home town by painting the gallery walls a yellow the exact shade of the mustard at Nathan's on Coney Island.… More >>
  • Best Photo Show -- Duet

    Two Men, One State of Mind...Colorado

    Roach Studios has been a fixture on Broadway since the 1970s, but the enterprise itself dates back to 1936, when the late Otto Roach established it in Lakewood. The specialty of the house then -- as it is today -- was custom photo enlargement. In 1958, Roach sold the business to his young assistant, Dutch Walla, who still owns it along… More >>
  • Best Photo Show -- Group

    An American Century of Photography

    The unforgettable An American Century of Photography was presented last summer at the Denver Art Museum, and the sprawling twentieth-century survey included some of the most important images ever produced. Curator and connoisseur Keith Davis made selections from the heavy-duty collection of Kansas City's Hallmark Corporation, which has acquired famous photos by all of the superstars in the finest, rarest… More >>
  • Best Print Show

    Universal Limited Art Editions

    The Rule Gallery's Universal Limited Art Editions, which opened in February and is still on display, showcases fine prints by a who's who of contemporary artists. The top-drawer New York printmaker of the exhibit's title provided its fine prints, including some by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Terry Winters. ULAE prints are a part of many important collections, such as… More >>
  • Best Ceramics Show -- Solo

    Jun Kaneko

    Ceramic artist Jun Kaneko has pushed the clay vessel to the limits, throwing pots that are much, much larger than he is -- many of them towering more than ten feet tall and weighing thousands of pounds. This fall, Carson-Masuoka partner and gallery director Mark Masuoka organized a major show of Kaneko's widely known work. Once a studio assistant to… More >>
  • Best Ceramics Show -- Group

    Veterans of Clay

    Most of the exhibits at the Lakewood Cultural Center are organized by guest curators, and, oddly enough, the modestly supported place often lucks out. A prime example was last summer's Veterans of Clay, a brief survey of Colorado ceramics that was ably assembled by the studious Tom Turnquist, a nationally known ceramics authority who actually lives -- get this --… More >>
  • Best Historic Ceramics Show

    One Hundred Years of Van Briggle Pottery

    In 1901, Artus and Anne Van Briggle opened a pottery factory in Colorado Springs, and their work immediately gained worldwide fame. Van Briggle pottery is displayed in museums in New York, London and Paris. As might be expected, however, the biggest horde was kept in the potters' home town, at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Although the majority of the… More >>
  • Best Show in a Warehouse

    hEMLOCK rOW

    It was certainly a surprise to find a museum-quality show in a run-down warehouse near the National Western Stock Show Complex, but there it was: Stephen Batura's hEMLOCK rOW. For this show, Batura did paintings in casein on wood, with subjects found in old photos from the Denver Public Library, where he used to work. The monochrome paintings were meticulous… More >>
  • Best New Gallery

    Studio Aiello

    The husband-and-wife team of Tyler Aiello and Monica Petty Aiello has big dreams of establishing a full-tilt art center, with an exhibition space, classrooms, studios, foundries and even a coffee shop. Most of it is still pie-in-the-sky, but the couple already owns a large building and adjacent lot in a neglected area north of downtown, near the railroad yards. The… More >>
  • Best New Arts Building

    Newman Center for the Performing Arts

    It's early to really start crowing, since the doors of the Newman Center aren't yet open to the public, but this building is a beauty, built for the ages from Indiana limestone and decorated with bas relief frescoes and a gorgeous carved-stone window. The crowning jewels of this new home to the Lamont School of Music and DU's esteemed theater… More >>
  • Best Art News for Santa Fe Drive

    Fresh Art

    After cutting her director's teeth for a few years on a small storefront operation on Broadway, Jeanie King moved her Fresh Art Gallery over to the ever-changing Santa Fe Drive arts district. She's created an enormous and smartly appointed complex that, in addition to a huge exhibition space, has half a dozen studios and a sculpture garden. The gallery's stock-in-trade… More >>
  • Best Art News for the Suburbs

    Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

    The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design recently announced that it is moving out of Denver, but the news is a lot better than it sounds. The school has been in a group of ugly buildings at the corner of East Evans Avenue and South Oneida Street, but in June it will move into the old Jewish Consumptive Relief… More >>
  • Best Wishes for a Fond Farewell

