Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment
SECOND BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS Wilco at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater It was difficult to tell who was more perplexed by the size and passion of Wilco's crowd: the band's singer Jeff Tweedy or the Pompano Beach Amphitheater's security guards, who spent the early part of the evening shooing audience members away from the stage and back to their seats. Finally, with obvious bemusement, Tweedy urged his screaming fans to "come on down," Let's Make a Deal-style, and the 2500-strong crowd did just that, surging up out of their chairs and past the now-helpless half-dozen guards, creating an instant general-admission concert. Wilco has had that kind of effect on listeners these days, and based on that night's performance, it's not hard to see why the band has moved far beyond its cult following. What was once a solid alt-country outfit has grown into a purveyor of sublime pop, albeit one whose sing-along choruses are filled with paeans to clueless theologians, collapsing buildings, and guilt-laden drug deals. As for those Beatles-esque melodies, they're similarly filled with a cockeyed spirit, one apt to erupt into a speaker-shredding guitar solo that threatens to derail the entire song. Likewise, while Tweedy himself never shies from reaching for that perfect note, his voice is prone to cracking along the way, aching satisfyingly. The Wilco guys certainly remain dark-horse candidates for rock and roll stardom, but it's that very off-kilter sensibility that makes their music so memorable.
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE The Constant Wife Coconut Grove Playhouse The Playhouse's hit revival had so many fine performances, it is only fair to fully credit them all. Alicia Roper was regally serene in the title role, beautifully matched by Greg Wood as her duplicitous husband, Nancy Dussault as her wisecracking mother, and Dan Olmstead as her once and future swain. Take those delicious ingredients, stir in Ian D. Clark, Susan Wilder, Ursula Freundlich, Pilar Uribe, and Dan Schiff, and out pops one tasty soufflé of an ensemble show.
BEST ACTIVITY TO DO WHILE INTOXICATED Beer Pong Hooligan´s Pub & Oyster Bar
9555 S. Dixie Highway
www.hooliganspub.com Every Thursday night at 9:00 Hooligan's offers a chance for everyone (yes, the distaff included) to get their balls wet. On one of the Ping-Pong tables brought into the pub for this event, each contestant is required to arrange ten cups of beer (sort of like bowling pins). Opponents then get on either side and attempt to bounce a table-tennis ball into the other team's hops. Each time a player scores, the other team must drink. Because a person has to be pretty much drunk before indulging in such a game, a few misses are to be expected. This makes it even more fun, seeing as the ball will no doubt end up landing on the grimy floor a few times before plopping into its intended target. The object is to make the opposing side drink all ten cups of beer -- including any carpet lint, dust, and other fluff. Yummy.
BEST ACTOR David Kwiat Kwiat's performance as the dying oddball physicist Richard Feynman in QED (at GableStage) was in production a full year ago. Award competitions such as the Oscars often have short memories in such cases, but all these months later Kwiat's funny, touching portrait of one man's search for peace and meaning still resonates, an exceptional example of an exceptional actor's style: understated, deeply felt, and fully alive.
BEST ACTRESS Angelica Torn No doubt about it. This year's nod goes to Angelica Torn, who tore up the stage in her fierce, memorable portrait of poet Sylvia Plath in EDGE at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Torn used a deliberately off-putting, disconnected persona to portray the troubled writer. But her flat, atonal vocal delivery and disheveled demeanor masked a volcanic emotional life that erupted in brief spasms of sudden anguish. The result was indelible: frightening, sarcastic, pitiable, courageous.
BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY Bishop Victor T. Curry WMBM-AM (1490) Imagine your average radio talk show. A couple of hosts prattle on about the news, sports, and entertainment while occasionally taking calls from agitated listeners. Now imagine that wrapped in scripture and gospel music, and you'll have the wonderful Morning Glory show, which airs weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with an extra two hours added on Tuesdays. Especially when it comes to controversial subjects, it's easy to get riled (a number of callers certainly do) and say to yourself, I wish I knew more about scripture so I could actually argue with the good reverend. That's the point.
Readers´ Choice: Neil Rogers, WQAM-AM (560)