Arts & Entertainment

  • Best New Club

    Walter's on Washington - CLOSED

    The jewel in Pam Robinson's Washington Avenue crown -- and the nerve center in the three-club cluster she calls Pamland Central -- Walter's is less a nightclub than a neighborhood bar with a stage. On that stage, the music comes from both near and far, the musicians both semifamous and downright illustrious. Everyone from rookie bandleader Hilary Sloan to Grammy-winners… More >>
  • Best Club for Local Acts

    Fitzgerald's

    It's tough in Houston for new local acts to get gigs. It's a catch-22: While everyone wants to see the next big thing, local audiences can be blasé about going out and seeing new bands. A band has to get a rep before people start coming out to see them, but how can they earn their spurs if nobody will… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Meteor

    For all those tired of the scene, Meteor might well bring you back into the fold. This sleek joint off Fairview offers a fresh take on the neighborhood gay bar. It's decked out in modern threads with neato ceiling fans and comfy oversize high-backed couches. The numerous TV sets around the room showcase music videos of the latest dance grooves… More >>
  • Best Lesbian Tejano Bar

    Mela's Tejano Country

    Didn't know there's a lesbian Tejano bar in town? Tight niche. Mela's has been filling that niche free of competition since 1980, back when few folks were comfortable with the thought of lesbianism and fewer were familiar with the word Tejano. Owner Herlinda "Mela" Contreras, 55, was born and raised in Houston as one of 16 children. Contreras was honored… More >>
  • Best Jukebox

    The Big Easy

    Not many jukes can take the pressure of having their own theme night, but Tom McLendon's Big Easy box can. Every Monday, he turns off the coin slot and customers have free rein to play all the Lightnin' Hopkins, Ray Charles, Neville Brothers and George (both Porter and Jones) they want. There's free pool, too, so if you want to… More >>
  • Best Bar for Kids

    Valhalla

    Tack an extra digit onto your SAT scores. Valhalla is a grad student-run bar tucked into a corner of the old chemistry building on Rice's abundantly treed campus (look for the red arched door). Even without the verdant surroundings, Valhalla's ridiculously cheap 75-cent beer is a sufficient lure for anyone interested in the effects of ethanol on the human body.… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Chris Wolfe

    Chris Wolfe has been at the original Berryhill Hot Tamales for the last four and a half years. New patrons hear his singsong "Hi, I'm Chris, what can I get you?" then are amazed as the sandy-haired, all-American boy rattles off instructions in Spanish to the kitchen staff while filling a drink order a regular hasn't even asked for yet.… More >>
  • Best Band

    Jug o' Lightnin'

    Like the city it came from, Jug o' Lightnin' is zoning-free. You can't peg its blues-rock-bluegrass-country sound with a few pithy words -- it has shades of all but is none of the above. What it is is moss-draped, gutbucket, raw and in-the-pocket. When Aaron Loesch, Chris King and "Mopar" Mike Sinclair are rolling through one of their bayou-style trash-can… More >>
  • Best Unsigned Musician

    Arthur Yoria

    Ambient modern popster Arthur Yoria has a special gift: a Buckleyish high tenor coupled with the ability to craft smart arrangements and melodies that are impossible to banish. What's more, he wraps that gift in some exceptionally pretty paper -- his band is one of the best in town. Matt Rhodes's pedal steel and the crack rhythm section of bass-man… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Diseased Pigeons

    Great band names are significantly less common than bad ones. Many are pretentious. Still more are just plain stupid. Or goofy. Or snide. For example, an Austin band in the '90s conjured up a wonderful moment in TV history where racists clashed with a pretentious talk show host. That band, Geraldo's Broken Nose, is history now as well. The best… More >>
  • Best Band to Break Up

    Japanic

    After three years, a boatload of Press music awards and more than 100 local gigs, Houston's very own Marxist synth-pop sextet is no more. Their epitaph: "Let the record state, we kicked nature's ass." Front man Tex Kerschen is now hovering about in his new underground supergroup, Swarm of Angels, with various former or current members of Rusted Shut, the… More >>
  • Best CD by Local Musicians

    Simpleton's What Do You Want to Do

    Normally the words "rap rock" and "sounds like the Red Hot Chili Peppers" set off alarm bells. Uh-oh, we think, another bunch of loud, heavily tattooed white kids who can't rap or play guitar, jumping around on stage in their briefs bellowing about blunts and the porn starlet du jour. Fantastic. Houston and the world needs that like it needs… More >>
  • Best Blues Club