    Carol Dickinson

    Foothills Art Center just celebrated its 35th anniversary, but the real milestone lies with the impending retirement of longtime director Carol Dickinson. When Dickinson took over Foothills more than a decade ago, the center was a genuine backwater; with little more than her will, she transformed it into something relevant and worth seeing. She brilliantly retooled the exhibition schedule, satisfying… More >>
  • Best Theater Revival

    Federal Theatre

    The dust that lay mostly undisturbed for years in this old Federal Boulevard movie house has begun to fly. The Industrial Arts Theatre Company, homeless after the demise of its latest roost at the Denver Civic, is tearing down walls and reconfiguring seats in the eighty-something building in an effort to bring the place back to vivid life. Plans for… More >>
  • Best Theater Promotion

    Two-for-One Thursdays

    Chip Walton and his Curious crew have already made a name for themselves as a troupe, consistently staging quality fare for Denverites seeking something beyond the offerings of the big boys at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. And now they're making it even more enjoyable, with two-for-one Thursdays. Throughout the season, bring a friend to a Curious production… More >>
  • Best Theater Promotion for Seniors

    ElderPlays Series

    The DCTC knows its audience, and in a kind attempt to thank and keep its blue-haired patrons, the organization offers discounted tickets to selected matinee productions throughout the season. This year's series included a diverse theatrical palette, from Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth to that old roasted chestnut, A Christmas Carol. It's just the thing for the mature,… More >>
  • Best Theater Company Season

    Denver Center Theatre Company

    There's no getting away from it. It's not just that the Denver Center has the resources to ensure a certain level of consistency; it's that the company also has the integrity to put on a solid roster of plays, including those of Shakespeare, Pinter and such modern wonder boys as Martin McDonagh while remaining willing to take necessary risks --… More >>
  • Best Season for a Small Company

    The LIDA Project Experimental Theatre Company

    We're going to go out on a limb here. Any company that has the guts and vision to evoke the bleak, war-torn Europe of Family Stories: Belgrade, the sinister fairy world of Caryl Churchill's The Skriker and the bad acid flashback that Manson Family Values represents is doing the kind of serious exploration that helps advance an art form. Theater… More >>
  • Best Production

    Bernice/Butterfly: A Two-Part Invention

    In staging Bernice/Butterfly, the Denver Center did exactly what a major regional theater should do: It mounted an original play that, in part, celebrates the history of the West, cast it with respected local actors and asked the author to direct. The acting was superb, the technical values impeccable and the script funny, sad and wise. The audience could sense… More >>
  • Best Inventive Production

    Lost Soles

    This one-man show written and performed by the multi-talented Thaddeus Phillips was funny, soulful, brilliant and sweet as it followed a young tapper's education, progress through life and enforced exile in Cuba. Phillips himself is a prodigious tapper, a terrific actor and an iconoclastic thinker. For Lost Soles, he used objects -- a photograph of Fidel Castro, a small box… More >>
  • Best Original Script

    Nagle Jackson
    Bernice/Butterfly: A Two-Part Invention

    This play celebrates the kind of vanishing small-town eatery that once functioned as the heart of its community. Nagle Jackson's script was smart, literate, absorbing and feelingful. But part of its success laid with the actors, Kathleen M. Brady and Jamie Horton, for whom Jackson specifically wrote the play as tribute to the trio's long association. Brady and Horton created… More >>
  • Best Theater Ensemble Work

    Manson Family Values
    The LIDA Project Experimental Theatre Company

    The LIDA Project developed this play through improvisational exercises, and the result was a hallucinatory and grimly humorous exploration of a feverish time in North American history and politics. You could see the months of rehearsal in the way the actors worked together on stage, strong in their individual segments, comically synchronized when they were singing and dancing, sometimes seeming… More >>
  • Best Tragic Gay Love Story Playing at a Punk-Rock Club

    Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    After a run at the Wave nightclub, the East German misfit who married an American G. I. belted out the borscht about the inequities of the rock-star life at the Climax Lounge, one of Denver's newest independent music venues. Do those angry young men and women dancing in the aisles know how far equal opportunity entertainment has come? You betcha!… More >>
  • Best Actor in a Musical

