Best Soundmen 2008 | Devon Rogers and Xandy Whiteselhi-dive | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Recently, a gal at the hi-dive noticed us watching a show off to the side and came over to offer us some unsolicited advice. "Listen," she said, "if you want to really enjoy the show, you need to stand over here." And she nodded toward the rear of the club, insisting that's where the sound is the best. While we were grateful for the tip, the truth is that the sound at the hi-dive is flawless no matter where you're standing — just as long as Devon Rogers or Xandy Whitesel is behind the board. The best soundmen in town, these guys deliver consistently crisp mixes with clear and distinct separation that's music to our ears.

Best Spot for Free Shots and a Rose for the Ladies

P.S. Lounge

Kristin Pazulski
With places proliferating where you can grab a decent drink at a decent price, the P.S. Lounge stands out because of its sweet extras. At some point during every evening here, each lady in your party will receive a single, sweet-smelling rose. But the free benefits extend to men, too. Every patron, whether male or female, also gets a complimentary bright-pink shot. (Rumor has it the key ingredient is Tampico punch.) So drink up, ladies and gents.
When the music community was hit by the news that Cricket on the Hill would be closing, shock waves spread through the scene. For countless locals, the Cricket will be remembered as the place they got their start, earned their keep, made their name or found the family they never had. The storied bar in Capitol Hill has been a part of so many lives here for so long that losing it is almost like CBGB closing in New York.
Sean Tarrant's gifts are many: He's tall, lithe and athletic; he has a good voice and a magnetic presence; his work is informed by a discriminating intelligence. And when he's on stage, it's hard to watch anyone else. As Paroles in All's Well That Ends Well, Tarrant showed that even a laughingstock can have some humanity, and perhaps even moments of likability.
When the young Marlon Brando undertook the role of Marc Antony, he appeared on screen oiled and muscular, a glorious young god. Richard Thieriot, on the other hand, sauntered on in shorts, looking like any yuppie Boulderite out for a run. But after a while, you realized what he was up to — and it was an entirely refreshing and original interpretation. He muted the poetry and passion of the great speeches and gave "Friends, Romans, countrymen" just enough juice to accomplish his ends — and as a result, you heard the great rhetorical set piece as if for the first time.
Jacob is the intensely effeminate butler — or, as he prefers, maid — of the gay couple at the center of the frothy, splashy La Cage Aux Folles. The role is a guaranteed laugh-getter, and Milton Craig Nealy played it to the hilt, with infectious style, humor and enjoyment.
A man and a woman have just woken up, and they don't know who they are. A young woman enters, and she tells them cruel things — that they're suspected of murder, that they're not, that they're actually married, but unhappily so. She identifies herself as their lawyer, then later as their daughter. Laura Norman took this baffling role and played it with feeling, hinting at an unknowable but fascinating subtext, and as a result, she held the audience spellbound.
Is there anything Kathleen M. Brady can't do? We've seen her in classical and modern plays, in comedy and tragedy. This year we found out that she can sing, and sing she did in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, rich-toned and full-throated. Brady played the role of the shrew Domina (the name speaks for itself) with such humor and vitality that you couldn't imagine why the male characters weren't falling all over her instead of the mushy little ingenue.
Uncle Peck is a monster who's sexually abused his niece for years. Yet in an understated performance, Paul Borrillo managed to make him ordinary and likable, even vulnerable. In one charming scene, Uncle Peck was teaching a small boy how to fish — "reel and jerk...reel and rest" — and Borrillo's portrayal was so strong that it took a few moments for the nauseating realization to dawn that this man was reeling in the boy along with the fish.
We recently heard a local tastemaker heap effusive praise on Michael Trundle: "He's the first one in this town who played Shitdisco." While that may not mean much to non-Shitdisco fans, Trundle and his longtime Denver 3 associate Tyler Jacobson have indeed been turning the masses on to the hottest music with their playlists and frequent listening parties at Lipgloss, the ridiculously successful, long-running weekly club night. The nationally renowned night isn't just a hit with club-goers; it's also become the destination of choice for such luminaries as Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke from the Smiths, as well as a number of touring acts who've been spotted stopping by La Rumba after their own Friday-night shows.

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