2004 A&E Reader's Choices

Readers' Picks

BEST LIVE THEATER

Idaho Shakespeare Festival

This year's killer season simply reinforces Idaho Shakespeare Festival's position as the preeminent theater in Boise. The well-trained actors continue to stretch and challenge themselves, the directors continue to push the boundaries of their imaginations and the music, choreography, sets and costumes are always inspired. Plus the green shows contain some of the best silly wit around, and silly wit is something the world needs more of.

2. Boise Contemporary Theater

3. Boise Little Theater

BEST ART GALLERY

Flying M

A coffeehouse as "Best Gallery"? Yessiree. Non-traditional galleries are user-friendly, comfortable and unintimidating. Stimulate your mind with art, caffeine, conversation and Jesus action figures as you enjoy your textbook perfect latte, in-house baked goodies and an array of rotating works by local artists adorning the walls. The M is never pretentious and always inspiring as well as being home to the only Art-o-Mat in the Northwest.

2. Women of Steel

3. Basement Gallery

BEST LOCAL ARTIST

Jerry Snodgrass

Meridian native Jerry Snodgrass has traveled a steady, successful path to becoming a full-time, bona fide artist. He has worn many artistic hats in his 48 years-illustrator, cartoonist, art teacher, actor, set designer, painter and sculptor. Snodgrass is most known for his serious, historical faces-from his '60s caricatures of well-known politicians that hung in the old Michael's restaurant on Bogus Basin Road, to his new full-form sculptures about to be revealed at Brown's Gallery in November (one is a cowgirl wearing nothing but boots, hat and yellow rain slicker), Snodgrass is one prolific and accomplished dude.

2. Grant Olsen

3. (TIE) Noble Hardesty/Stephanie Wilde/Ward Hooper

BEST CULTURAL ATTRACTION OR MUSEUM

Boise Art Museum

From Egyptian treasures and Chinese artifacts to Degas sculptures to cutting-edge work by Matthew Barney and Gregory Barsamian to a permanent collection home to regional, national and global works of art, Boise Art Museum, founded in 1931, is by far the premier visual arts institution in the state. In addition to sating our need for culture, the museum also sponsors several well-loved community events: Art in the Park, Beaux Arts Holiday Sale, Beaux Arts Wine Festival and Off the Wall New and Used Art Sale.

2. Anne Frank Memorial

3. Boise River

BEST MOVIE THEATER

The Flicks

For twenty years now The Flicks has brought independent celluloid to our humble and often staid berg. Like an oasis in a cultural desert, Boiseans flock to Flicks for cerebral nourishment.

2. Edwards 21/Boise Spectrum

3. Egyptian Theatre

BEST LOCAL MUSICIAN

Rebecca Scott

Rebecca is a hometown hero, a folk-rock star that Boise audiences simply adore. Her small stature belies a powerful, passionate voice, sparkling eyes and a memorable repertoire of catchy songs you'll be singing for days. Scott has had the honor of sharing the stage with folk stars Dar Williams, Shelby Lynne and Shawn Colvin. Boise is lucky to keep her in town because whether Scott performs as a duo, trio or quartet, she captivates.

2. Doug Martsch

3. Marcus Eaton

BEST LOCAL BAND

Built to Spill

Against all odds, Boise legends Built to Spill overcame not having released an album since 2001 to be the 2004 reader's choice for best local band. Not that they spent the last year sitting on their indie-hero hands. Aside from a smattering of Northwest shows, Doug and his Martsching band also contributed a track to the Idaho Green Party's local compilation Idaho Greentracks. In case you haven't heard: they try their hand at power-balladry by way of a cover of Ozzy Osbourne's "Mr. Crowley," complete with some bitchin' Ozzman-mimicking from Sir Doug. It's a BTS completist's dream.

2. Fat John & The 3 Slims (aka John Nemeth and the Jacks, Frim Fram Four)

3. Soul Purpose

BEST LOCAL AUTHOR/WRITER

Tim Woodward

Every daily paper has its golden boy, and though the Statesman has many familiar names and faces, Tim Woodward is savored in more kitchens, coffee shops and dens than any other. His writing has hints of Dave Barry's humor but with less obscurity and fewer jokes about the Miami Dolphins. He has a way of touching the local nerve and telling stories that make us laugh and reflect. He is as much a fixture here as the Capital Building, and we hope he keeps spinning graceful yarns for years to come.

2. Bill Cope

3. Dan Popkey

BEST FIRST THURSDAY STOP

Boise Art Museum

From artist workshops, lectures and seminars to the BOSCO reception, you never know what BAM will serve up on First Thursday. We like to start there with some heavy culture before moving on to the smaller art exhibition spaces downtown and finally, the downtown bar gauntlet. One's thing is for sure, the First Friday hangover would not seem nearly as worth it without the First Thursday joys provided by BAM.

2. Red Feather Lounge

3. (TIE) Bardenay/Chocolat Bar

BEST PLACE TO GAMBLE

Jackpot, Nevada

Just a three-hour hop to Jackpot, Boiseans prefer Cactus Pete's and Barton's 66 to the alley behind 5th and Main (which did receive quite a few votes). We prefer to make reservations on the Cactus Pete's bus, for what better way to prepare to shoot your wad than to drink all the way down and sleep on the way back?

2. Vegas

3. Idaho Lottery

BEST VENUE TO SEE A BAND

Big Easy

The Big Easy is more than a concert house to Boise audiences; it's like an end-all performance supermarket. Where else in this town can one see legendary rockers (Alice Cooper), stellar reunion tours (X), a picture of Gloria Steinem in a bunny suit (Playboy's 50th Anniversary Tour), 1000 women singing in unison (Ani Difranco), a random audience member drinking a cup of celebrity urine (Steve-O's Don't Try This at Home Tour) and a bunch of local pugilists locked inside a steel octagon all within the same year? Don't even try to answer.

2. Idaho Center

3. Egyptian

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