    Christian Anderson
    The Full Monty

    Usually when Americans mess with anything British, we ruin it. But this musical version of the award-winning 1997 film stayed true to what really is a generous-hearted fairy tale with perceptive and thoughtful things to say about the human condition. And among an excellent and well-seasoned cast, Christian Anderson was truly a standout, providing genuine feeling in the often sterile big-musical… More >>
  • Best Actress in a Musical

    Mary Louise Lee
    Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

    Mary Louise Lee's evocation of doomed, legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday was the kind of performance that stays with you for weeks. She shouted out her jokes and awarded them her own raucous laughter. She communicated raunchiness, pain and vulnerability. Her voice was smooth as glass, her phrasing sinuous as she brought the standards and a host of lesser-known songs… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

    Geoffrey Nauffts
    The Full Monty

    We first met Geoffrey Nauffts when his character, Malcolm, was attempting suicide. Once resuscitated, Malcolm remained as swoony, strange, dreamy and off-kilter as when his car's exhaust was working on him. And his coming-out love affair with a fellow worker melted your heart -- at the same time it gave hope to true romantics everywhere. Bottoms up!… More >>
  • Best Actor in a Drama

    Charles Weldon
    Jitney

    Charles Weldon gave Jim Becker, the uptight protagonist of August Wilson's play about life in a cab company, paternal gravitas and a rare, generous smile that seemed to forgive the sins of the world. Then -- just in case anyone thought this performance was a fluke -- he seduced the audience of King Hedley II this year as the raffish,… More >>
  • Best Actress in a Drama

    Mare Trevathan Philpott
    The Skriker

    Mare Trevathan Philpott is always a joy to watch, and in Skriker, she got to strut almost all her stuff in one evening. The Skriker is a strange, shape-changing, atavistic fairy creature who talks nonstop in a mix of puns, metaphors, rhymes and allusions. She manifests herself differently to each individual she encounters -- wheedling, seducing, empathizing and bullying as… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

    Harvey Blanks
    Jitney

    Harvey Blanks has given two brilliant performances in plays by August Wilson this year, and he wins for his work as the strange, affable, dangerous Turnbo in Jitney. Blanks can be incredibly funny or full of emotion. Whatever the sentiment, he gives it everything he's got -- heart, soul, voice and body. … More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

    Roslyn Washington
    Bourbon at the Border

    Roslyn Washington played the kind of best friend every woman wants: warm and empathetic, full of dumb, endearing jokes. And her humorously faked orgasm was far richer and funnier than Meg Ryan's gasps and twitches in When Harry Met Sally.... … More >>
  • Best Actor in a Comedy

    Jamie Horton
    Bernice/Butterfly: A Two-Part Invention

    Horton was amazingly funny as a self-important academic in Bernice/Butterfly, smirking at his own witticisms, indulging in professorial chuckles and hand rubbings, writing decisively on the blackboard. He took the role right to the edge of absurdity, but stopped at the brink to remind us of his character's pained and private reality. … More >>
  • Best Actress in a Comedy

    Jessica Austgen
    Comic Potential

    You rarely come across a genuine original, especially a truly original performance, but Jessica Austgen is one: sort of pouty, very precise in movement and speech, capable of both absolute gooniness and breathy seduction. I've never seen anything like her lean, mustached Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the Theatre Group's Twelfth Night. But she wins best comic actress for her remarkable… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

    John Hutton
    Love's Labor's Lost

    In Love's Labor's Lost, Don Adriano de Armado is almost always played purely as a buffoon, and an endlessly talkative one at that. So, like many of Shakespeare's extravagantly comic characters with their time-bound puns and word games, he tends to be more annoying than amusing. But in this production, John Hutton created something altogether different, a man who may… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

    Jadelynn L. Stahl
    Twelfth Night

    Unlike most actresses who play Olivia, Jadelynn Stahl has no time for the character's usual posing and passivity. Instead, her Olivia is a luscious, black-haired beauty with a melodious voice and a gift for farce who seizes life by the scruff of the neck and shakes it till she gets the love and happiness she craves. … More >>
  • Best Couple in a Comedy

