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Arts and Entertainment

Best of Orlando 2010:Arts & Entertainment


Arts & Ent. Club DJ - Club Night - Country Act - Electronic Act - Experimental Act - Folk Act - Hip Hop Act - Indie Act - Jazz Act - Karaoke - Latin Act - Mainstream Rock Act - Metal Act - Music Venue - Open Mic - Pop Act - Punk Act - Soul Act - Reggae Act - Strip Club - Art Gallery - Arts Advocate - Dance Troupe - Festival - Movie Theater - Museum - Theater Troupe - Thespian

Best Club DJ
1st: DJ Digital

2nd: DJ Kittybat

3rd: Jimmy Joslin

Best Pop Act
1st: Megaphone

2nd: Mumpsy

3rd: Andy Matchett and the Minks

Best Club Night
1st: Takeovr @ Roxy
740 Bennett Road

2nd: Friday at Slingapour’s
19 N. Orange Ave.

3rd: Torque at Crooked Bayou
50 E. Central Blvd.

Best Open Mic
1st: The Globe Thursdays
19 N. Orange Ave.

2nd: Austin’s Coffee
929 W. Fairbanks Ave.

3rd: Natura Cafe
12078 Collegiate Way

Best Country Act
1st: Thomas Wynn & the Believers

2nd: Hindu Cowboys

3rd: The Lonesome City Travelers

Best Punk Act
1st: The Attack

2nd: Awesome and the Ass Kickers

3rd: Slippery Slopes

Best Electronic Act
1st: Yip-Yip

2nd: Taveovr DJ Team

3rd: Viernes

Best Soul Act
1st: The Legendary JC’s

2nd: Shaun Rounds Blues Band

3rd: Peter Baldwin

Best Experimental Act
1st: Brian Feldman

2nd: Yip-Yip

3rd: (tie) Viernes

3rd: (tie) DRIP

Best Reggae Act
1st: The Supervillains

2nd: Bob Marley: A Tribute to Freedom

3rd: Mystic NRG

Best Folk Act
1st: Matt Butcher

2nd: tie – Matt Mendel

2nd: tie – Thomas Wynn & the Believers

3rd: Tommy Treadway

Best Strip Club
1st: Dancers Royale
5221 E. Colonial Drive

2nd: Rachel’s
8701 S. Orange Ave.

3rd: Thee Dollhouse
5570 S. Orange Blossom Trail

Best Hip Hop Act
1st: Solillaquists of Sound

2nd: Krondor Krew

3rd: S.K.I.P.

Best Art Gallery
1st: Bold Hype
(relocated to New York City)

2nd: CityArts Factory
29 S. Orange Ave.

3rd: Orlando Museum of Art
2416 N. Mills Ave.

Best Indie Act
1st: Marc With a C

2nd: Andy Matchett & the Minks

3rd: Thomas Wynn & the Believers

Best Arts Advocate
1st: Beth Marshall

2nd: Mark Baratelli

3rd: Margot Knight

Best Jazz Act
1st: Sam Rivers

2nd: Absinthe Trio

3rd: Shaun Rounds

Best Dance Troupe
1st: Voci Dance

2nd: (tie) VarieTease

2nd: (tie) DRIP

3rd: Yow Dance

Best Karaoke
1st: Big Daddy’s
3001 Corrine Drive

2nd: Korndogg’s Rock Band Karaoke
2059 Dixie Belle Drive

3rd: Rising Star at Citywalk
6000 Universal Blvd.

Best Festival
1st: Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival

2nd: Nerdapalooza

3rd: Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

Best Latin Act
1st: Rico Monaco & Sol Sons

2nd: Latin Express

3rd: tie – Abdias Ernesto Garcia

3rd: tie – Latin Quarter

Best Movie Theater
1st: Enzian
1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland

2nd: Plaza Cinema Café
155 S. Orange Ave.

3rd: Regal Winter Park
510 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park

Best Mainstream Rock Act
1st: Thomas Wynn & the Believers

2nd: Megaphone

3rd: Hydrosonic

Best Museum
1st: Orlando Museum of Art
2416 N. Mills Ave.

2nd: Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park

3rd: Orlando Science Center
777 E. Princeton St.

Best Metal Act
1st: Empyrean

2nd: Khann

3rd: Gargamel!

Best Theater Troupe
1st: SAK Comedy Lab
29 S. Orange Ave.

2nd: Mad Cow Theatre
105 S. Magnolia Ave.

3rd: Orlando Shakespeare Theater
812 E. Rollins St.

Best Music Venue
1st: The Social
54 N. Orange Ave.

2nd: Back Booth
37 W. Pine St.

3rd: Will’s Pub
1040 N. Mills Ave.

Best Thespian
1st: Peg O’Keef

2nd: Brian Feldman

3rd: John DiDonna

Writer's Picks

Best concert windfall

Traffic from Harvest of Hope Fest

This indie-minded St. Augustine music festival is only in its second year, but it has already established itself as a magnet that draws hot local bands to the area. Since the Orlando metro area is only a couple of hours away, the region has become a giddy recipient of the festival’s spillover: The week of the fest, there’s a revolving door of talent moving through our venues. Music fans can look forward to Harvest of Hope not necessarily to attend the festival itself, but to attend the local shows that come our way while it’s going on.

