Best Arts & Entertainment in Boston 2011

Arts

2011 Best Performance, Dance

This 25-year-old company is the antithesis of stuffy, overpolished dance—and its venue, the minuscule Sanctuary Theatre inside the Old Cambridge Baptist Church, provides an almost religious experience. The seats are...

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Arts

2011 Best Consultant, Art

Lee—a collector herself—is something of a matchmaker, pairing great pieces with the right clients. She’s on first-name terms with top local galleries and artists, but will happily hit the road...

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Arts

2011 Best Art Gallery

Buckminster Fuller architectural prints. Richard Serra silkscreens. Works by Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, Tara Donovan, and Ellsworth Kelly. Over the past 12 months, all have graced Barbara Krakow’s stark white...

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Arts

2011 Best Art Gallery, Photography

Since 1980, owner Robert Klein has been quietly amassing fine-art photography and selling to major collectors. He carries work by the likes of Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston,...

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Arts

2011 Best Curator

Thanks to this easygoing contemporary-art curator, the Gardner has maintained one of the most vibrant artist-in-residence programs in the U.S. No doubt Cavalchini’s close relationship with director Anne Hawley has...

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Arts

2011 Best Art Dealer

Lee—a collector herself—is something of a matchmaker, pairing great pieces with the right clients. She’s on first-name terms with top local galleries and artists, but will happily hit the road...

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Bars

2011 Best Dive Bar

There’s something refreshing about TC’s after a Sox game, if you think of its griminess as a filter that keeps the pink hats out and lets the real fans in....

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Bars

2011 Best Cocktail, Classic

Like an antique wing chair done up in a sharp new print, Citizen’s spin on the Manhattan hews to tradition while freshening things up. The cocktail starts with the classic...

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Bars

2011 Best Sports Bar

Back during the NCAA basketball tournament, we spent an afternoon at the Remy’s near Fenway. It almost broke our head. It wasn’t just that there were a zillion TVs, but...

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Bars

2011 Best Lounge

A lounge used to be a place where you could mingle with strangers and tie one on at any time of day. Now it’s usually just home to overdressed scenesters...

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Bars

2011 Best Irish Pub

Far too many of our Irish pubs cater to students, putting flat-screens on the walls and wings on the menu. Suddenly you’re not in a pub at all, but some...

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Bars

2011 Best Hotel Bar

Some hotel bars are trendy watering holes with rooms upstairs; others are mediocre places for conventiongoers to pickle themselves. The Oak Bar is another species entirely: an escape that’s equal...

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Bars

2011 Best Bar, Upscale

From behind a bar devoid of the usual parade of bottles, some of the city’s most acclaimed barkeeps mix and measure with scientific precision, pulling esoteric liquors, cocktail-specific utensils, tiny...

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Bars

2011 Best Bar Food, Specialty

The brave-hearted folks at this all-Scottish pub have liberated us from boring Anglo bar snacks. We’ve fallen hard for the tantalizing sausage-wrapped hard-boiled eggs and finnan haddie croquettes. Chasing it...

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Bars

2011 Best Bar Food, Upscale

Few food-world darlings have gotten more love of late than chef Tony Maws; everyone from Martha Stewart to James Beard has gushed. But for all the highfalutin accolades Maws has...

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Bars

2011 Best Beer Bar

With 112 drafts and 380 total beers to choose from, this just ain’t much of a competition. Sure, other places offer great lists: The Publick House has a slate of...

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Bars

2011 Best Beer, Locally Made

Talk about microbrewing: This Somerville-based enterprise was founded by husband-and-wife team Dann and Martha Paquette, and now employs all of four people to meet an ever-growing demand. Pretty Things’ masterful...

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Bars

2011 Best Cocktail, Cool

A string of too many unfortunately flavored concoctions had put us off anything other than the classics…and then we met the Rita Moreno. A sexy southwestern cousin of the cosmo,...

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Entertainment

2011 Best Comedy Club

A dim attic in a Chinese restaurant may not shout “big laughs inside,” but the Comedy Studio consistently delivers them. The room’s long communal tables—and an audience lubricated with potent...

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Entertainment

2011 Best Gay Club

The best gay club in town? Whichever “straight” bar (their words) this grassroots group decides to take over, flash-mob style. Unlikely past locales have included Tommy Doyle’s, An Tua Nua…even...

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Entertainment

2011 Best Pool Hall

What makes for a good pool hall? High-quality tables and first-rate equipment, of course; a decent-size crowd (is there anything more depressing than an empty pool hall?) without a massive...

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Entertainment

2011 Best Bike Path

Built on an abandoned rail line, this flat, winding path running between Cambridge and Bedford is wide enough, long enough, and popular enough that it seems less like a track...

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Entertainment

2011 Best Karaoke

They haven’t upped their prices a penny since opening 13 years ago. Fees may be retro, but the song library stays current with Lady Gaga and other hit-listers, while the...

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Entertainment

2011 Best Author

Released this winter, Dubus’s Townie was a rarity: a Bay State memoir entirely lacking in Oirish flavah and Whitey Bulger references. Instead, Dubus chronicled his days growing up in the...

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Music

2011 Best Jazz Club

With a hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, raw jazz, and bartenders who bust ass, Wally’s is an institution unto itself. A conglomerate of Berklee students, longtime barflies, and twentysomethings keep the narrow bar...

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Music

2011 Best Jazz Club, Upscale

Jazz in its live form requires a venue that does it justice. With a slew of world-class acts ranging from timbale guru Eguie Castrillo to prog-funk trio Garage à Trois,...

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Music

2011 Best Band

Okay, a crushingly obvious choice. But consider that the Dropkick Murphys were able to get Bruce Springsteen on their first new studio album in four years—a kickass, heartfelt record that...

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Music

2011 Best Club for Live Music, Small

With so many excellent options—Great Scott, the Lizard Lounge, Middlesex—identifying the city’s best live-music venue isn’t easy. But T. T.’s tops our list thanks to the variety of acts (local...

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Music

2011 Best Music, New Arist

With an unadulterated sound and a timeless, gamine look, Aly Spaltro, a.k.a. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, upstages every testosterone-fueled act in Boston. Her voice is light yet certain, as are...

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Nightlife

2011 Best Dance Club

The Middlesex proves that a night out dancing needn’t devolve into bachelorette-party debauchery. There ;will be a line—but with music ranging from old-school hip-hop to funk to electronica, and a...

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Theater

2011 Best Theater

The A.R.T. has added major buzz to its stages, from Amanda Palmer’s work in Cabaret to a punk musical about Prometheus. Artistic director Diane Paulus has displayed the clout to...

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Theater

2011 Best Actor

Few actors have made such an impact in one season as Davenport did from 2010 to 2011, and he did so by playing a trio of distinctly different fathers: In...

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Theater

2011 Best Actress

Gottlieb is an actress and a scholar at Brandeis’s Women’s Studies Research Center. Her disparate talents dovetailed in uproarious fashion last fall, when she performed in the SpeakEasy Stage Company’s...

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Theater

2011 Best Cinema, National

We don’t expect too much from big cinema chains—just Jujube-free upholstery and a “no zombies” hiring policy. Generally speaking, moviegoers here are upstanding citizens who bus their own seats after...

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Theater

2011 Best Theater, Production

Master puppeteer Basil Twist’s adaptation of Stravinsky’s ballet about a tragic love triangle among a clown, a ballerina, and a Moor managed to convey humanity and grace in the movement...

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