    Ed Baierlein and Sallie Diamond
    Greek Treats

    When you've got either Baierlein or his wife, Sallie Diamond, on stage, you've got fine theater. Put them together as Bill and Betty, the hospitable couple in Greek Treats, and the result is an evening of pure pleasure. Entranced by their mythical off-stage friends, Jason and Medea, Bill and Betty rebel against their boring suburban life. Bill dreams of Dionsyian… More >>
  • Best Relative Newcomer on the Denver Center Stage

    John Sloan
    Love's Labor's Lost

    John Sloan played the romantic, caustic, moody Berowne in Love's Labor's Lost with energy, wit, youthful exuberance and a genuine understanding of the language. His performance confirmed the expectation raised last year by his irrepressible Mairtin in A Skull in Connemara that this was an actor to watch.… More >>
  • Best On-Stage Coming of Age

    Heather Nicolson
    Collected Stories

    As Collected Stories begins, a worshipful young writer comes to a famed and brilliant older author for advice. As the play progresses, the novice matures into a poised young comer, a surrogate daughter to and ultimate betrayer of her mentor. Heather Nicolson brought charm, vitality and intelligence to the role, along with an increasingly evident steely backbone.… More >>
  • Best Raunchy On-Stage Orgasm

    Margot Kidder
    The Vagina Monologues

    Many a bold-faced name have given performances in Eve Ensler's original Off-Broadway hit, but it was Margot Kidder who brought it to life in Denver. She gave one of the wildest, most raucous and also most generous-spirited performances ever to grace an area stage, giving new meaning to the phrase "pulling out all the stops." … More >>
  • Best Professor You Wish You'd Had

    Susan D'Autremont
    Wit

    In her first appearance as Professor E.M. Ashford, Susan D'Autremont was appropriately chilly and forbidding. But she brought an almost radiant kindness to her second appearance, at the bedside of her protegé Vivian Bearing, finally calling on Shakespeare's "flights of angels" to see the dying woman to her rest.… More >>
  • Best Interpretation of a Difficult Play

    Terry Dodd
    Wit

    For Wit, Terry Dodd coaxed nuance and passion from a play that -- though it reliably reduces audiences to tears -- has always struck us as thin and smug. Her production created a connection to a deep and ancient sea of inner sadness that even Emma Thompson and HBO couldn't accomplish. We found a grace and truth here that we… More >>
  • Best Reinterpretation of Shakespeare

    Titus Andronicus: The Musical

    I'd venture to guess that no one, but no one, would attend a production of Titus Andronicus except under duress, but this version is inviting and howlingly funny. Five actors played all of the roles, the set was a cunningly fitted-out van in the middle of an empty space, the death score was kept on a chalkboard, and songs and… More >>
  • Best Director

    Israel Hicks
    King Hedley II

    Hicks has been working with August Wilson's work for so long now that he almost seems to breathe these plays' silences, words and rhythms. For King Hedley II, he brought together a fine group of local and out-of-town actors, elicited generous, full-hearted performances from them and balanced the performances one against the other to create a layered, textured and absorbing… More >>
  • Best Choreography

    Crazy for You

    The dancing in this show provided all the customary joys of synchronized kicking and tapping, along with loads of wittily unexpected moves. In "I've Got Rhythm," which served as the first-act finale, everything and anything became a musical instrument -- miners' helmets, pizza pans, a plunger and the dancers' bodies. The number built and built and built, and still you… More >>
  • Best Set -- Big Budget

    Michael Brown
    Love's Labor's Lost

    Michael Brown's set for Love's Labor's Lost provided all kinds of sweeps and nooks for playing areas, as well as embracing both the romantic and the rational. The outdoor scenes were all dappled, gray-green shadow, framed by beautifully twisting trees; inside, there were shelves of books and scientific instruments. And the lily pond added depth -- in every sense --… More >>
  • Best Set -- Small Budget

    Kenn Penn
    Alchemy of Desire/ Dead Man's Blues

    Kenn Penn created a gutsy, complex setting for Alchemy of Desire -- one of those archetypal, steamy, swampy bayous, with vines reaching everywhere. Even the weathered wooden steps and platforms reached out into and divided the audience. … More >>
  • Best Costumes