    Miss Ann's Playpen

    For years, Dowling Street was Houston's home of the blues. Lightnin' Hopkins and company plied their trade at any number of bars along the strip, which was once the main artery of black Houston south of Buffalo Bayou. But by the '70s, Dowling was in the doldrums. Several years ago, Miss Ann's proprietor Bobby Lewis set out to change all… More >>
  • Best Triumph over Tragedy

    Greg Wood

    Gonzo country singer-songwriter Greg Wood couldn't exactly be said to have been riding high, but he certainly was percolating along. His critically acclaimed band Horseshoe was gigging all over the city, their third album in the can. Justice Records agreed to nationally distribute King of the World, their second album, and it seemed for a time that the literate and… More >>
  • Best Flashback

    Bob Dylan at the last rodeo in the Astrodome

    With a little imagination, concertgoers might have transported themselves back to the '60s, when the Astrodome was the brand-new wonder of the sports world and the young Dylan was a messianic folksinger with a global following. The Dome may be ready for scrap, but Dylan proved he's still got plenty of artistic life left in him. After a shaky start,… More >>
  • Best Gay-Themed Show

    The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told

    What if we got that Adam-and-Eve-in-the-Garden thing all wrong? What if it was actually Adam and Steve who named the animals, along with some help from Jane and Mabel, who lived just down the Garden path? That's the premise behind Paul Rudnick's hysterical The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, brought to charming life last Christmas by director Joe Watts at… More >>
  • Best Concert Poster Artist

    Jermaine Rogers

    Yep, one of the most renowned concert poster artists in the country lives right here in our own backyard. Jermaine Rogers was creating posters for the Strokes long before they were hyped to the eyeballs. And his list of clients reads as a who's who of hip and cool music: Radiohead, the Breeders and Weezer, to name a few. Just… More >>
  • Best Show with a Gimmick

    House and Garden

    The gimmick behind Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden is irresistible. And no place in town was better suited to capitalize on this cleverness than the Alley Theatre. House and Garden is billed as two plays. Each focuses on a different set of characters, but all the characters from one show appear in the other. To complicate matters further, both plays… More >>
  • Best Calendar

    Life as a Sport

    Man, the battle for the title was a tough one. It came down to the wire between the Roxy calendar, which had its lucky den of calendar girls going full-monty this year, and the Barberdolls.com calendar, which had its ladies in exhibitionist Aguilera-esque outfits, coming up with new and inventive uses for barbershop equipment. But Life as a Sport suddenly… More >>
  • Best Ballet

    Houston Ballet's Peter Pan

    Who will be the next artistic director of Houston Ballet? No one knows for sure, but choreographer Trey McIntyre certainly garnered a lot of ballet-world buzz with this year's world premiere of his Peter Pan. Unlike most story ballets, in which mime-acting propels a thin plot between big dance numbers, McIntyre's creation used the steps to tell the story and… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Lotus Lounge

    Among the many downtown clubs, one stands above the rest. From one night to the next, you'll be mesmerized by the diverse vibes at Lotus Lounge. Tuesday nights bring "Soulphilia," where your senses are tantalized by everything from live bands and DJs to performance artists, henna tattooing and massage therapy. On "Threesome Thursdays," trios get in gratis and the ladies… More >>
  • Best Open-Mike Comedy

    Laff Stop

    Many nationally touring headliners agree: Houston's comedy scene is prodigious. On Mondays, the Laff Stop is the place where local comedians gather to work on their craft. You'll see the whole range, from nervous wannabes reading from notebooks to seasoned professionals trying out new material. They're five minutes apiece, so you won't have to suffer long, and you're guaranteed at… More >>
  • Best Underground Movie Theater

    Rice Cinema

    In the past, the Rice Cinema has flown under the public's radar, yet has been responsible for lining up some of the most innovative selections around. In addition to many collaborations with the Museum of Fine Arts and other theaters on such projects as the Latin American Film Festival and the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the theater has done… More >>
  • Best Director

    Brian Jucha

    Brian Jucha is one of the best things that has happened to Infernal Bridegroom Productions. The artistic director of New York City's Via Theater, an avant-garde company known in the Big Apple for its neo-Expressionist style, brought his original take on theater to Houston this past spring with his production of We Have Some Planes. The results were extraordinary. Of… More >>
  • Best Independent B Movie Made in Houston

