Best Arts & Entertainment in Boston 2012

Arts

2012 Best Curator

The Peabody Essex, the Gardner, and the MFA may have all raised unprecedented funds lately, but this year tireless MassArt curator Lisa Tung proved you don’t need a massive budget...

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Arts

2012 Best Education, Arts

Known for turning out the area’s finest photographers, NESOP also offers workshop classes that allow budding shutterbugs to get top training behind the lens. Once students pass the basic digital-camera...

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Bars

2012 Best Bar, Upscale

Enjoy hosting your friends in your über-cool city apartment while mixing up painstakingly hand-swizzled drinks? Going to the Hawthorne is a lot like that, with a built-in cleanup crew and...

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Bars

2012 Best Dive Bar

(IN MEMORIAM) This place was notorious for many reasons: dirty floors; a weird sign hanging from the ceiling advertising an “Oxycontin shot”; the fun-house women’s room (don’t ask); and the...

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Bars

2012 Best Dive Bar

(IN MEMORIAM) This place was notorious for many reasons: dirty floors; a weird sign hanging from the ceiling advertising an “Oxycontin shot”; the fun-house women’s room (don’t ask); and the...

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Bars

2012 Best Sports Bar

It’s time to change up your sports-bar rotation. Head to the Phoenix Landing, where soccer—er, football—is almost always on the telly. This pub is Boston’s official Liverpool FC clubhouse (the...

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Bars

2012 Best Irish Pub

Plenty of the Irish pubs around here are just poseurs where jersey-clad dudes bro out with a bottle of Bud. For the real deal, it’s James’s Gate, a warm place...

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Bars

2012 Best Hotel Bar

Perhaps because of its proximity to turndown service and plush robes, the luxury hotel bar is expected to be both swish and discreet. This formula is executed just so at...

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Bars

2012 Best Pickup Bar

When you’re looking for someone to pick up what you’re puttin’ down, try the Ames hotel’s saloon, where a glass-topped bar and stainless steel accents lend an upscale gloss to...

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Entertainment

2012 Best Pool Hall

Where Felt, Kings, and Jillian’s feel more like Chuck E. Cheese’s, Flat Top Johnny’s is a classic pool hall, a place with great beer on tap (courtesy of the adjacent...

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Entertainment

2012 Best Karaoke

We like our karaoke with a side of characters, and this J.P. pub packs ’em in on Saturday nights: a James Spader doppelganger crooning the Temptations’ “Get Ready,” a gaggle...

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Entertainment

2012 Best Reading Series

Plenty of book stores host signings, but for a truly enlightening author event, two venues always vie for our top spot: the Brookline Booksmith and the Harvard Book Store. Both...

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Entertainment

2012 Best Author

This year, Boston’s literary world hit the jackpot with national success stories in local writers Erin Morgenstern and Jack Gantos. Morgenstern’s fantastical debut novel about dueling magicians, The Night Circus,...

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Entertainment

2012 Best Comedy Club

Located in the somewhat seedy attic of the Hong Kong, a Chinese restaurant, this Harvard Square club is deliciously low-tech. Yet it continues to be a pipeline to Hollywood for...

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Music

2012 Best Jazz Bar, No Frills

The South End has risen and fallen as Boston’s jazz center, but 65 years after Joseph Walcott originally opened Wally’s, the place still grooves. Every evening of the year, the...

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Music

2012 Best Music Venue, Small

Like its predecessor, Harper’s Ferry, Brighton Music Hall is essentially a dive bar with a big stage and cheap drinks—the perfect venue for indie headliners. The 340-person space draws remarkably...

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Music

2012 Best Music Venue, Large

It’s hard to beat a concert by the water, and this venue, within walking distance of the Seaport District restaurants, also comes with skyline views. Most important, though, is the...

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Music

2012 Best Jazz Club, Casual

The South End has risen and fallen as Boston’s jazz center, but 65 years after Joseph Walcott originally opened Wally’s, the place still grooves. Every evening of the year, the...

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Theater

2012 Best Actor

The Huntington Theatre Company had a lot to crow about with this spring’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which marked the company’s completion of all 10 plays in August...

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Theater

2012 Best Actress

A veteran of Boston’s theater scene, Steinbach exhibits astonishing versatility—and this year was one of her best yet. As a founding member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, she played not...

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Theater

2012 Best Cinema, Indie

The mission of an indie theater should be to keep cinema exciting, surprising, and fresh. The Coolidge does this better than anyone, with its constantly changing lineups, film festivals, and...

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Theater

2012 Best Theater, Children's

The BCT ran classics like The Velveteen Rabbit this season, but we give the theater company a standing ovation for producing the world premiere of executive artistic director Burgess Clark’s...

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