Best Theater Company
Photo by Rafael Guillén

Miami New Drama does the opposite of what many other theater companies do: It purposely avoids the well-known crowd favorites. While Broadway hits and other popular productions rake in ticket sales elsewhere, Miami New Drama eschews the status quo with seasons that consist of mostly new, world premiere plays and musicals. They proudly embrace their role as a smaller, hyperlocal theater company by aiming their work directly at Miamians, with stories that reflect the city's culture. The Cuban Vote, an iteration of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, premiered at the Miami New Drama's home base, the Colony Theatre in April 2022, exploring local politics. During the height of the pandemic, when many theater artists were jobless, the company produced"The 7 Deadly Sins," a series of seven commissioned short plays performed in empty Lincoln Road storefronts for limited audiences. That bold risk paid off when "Sins" won a 2021 Drama League award for Interactive or Socially Distanced Theater, placing MND on the national stage. Bravo!

Known by her fans as "La Barbie Dominicana" — or Dominican Barbie — this Miamian has become a total mainstay in TV, theater and film in Miami, the U.S., Dominican Republic and well beyond. Spanish speakers will know Wendy Regalado from the hit Nickelodeon telenovela Grachi, where she played Lucía. She's also starred as Dulce in La Suerte de Loli on Telemundo and La Fuerza de Creer 2 on Univisión. Earlier this year – and perhaps her biggest gig to-date – she wrapped filming for the new Disney+ Latino miniseries 4Ever with Latin music mega-stars CNCO. As for local theater, she's appeared in several recent Miami productions, too, spanning "Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding) at Goodlet Theatre and Performing Arts Center to Much Ado About Nothing at Trail Theater. In between all of her entertainment endeavors, she even hosts her own Wellness by Wen digital program focused on nutrition, beauty and wellness. Regalado is as dynamic as it gets and is Miami's shiniest star here in 2022.

Best Dance Company
Photo by Simon Soong

Founded in 2000 by Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini, Dance Now! Miami has become one of the city's most respected dance companies thanks to its focus on modern and contemporary dance. From traditional programs on the stage to immersive site-specific productions, Dance Now! Miami pushes forward what dance can and ought to be in the 21st Century. It prides itself in teaming up with other artists and dance companies, like its recent collaboration with the legendary Limón Dance Company. DN!M presents various series throughout the year, including Masterpiece in Motion, which honors dance's rich legacy, and New Voices, in which choreographers from across the U.S. expose Miami audiences to new trends in dance. Miami is certainly a cosmopolitan city, but it's nonetheless impressive thatsuch a forward-thinking company calls our city home.

They don't call Sin the "ass of South Florida'' for nothing. Pole dancers and burlesque performers alike are often left out of the "dancer" quota, but leave it to Sin Silva to effortlessly merge the gap. Their seductive spectacle entices audiences of all kinds with an androgynous showgirl-meets-drag aesthetic. From fire-eating to whip-cracking, Sin is modernizing and redefining the world of burlesque. Each flip, dip, and kick makes watching them feel like...a sin. Catch them Friday nights starting at 8:30 at the Outcasts Show at Georgie's Alibi Monkey Bar (2266 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors; 954-565-2526; alibi.lgbt).

Best Drag Performer
Photo by Victoria Elizabeth Black

Nicky Monet might have been born a star. Raised in Florida, she entered the entertainment industry at an early age, appearing on Nickelodeon as a backup dancer for 'Nsync. A sojourn in Los Angeles saw her become a reality-TV fixture,— appearing on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Slag Wars, Iconic Justice, and Hot Haus. Now she's come full circle: It's our luck that she can now be found performing all over town — at the Palace in South Beach, at bars in Fort Lauderdale, and at Double Stubble at Gramps in Wynwood, to name just a few. A trans model, drag queen, and burlesque artist, Monet captivates with her command of the stage — she must be seen to be believed. She's seductive and powerful, hilarious and candid. Her electric energy pulsates each and every time she takes the stage.

Best Drag Performer to Retire in the Past Year

King Femme

Best Drag Performer to Retire in the Past Year
Photo by Karli Evans

If you haven't seen King Femme live, you're missing out. (And frankly, we're concerned.) The nonbinary drag king began performing in 2017, flaunting a fierce makeup mustache, occasional lace-front wigs, and the smooth vibe of a '50s jazz bar. In short, they brought the queer, Black, androgynous representation Miami's drag scene desperately needed. From cowboy chic to leather angel, King served as a heroic symbol, especially for gender-diverse people of color. You automatically knew it was a party with King Femme on the lineup. But their drag persona was just half of the craze. King (who goes by Eli Sage Rosenberg out of drag) fundraised and donated free chest binders, publicly documented his medical transition journey, and now educates about mental health, diversity, equity, and inclusion — all in order to encourage others to embrace their authentic selves.

Best Festival
Photo by Vanessa Diaz

Poetry might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Miami's creative scenes. But the O, Miami Poetry Festival continues to challenge that stereotype with its engaging and inventive programming. Held annually with the mission that each person in Miami-Dade will encounter at least one poem during the month of April, O, Miami is a powerful lesson in nonprofit arts programming. Engineered all year long and ranging from large-scale to intimate projects, with ideas sourced from locals, the festival is a testament to community building through the arts. The festival spotlights the poetics of cinema, music, performance, art, and technology. Its dedicated and adventurous staff works tirelessly to create an event that's accessible, equitable, and inclusive. A wonderfully unique and evolving entity, O, Miami Poetry Festival remains one of the city's most imaginative and disarming festivals.

Best Music Festival
Photo by Adinayev for III Points

In today's cutthroat festival world, everything has to go perfect before making it to year two. Yet III Points has always thrived on adversity, which may be its secret sauce. The latest test, aside from COVID-19, was condensing to two days from its habitual three-day roaster. No biggie. With a restless lineup of purebred talent and a seismic crowd, the festival made up for lost time. III Points brought the Strokes back to Miami from a lengthy hiatus, wooed the crowd with Rüfüs Du Sol, and pushed the limits of one stage with Peggy Gou. Presale tickets for 2022 are on sale and they've already started teasing the lineup by announcing its first headliner: Rosalía. III Points 2022 is scheduled for Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22.

The Fillmore Miami Beach
Photo by Jason Koerner

Sixty-plus years into its Miami Beach journey, the Fillmore continues to strike the perfect balance. There's so much to love about this 2,500-ish-capacity room, which occupies a sweet spot between mega-venue and teeny-tiny club — its Art Deco allure, its South Beach proximity to post-concert shenanigans, the steady flow of big names rocking its fully equipped confines. Among those to grace its stage in recent years: Madonna, New Order, the Kid Laroi, and Death Cab for Cutie. All of which makes it nearly incomprehensible to imagine living without the place — something we're going to have to do for the next 12 months as construction commences on Miami Beach's new, 800-room Grand Hyatt Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel right next door. It's going to be a long year.

The Anderson
Photo courtesy of the Anderson

Sure, Miami has an endless supply of opulent nightclubs and no shortage of DJs, but if you're a denizen looking for a break from the tiki-tiki sounds of Miami Beach, head to the Anderson. Housed in the former Magnum Lounge, the Anderson continues its predecessor's legacy with nightly entertainment ranging from Latin jazz to reggae, rock 'n' roll, and everything in between. Once inside, you'll time-travel to an analog age courtesy of the venue's retro motif. Grab a seat underneath the glistening disco ball and indulge your ears with the sounds of some of Miami's greatest local acts.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®