    Deadly Words

    Although this low-budget debut from filmmaker A.B. Harris boasts a cast that includes the cream of Houston's African-American poetry talent (Angie G., Black Snow, Tosha Terry, Black Poet), the real star of the show isn't even human. During a hot and heavy orgy scene nearly four minutes into the film, a goat shows up out of nowhere and mingles with… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    The Tavern

    Every night from four to nine, happy hour at The Tavern is on like Donkey Kong! With $4 domestic pitchers, $3 bellinis and margaritas and lots of people to make friends with, you can play pool, Ping-Pong or the ubiquitous Golden Tee. Eye-catching waitresses and cute bartenders turn out slamming drinks, finger-licking burgers and dynamite shoestring fries. Tuesday night from… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KTSU-FM/90.9

    "Jazz in All Its Colors" is the motto of Texas Southern University's radio voice, and they live up to those fine words. Not many stations can boast a palette quite like KTSU's rainbow of gospel, jazz (Latin and Anglo), hip-hop, blues, zydeco, R&B, oldies, soul and reggae. There are also the commentaries, profiles and historical reminiscences of Frank Torry, a… More >>
  • Best Film Series

    Angelika Film Center's "Sensational Cinema"

    For most movies, you might as well wait till they come out on videotape. Goldmember's scatological jokes are just as hilarious at home, and Harrison Ford's Russian accent in K-19 sounds equally fake on DVD. But some films merit a trip to the movie theater. Ironically, the films that are worth the discriminating viewer's time share one of two fates:… More >>
  • Best Cast

    The Laramie Project

    Beautiful, big-skied Laramie, Wyoming, was the place where gay college student Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered. It's also the backdrop for Moises Kaufman's powerful docudrama, The Laramie Project, based on interviews with 60 townspeople who lived in the Midwestern town. This past January, at Stages Repertory Theatre, Rob Bundy directed eight of Houston's most appealing actors through the story. To… More >>
  • Best Movie Shot on Location

    Going Independent

    Pearl Harbor wasn't even in the running, and though VH1's Warning: Parental Advisory had a certain kitsch value, we had to go with this charming little independent flick. Rob Gladstone and Jason Fischer were working at the same brokerage firm, but deep down they wanted to make movies. So, with a measly $50,000 in hand, they teamed up with starving… More >>
  • Best Nightlife Idea that Should Come Back

    Beauty Bar Houston

    Sure, they ripped off the name, idea and even the marketing plan from a New York-based nightclub chain that sets up clubs inside old beauty shops, but the beautiful ones over at Tifosi Beauty & Day Spa couldn't pass up the chance to bring this kind of unorthodox hobnobbing to Houston. By day, Tifosi was just another spa located next… More >>
  • Best Place to Genuflect Before Seeing a Movie

    Aurora Picture Show

    The Aurora Picture Show is the Holy Grail of microcinemas, one of a handful of tiny theaters sparsely scattered around the country, showcasing noncommercial films and video. The right reverend Andrea Grover, the Aurora's executive director, is possibly the hardest-working person in the self-sacrificing world of nonprofit arts organizations. At the Aurora, the congregation files into the wooden pews of… More >>
  • Best Radio Personality

    Paris Eley, KCOH/1430 AM

    At the stroke of midnight from Monday to Friday, KCOH jock Paris Eley spins part of an electrifying sermon from legendary Memphis Baptist preacher Jasper Williams. As his congregation shouts out words of agreement, the Reverend Williams dwells at length in stunning rhythmic cadence on the nature of midnight, saying things like "rats and mice come out of their holes,… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Anne Quackenbush

    Consummate actress Anne Quackenbush often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to casting. The sweet-faced woman is often cast as the goofball, the loser or the whiny plain Jane. What's even harder, Quackenbush so deeply inhabits these quirky characters that it's sometimes too easy to overlook her extraordinary performances. Her acting pulses with the energy of… More >>
  • Best Effort to Inject Houston into Culture

    The Way to Somewhere, by Angie Day

    Angie Day grew up in the Braeswood area of Houston and graduated in 1990 from St. Agnes Academy, the sister school to Strake Jesuit. She put her hometown to good use in her debut novel, The Way to Somewhere, published by Simon & Schuster this year. Day's 18-year-old tomboy antagonist wants mightily to get out of Houston and away from… More >>
  • Best DJ We'll Miss

    Sista Stroke

    DJs come and go in this town. Sometimes they pack it in and move on to greener pastures. Or occasionally they just give up the life altogether. Just recently, Sista Stroke (or Oktober Davila, or whatever alias you might know her by) said farewell to Houston and fled to the more progressive streets of Chicago. She will surely be missed… More >>
  • Best Set

