Best Musical
Justin Namon

The Color Purple is a heartbreaking period piece based on a harrowing novel about the hardships African-American women faced in the early 20th Century. Audiences know it best from the 1985 film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Oprah Winfrey, but modern audiences have witnessed Alice Walker's poignant journey through a Tony Award-winning musical, which came to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in February. With a stripped-down set and minimalist lighting, the production made way for its talented cast and accompanying music themes including gospel, jazz, blues, and ragtime. It should be a nearly impossible feat to put music and dance to a gut-wrenching story like The Color Purple, but this cast pulled it off in what was truly a work of musical theater alchemy. And yet, that is the indomitable spirit of the African-American plight: suffering overcome through song. The Color Purple musical nailed it.

Best Drag Queen
Even in the world of drag, there can be pressure to conform to a certain visual standard. Miss Toto — a drag goddess by night, competitive bodybuilder by day, and marine researcher to boot — says screw all that. Miss Toto, born William Evans, towers over her subjects at drag events such as A Statute of Gender-Nonconforming Liberty. Her shoulders are huge, her biceps are thick, and if you so much as mouth off at one of the bingo nights she hosts at Gramps, Miss Toto could squish your skull like a ripe melon. But at the same time, she brings a presence, grace, and femininity to her drag performances. Sure, she looks like she could throw a javelin the length of an entire football field, but who’s to say a person that strong can’t be feminine too? But perhaps most important, the thing you realize when you see Miss Toto in action is how much darn work she puts into looking the way she does. Do you know how many hours it takes to contour your pecs and your cheekbones?

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®