    Lamecia Landrum
    When Pigs Fly

    From the pieces of furniture worn by the actors in one number to the hanging rubber pullets and clock headdress of another, the costumes for When Pigs Fly were wildly, exuberantly over the top, a pure visual expression of the evening's liberating energy. … More >>
  • Best Celebration of Gayness

    When Pigs Fly

    When Pigs Fly was a collection of songs, puns, bits and skits performed by a collection of men in drag and directed by the estimable Nicholas Sugar. It was not only bring-down-the-house funny, but also a brave and poignant affirmation of the gay lifestyle and the joys of being out.… More >>
  • Best Use of Water in a Musical

    Singin' in the Rain

    For the famed title number in the Boulder Dinner Theatre production of Singin' in the Rain, director Ross Haley provided a kind of monster play pool for actor Brian Norber to stomp, sing and dance in. Front-row audience members were given slickers, and they and Norber enjoyed a mutual good time as the water soared and sprayed.… More >>
  • Best Overall Production Values

    Pierre

    Denver Center Theatre Company

    Though the play itself was hard to embrace at times, a combination of Jacobean revenge tragedy and nineteenth-century melodrama that almost worked, Pierre's production values were impeccable. Vicki Smith's set design was elegant and expressive, and Pierre was worth attending just to watch the play of Don Darnutzer's gorgeous lighting against the scrim. Throw in Kevin Copenhaver and Andrew V.… More >>
  • Best Illustration of the Primacy of Language

    Behind the Broken Words

    Broken Words is a collage of poetry and prose put together and performed by actors Anthony Zerbe and Roscoe Lee Browne. The result is a magnificent evening that includes the words of Seamus Heaney, Dylan Thomas, Derek Walcott and W. H. Auden, among others. Both actors are relaxed and consummate performers, and they allowed the language to take center stage.… More >>
  • Best Children's Theater

    A Christmas Carol

    Though it was warm and celebratory, this Christmas Carol also gave Dickens's melancholy depiction of poverty in Victorian England its due. The set was ingenious, the costumes sparkled, the child actors were appealing, and Randy Moore gave Scrooge a wistful edge. Take a child this year. … More >>
  • Best Evening of Comedy

    New Work 2002

    First came Patty Dobrowolski and Nancy Cranbourne in Mrs. Schwartz and Dober, a series of overlapping improvised monologues about the actresses' lives, including Cranbourne's bitter-comic re-enactment of her mother's increasing dementia and her own incomprehension. Then there was the truly mind-boggling Ed: The World Made Dress, written and performed by Michelle Spenser Ellsworth. The dress is a movable, functional, nonfunctional… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Five-Minute Freak On

    Freak Train

    Freak Train is a wild ride through good, bad and ugly forms of personal expression. Rappers, poets, aspiring bards, monologists, puppeteers, karaoke kings and every other permutation of performer turn up to meet, greet and, in some cases, confound the Bug Theatre crowd, which is usually composed of sympathetic fellow stagehounds. It isn't high art - expect nudity, profanity, purposeful… More >>
  • Best Magical Evening of Theater

    Cloud Tectonics

    A pregnant woman enters the house of a kindly trucker, and instantly time stops. The couple embarks on a night that's outside time and outside what we know as reality. Eventually, there is only the image of Celestina and Anibal holding each other in a glowing otherworldly bubble as rain and sirens pelt their insulated world. Director Chip Walton and… More >>
  • Best Quietly Intelligent Evening of Theater

    Talking Heads

    Talking Heads was an exquisite production of two monologues by the wryly enigmatic Englishman Alan Bennett. The acting, by Chris Tabb and Ann Rickhoff, was pitch perfect, as was Richard Pegg's direction. Everything about the production felt right, from the brown leaves drifting into a pile beneath a bus-stop bench to the yellow-gray late-afternoon light that shone through a lonely… More >>
  • Best -- and Most Missed -- Theatrical Inspiration

    Ernestine Georgianna

    The Boulder Rep is still vivid in the minds of most Boulder theater aficionados. Founded by Frank and Ernestine Georgianna in 1974, the company mounted challenging, exquisitely staged contemporary plays and acted in a variety of around-town venues through the year 2000. Frank was a visionary theatrical force through all those years, both as actor and director, but it was… More >>
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