    Art

    Swanky, cool and utterly gorgeous, Andrew Jackness's set for the Alley Theatre's fall production of Yasmina Reza's Tony-winning Art was an example of visual minimalism at its two-toned best. The large elegantly blank rooms of the set were framed with towering cream-colored walls topped with enormous curving crown moldings. Furnished with three simple gray chairs, the rooms epitomized New York… More >>
  • Best Vintage Sounds

    KBME/790 AM

    When the dispiriting present is too much with you, set your Packard's radio dial to Star 790, KBME. That's AM, of course. KBME ("BME" stands for best music ever) exists in a time warp before FM ruled the airwaves, in the American past somewhere between the Great War and the Beatles. Here Eydie Gorme still blames it on the bossa… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Wayne DeHart

    In the Alley Theatre's production of August Wilson's Jitney this past winter, Wayne DeHart played the drunk Fielding with the scene-stealing grace of a truly great character actor. Before succumbing to the ravages of drink, Fielding was a fine tailor to such rich and famous jazzmen as Count Basie. But once he reaches Wilson's story, he's reduced to driving a… More >>
  • Best Effort to Inject Culture into Houston

    Writers in the Schools

    Houston's Writers in the Schools project is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and it deserves all the plaudits that come with lasting that long. It started with four writers getting "residencies" in Houston public schools, where they did all they could to encourage kids to enjoy reading and writing. It's become an organization with a $1.2 million budget and… More >>
  • Best Open-Mike Night

    Helios

    If all you want is a few minutes in front of a working microphone, this odd little venue has nearly cornered the market on the open-mike night. Their weekly 8:30 p.m. Wednesday slot has hosted everyone from Native American poet Soldier Blue to the "Gay Poet Laureate" Howard Mikehael, and was the platform that sent the Houston Poetry Slam Team… More >>
  • Best Nude Scene

    Karen Finely in Shut Up and Love Me

    When beautiful badass Karen Finely came to town, theatergoers lined up at the door for a ticket to Theater LaB to see the woman that British tabloids have called "the high priestess of pornography." It was clear that some of the lone men who stood in the moonlight waiting to see the show were not your average theater fans. Once… More >>
  • Best Art Opening

    "Clown Town/Million Dollar Hotel"

    They all turned out for the opening: clowns, artists, drunks, Santa Clauses, strippers…and none of those categories was mutually exclusive. Organized by Paul Horn and Dolan Smith (sporting a ringmaster costume), the one-night-only Vegas-meets-Ringling Bros. art extravaganza/bacchanal took over the entire 80th floor of the Holiday Inn Select, except for the rooms occupied by one unfortunate and horrified wedding party.… More >>
  • Best Dancer/Choreographer/Social Advocate

    Jane Weiner

    The level of local contemporary dance rose several notches when Jane Weiner came to town in 1997. She brought with her ten years of dancing with Doug Elkins's company and gave generously of her art and talent. She danced, she taught, she networked with other artists. She created her own company, Hope Stone, to perform original works of her own.… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    A Sort of Homecoming, by Robert Cremins

    Native Dubliner Robert Cremins is an English teacher at Strake Jesuit College Prep, and likely the sort of man of whom his alter ego, Tom Iremonger, would not have approved. Iremonger, the protagonist in Cremins's A Sort of Homecoming, is a pill-popping, hard-drinking, womanizing, inheritance-squandering young nihilist fresh back in Celtic Tiger Ireland after six months' debauchery on the Continent.… More >>
  • Best Dive

    The Roll'N Saloon

    This bar is located in the heart of River Oaks, and we're always leery of anyplace called a "saloon" that sits amid so much gentrification. But our doubts vanished the moment we saw the sign off San Felipe boasting a "large TV." Next, when the barmaid announced, "What can I get you, honey?" like an oral history of the South… More >>
  • Best "Boring" Dance

    Jennifer Wood, Suchu Dance, 713-529-1819

    Choreographer Jennifer Wood set out to be boring, and instead created her most provocative piece of the year. Go figure. Midway through Suchu's The Dirty Show, the dancers simply stood facing the audience for a full two minutes. Wood says she had to force herself not to throw in any of her signature energetic, explosive moves. But it's not as… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Inman Gallery - CLOSED

    Inman Gallery is nothing if not hip, so hip it's been included in New York's Amory Show, that commercial mecca of über-cool contemporary art, for the past two years. Inman focuses on emerging artists with an emphasis on Texan talent, and their openings are attended by a roll call of the Houston art world. If you're looking for Bill Davenport's… More >>
  • Best Installation

