2014 Best Twin Cities Arts and Culture

 Best Dance Company: TU Dance

“Hikari [was] a masterful blend of choreography, raw emotions, and stunning visuals with a whisper of grace notes at the end. When it comes back around, don’t miss it.”
–Stephen Yoakam, actor

Chastity Brown Best Of the Twin Cities

Photo by TJ Turner

Best Recording Artist: Chastity Brown 

“Chastity Brown is an incredible artist who honors many musical traditions while forging a sound and style uniquely her own.”
–Peter Rothstein, Theater Latté Da artistic director

Best Arts Venue: Minneapolis Institute of Arts

“A fantastic, encyclopedic collection. If you have visited other art museums across the country, you will know how amazing their collection is and how very lucky we are to have it. And it’s always free!”
–Sheila Smith, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

Ruben Nusz Best of the Twin Cities
 Courtesy of Weinstein Gallery

Best Visual Artist: Ruben Nusz

Shulamith,  Polica
Photo by Michael Palmer

Best Music CD/Recording: Shulamith, Poliça

“Difficult second album? Nailed.” 
–Ben Heywood, Soap Factory

Detroit Jungle Theater
Photo by Michal Daniel

Best Stage Production: Detroit, Jungle Theater

“And in Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit at the Jungle Theater, we’re both in our contemporary suburbs and somewhere hazier, deeper, and ultimately both exhilarating and deeply disturbing … And that’s what burns in the memory about Detroit after it’s finished—a lurch in the heart that’s eerily like the texture of dreams, substantively like the matter of our everydays, spoken in the language of our fleeting weekends. The despair in these suburban backyards flows all beneath the surface, until it doesn’t.”
–Quinton Skinner, Minnesota Monthly

Tyler Michaels Best Actor Twin Cities
Photo by Michal Daniel

Best Musical: Cabaret, Theater Latte’ Da / Hennepin Theatre Trust

“Cabaret was, by far, the best show I’ve ever seen in the Twin Cities. From the moment Tyler Michaels dropped down from the ceiling (I mean, c’mon, someone dropped from the f’n ceiling) the show took my breath away. Peter [Rothstein] used the design elements perfectly and that stellar cast rocked the Pantages stage—AND THEY WERE ALL LOCAL! It’s a reminder to all that great theater can be and IS made here in Minnesota and that you don’t need to go to NYC to get Broadway-caliber work.”
–Jamil Jude, director

Best Actor: Tyler Michaels

Best Cultural Event: Rock the Garden

Best Minnesota Books

Best Books:

  • Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher 
  • Minneapolis Madams: The Lost History of Prostitution on the Riverfront by Penny A. Petersen
  • The Keillor Reader by Garrison Keillor
  • A Perfect Pint’s Beer Guide to the Heartland by Michael Agnew
  • The Devil and the Diva by Renee Valois

Best Live Music Venue: The Dakota

“An old-school, classic venue I’ve recently rediscovered thanks to Sound Verite’s Saturday late-night series with Shiro Dame, Zulu Zuluu, and Up Rock.”
–Tricia Khutoretsky, Public Functionary

The Clock Walker Art Center
Photo by Todd-White Photography, © Christian Marclay, Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery

Best Art Exhibition: The Clock, Walker Art Center

Sally Wingert Best Actress Twin Cities
Photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Best Actress: Sally Wingert 

“Sally Wingert is the epitome of what a master actor should be, raising the level of whatever role she inhabits. The ultimate captivating professional, she is the Twin Cities equivalent of Judi Dench crossed with Helen Mirren. What’s more, when working with junior members of the cast, she graciously inspires and respectfully mentors, which is a golden quality above and beyond the roles she plays.”  
–Tom Hoch, Hennepin Theatre Trust

Personal Faves from the Arts Community

Recording Artist Personal Fave: Charlie Parr

“Duluth’s favorite folk-song-singing son still makes regular treks down to the Twin Cities for gigs, so I’m claiming him. Parr’s latest album, Hollandale, found him stretching out on a series of improvised guitar instrumentals. It’s as honest and haunting as anything he’s ever put down for posterity.”
–Brian Beatty, poet

Cultural Event Personal Fave: T.D. Mischke’s RoadShow Podcast

“It’s so great to hear Mischke freed from the confines of commercial radio to do whatever weird stuff he can think up once a week.”
–Andy Sturdevant, writer

Live Music Venue Personal Fave: The Turf Club

“I’m excited but nervous about The Turf Club remodel, because for me going to see a show there is all about the ripped but cozy booths and taking a breather in the Clown Lounge.”
–Aleah Vinick, Minnesota Historical Society

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