Best regional trend

The rise of Florida’s indie-music scene

This has been a banner year for Florida indie bands, with three homegrown acts making national releases. First, South Florida’s Surfer Blood made a beaming national debut with one of this year’s most celebrated records, Astro Coast. Then, ascendant St. Pete psych-pop act Blind Man’s Colour arrived on the national scene with its Wooden Blankets EP, a much-improved follow-up to its meandering debut album. Orlando’s music scene was represented, as well, when experimental sound sculptors Viernes released their heady opus Sinister Devices in June. All three bands were signed by Kanine Records, a surging Brooklyn label co-owned by Orlando native Lio Cerezo.

Best big-screen bait and switch

IMAX Digital at Universal Cineplex 20
6000 Universal Blvd.

The popular AMC cinema at CityWalk started to promote that it “now has IMAX,” but when did they rip the roof off to install a seven-story screen? Here’s the secret: They didn’t. Unlike the old-school Regal Pointe Orlando Stadium 20 and IMAX, the Universal Cineplex 20’s new and so-called “LieMAX” theater involves a barely larger-than-normal screen, digital projectors and blatant exploitation of the once-trusted IMAX brand. Suffer through Iron Man 2 on the second row aisle and you’ll wonder why you spent that extra $5.

Best new ad-hoc theater district

Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park

Downtown stalwarts SAK Theatre and Mad Cow Theatre are shuffling locations, and the city is shoveling dirt for a new performing arts center, all in hopes of creating a stable theater district. Folks in Winter Park aren’t waiting around for that to happen. Between the recently expanded Winter Park Playhouse, the new community Breakthrough Theatre and the Greater Orlando Actors Theatre’s hopefully soon-to-reopen Cherry Street space, the less-than lustrous Fairbanks Avenue thoroughfare has become north Orlando’s Broadway.

Best chance to bemoan philistinism

The demise of Urban Think! Bookstore
625 E. Central Blvd.

Despite its location in one of the most self-consciously trendy blocks of Orlando, the cultured folks at Urban Think! discovered that vacationland still won’t support an actual intellectual exercise, instead opting for cookie-cutter bestseller stacks in big boxes. The small shop with a carefully chosen selection of new and used books closed in March after an eight-year run. The Urban Think! Foundation says it’s still trying to decide what to do next, but last we heard the annual Page 15 Young Writers Camp would still be held there this summer.

Best substitute for music

WMFE-FM (90.7) news-talk format
11510 E. Colonial Drive

Cheers to local public radio for its pivotal format shift last November from classical music to news-talk. Orlando’s thinking class deserves something of its own, dammit, and smart, cultured programming like The Diane Rehm Show and Fresh Air is a downright benediction. Music is one of our top passions, but we’re glad to give up what was a nominal pleasure at most for the much greater good of balancing and elevating the city’s intellectual dialogue. You know, not that we need it or anything.

Best architectural juxtaposition

Seminole County sheriff’s office and justice center
100 and 101 Bush Blvd., Sanford

Just off 17-92 there’s a short 3-D course in 20th-century architecture, mirroring its highs and lows. Facing down Bush Boulevard, to the right stands a harmonious modern synthesis: a little Art Deco, a little Bauhaus, a little International style mix in the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. To the left looms the Criminal Justice Center, with its forbidding and monotonous facade and square-columned cupola making a unified, if dismaying, architectural statement: stucco Stalinist.

Best vehicular venue for visual art Mobile Art Show

About a dozen different downtown venues participate in the monthly Third Thursday Gallery Hop, but most of those are in boring old buildings. Only one gallery dares to go outdoors: Mobile Art Show makes its home inside a U-Haul truck parked at the corner of Pine Street and Orange Avenue. Curator Mark Baratelli consistently keeps the cool-stuff-per-square-inch ratio sky-high.

Best pretending that the economy hasn’t killed local arts

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Mad Cow Theatre concert opera series

When the Orlando Opera Company shuttered its doors (with an echoing scream of “Jim Ireland!”) last year, the two other spokes in the city’s performing-arts wheel were left in a lurch. The departure of singing fat ladies from the local stage also sapped the mood of fine arts enthusiasts in Orlando. Without so much as a signature nervous blink, Philharmonic executive director David Schillhammer set into motion a collaboration with local staging experts at Mad Cow that would allow the show to go on, as it must. Two successful stripped-down performances (with the orchestra on stage), Carmen and Porgy and Bess, took place this spring to glowing reviews. Musical lemonade, then.

Best dramatic myth

The Orlando Peoples Critic

In spring 2009 a frustrated personage began writing glowing theater “reviews” and posting them on Facebook under the nom de plume “Orlando Peoples Critic.” This individual has since stopped reviewing in favor of providing information on anything and everything that’s going on around town. So perhaps a more appropriate moniker would be “Orlando People’s Promoter.” The person posting the information remains anonymous, and local arts groups are milking it, lapping up the free PR.
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