    Slumber House

    What can you do with a flood-damaged bungalow? Mold remediation, schmold remediation. Turn some artists loose in it. Slumber House, organized by Poissant Gallery, transformed a decrepit, mildewed structure into an installation-art venue filled with work by ten artists. Jewel Baird Gleeson transformed the pink tile bathroom into the scene of a crime, or at least a mental breakdown, with… More >>
  • Best Lecture Series

    Unique Lives & Experiences

    Behind every great man there's a great woman, right? Well, forget the first part, and you've got the idea behind the fascinating lecture series that is Unique Lives & Experiences. This forum provides its audience with an intimate look at the personal tragedies and triumphs of its famous female speakers. This year's lineup consisted of Jerri Nielsen, the physician who… More >>
  • Best Belly Dancers

    Agora

    It's Wednesday night and there's nothing to do? We like to spend the midweek drinking a glass of wine or sipping a cup of coffee at Agora. It's a dusky place with dark heavy furniture mixed with a few Greek artifacts here and there and hip magazines you won't find anyplace else. And where else can you get banana bread… More >>
  • Best Kids' Theater Camp

    Main Street Theater

    Most every family's got one wannabe star stomping through the house. A great place to put that special child who's hogging all the attention is a drama class at Main Street Theater. There, your kid can learn everything from hip-hop to Shakespeare. The classes run year-round, but the summer camp is especially comprehensive. The college-aged instructors, who are full of… More >>
  • Best Artist

    Rachel Hecker

    Sad and Pissed, Rachel Hecker's standout show at Texas Gallery, turned a relationship gone wrong into a powerful, poignant and witty body of work starring Hello Kitty spin-off characters. The show was punctuated by "explosion" paintings that riffed on Batman fight scene graphics, with "OOF!" and "POW!" replaced by succinct expletives that encapsulated the "pissed" aspects of breaking up. Hecker… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Hyde Park Miniature Museum

    For years, Union Pacific map maker D.D. Smalley's eccentric attic museum delighted children and adults alike with the residue of his myriad hobbies. Petrified dinosaur dung was shelved cheek-by-jowl with, among thousands of other things, model ships, homemade objets d'art, an extensive arrowhead collection and cigar boxes full of hundreds of thousands of commonplace postage stamps tied with string into… More >>
  • Best Place for Aspiring Writers

    Inprint

    Got one of those must-be-told stories buried deep inside your soul? There's no place better for burgeoning writers to be these days than an Inprint class. There, some of Houston's finest authors (past instructors include award-winning novelists such as Farnoosh Moshiri, Gail Storey and Olive Hershey) will teach you everything you need to know about the craft of writing, from… More >>
  • Best Comedian

    Mike MacRae

    The St. Louis transplant with a degree from Rice University mixes clever quips with celebrity impersonations, all the while keeping his material at a 12th-grade level -- okay, maybe a remedial 12th-grade level. In just a few years as a stand-up, he's already headlined his own show at Houston's only real A-room, the Laff Stop, and he appeared earlier this… More >>
  • Best Show

    "YES YOKO ONO"

    Before the privileged daughter of an aristocratic Japanese family crossed paths with a working-class lad from Liverpool, she was an artist who put the "avant" in avant-garde. Loosely associated with the Fluxus movement, Yoko Ono made works ranging from socially and artistically provocative performances like Cut Piece (1964), which invited members of the audience to snip off bits of her… More >>
  • Best Shrine to the Abnormal

    Museum of the Weird

    Donations of every imaginable variety show up weekly: horns, doll heads, a film canister of Tommy Lee Jones's spit, balls of Saran Wrap, clumps of hair, an appendix, color photos of fallopian tubes and contemporary art of a disquieting nature. Artist/nutball Dolan Smith has turned his Heights bungalow into a mecca for all things weird, including his own artwork, an… More >>
  • Best (and Only) New Performing Arts Center

    Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

    Usually we're depressed by Houston's headlong rush to tear down every vestige of its past and replace it with something modern. But let's face it, the old Music Hall was a dump. The roof leaked, the offstage areas were cramped, and there wasn't much charm in its pedestrian design. The $100 million Hobby Center is a spectacular improvement on all… More >>
  • Best Spectacle

    Larry Simon

    The beauty of all open mikes, whether it be for poetry, comedy or music, is that they're open to anyone with the nerve or lack of ego to take a shot at five minutes of fame. You get the professionals, the diamonds in the rough or, if you're lucky, the people who seem to exist in their own time and… More >>
  • Best One-Man Show

    Romeo and Juliet: Love and Sex at Holy Cross High

    Houston's own Rob Nash just keeps delivering the goods, from his first show, Freshman Year Sucks, to his most recent madcap caper, his take on a production of the Bard's venerable play at the fictional Holy Cross High. Unlike many one-person shows, which are all too often portraits of some moldy historical figure (yawn) or, even worse, are drawn from… More >>
  • Best Original Show

    We Have Some Planes

    Politics and theater can make boring bedfellows. The result is usually a bunch of soapboxing badly disguised as art. Of course, if you're Brian Jucha and you want to write about the horrors of 9/11, the whole world -- including any usual standards about what happens when art and politics mix -- gets turned upside down. Certainly that was the… More >>
  • Best Protest by Disgruntled Employees

    "ENRON: A Term of Art (1995-2001)"

    When the bubble burst in 1929, so many stockbrokers took a dive themselves that it brought the euphemism defenestration (the act of throwing a person or thing out of a window) back into the lexicon. More recently, post office employees showed the need for anger management in the workplace. But despite being left with worthless stock options at best, or… More >>
  • Best Yee-Haw Fix

    Rodeo-Fiesta

    When we feel like takin' in an eyeful of cowboys teachin' livestock a lesson, when we got a hankerin' fer the romance of lively country dancin' in the open air, the fiesta rodeo jamboree comes through. Most Saturday nights, the big metal shed out on 288 roils with arena events, play-day festivities (many of which may involve small animals and… More >>
  • Best Traveling Show

    Proof

    Out of the mysterious variables of love came David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning Proof, a play about familial love, genius and the terrible effects of madness on family. And for a brief two weeks Proof came to Houston, where it glowed at the Wortham Theater with a thousand megawatts of intellectual power. Rarely does a nonmusical drama garner… More >>
  • Best Show to Make You Think

    Art

    The Alley Theatre's November production of Yasmina Reza's Art sparkled with smart ideas about art, modern lifestyles and our passion for everything "fashionable." Reza's flawless script gleefully deconstructs all the folly in our pathetically solipsistic world, including homeopathic medicine, psychotherapy and ridiculously high-priced paintings -- the one in the Alley's production was nothing more than a white canvas on which… More >>
  • Best Tea Time

    "255-0+Tea"

    When the artist Weihong attended openings for her gallery shows, she noticed that patrons seemed more interested in the philosophy behind her work than the actual art. So she put together an interactive show where people could sit down and discuss Chinese philosophy with her over tea. The gallery was divided into white and black areas, and guests were asked… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club

    Red Cat Jazz Café

    Yes, we find it curious that they serve breakfast, but hey, why complain about a place that brings Houston live jazz in an upscale setting six nights a week? We've felt nothing but good vibes from the high beamed ceilings, comfortable bar and live music that spills out onto the street as we approach this fine addition to Houston's downtown… More >>
  • Best Graffiti

    Chicken Boy

    Graffito. Most people don't recognize the word, the singular form of graffiti. Even fewer recognize the vernacular term, graf. However, many a Montrose pedestrian or driver recognizes the dour face of Chicken Boy, whether they know the name or not. Wooden cutouts of the cartoony yellow-faced guy with a red cock's-comb hat keep watch from all over the neighborhood. This… More >>
  • Best New Microcinema

    Independent Exposure

    Houston has already gotten some national attention in the realm of microcinema for possessing the eccentric little converted church known as Aurora Picture Show. Another well-known outlet for independent short films, Independent Exposure, has held screenings all over the United States and across the globe. (One event was held in a gunpowder factory in Belgrade one week before the NATO… More >>
  • Best Local TV Commercials

    Soundwaves

    You're not looking for slickness when it comes to local television ads. You're also not looking for rock-bottom cheapness, with one salesman shouting maniacally into an unmoving camera. Instead, you want to revel in the "Let's put on a show!" atmosphere where it looks like the advertiser's girlfriend and beer pals have gotten together, spun out some semblance of a… More >>
  • Best New Name for a Theater Troupe

    Mildred's Umbrella

    Apparently there's a bit of a debate over how Houston's newest theater company, Mildred's Umbrella, got its odd name. Founding members Jennifer Decker and John Harvey tell the story two different ways. She says they were perusing a literature book, looking for a name that was really interesting, when they stumbled upon a poem by Gertrude Stein called "Mildred's Umbrella."… More >>
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