ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Best Drag Show
Trannyshack, San Francisco's infamous drag performance nightclub, shocked and delighted packed audiences every Tuesday night at midnight for over 12 years. It now is more of a random party with no set schedule. Next up is a Madonna tribute night in May at the DNA Lounge.
Best Live Music Venue
The Warfield has been a San Francisco institution for 86 years. Opened on May 13, 1922, it was built by showman and theater chain owner Marcus Loew, who named the showplace after his old friend David Warfield, a native San Franciscan who began as an usher and grew to be one of the greatest silent film actors of his time. Over the years, numerous acts have taken to the stage, from Bob Dylan to Prince to Adele. Upcoming shows include Alesso (April 5) and Knife Party (April 12).
The Warfield, 982 Market Street, San Francisco. http://www.thewarfieldtheatre.com.
Best Theater Group
The American Conservatory Theater has a long and distinguished history. The company was founded by William Bell in 1965 and opened its San Francisco season at the Geary Theater in 1967. In the 1970s, ACT solidified its national and international reputation, winning a Tony Award for outstanding performance and training in 1979.
Today, ACT is recognized for its groundbreaking productions of classical works and bold explorations of contemporary playwriting. Its longtime artistic director is Carey Perloff. It will host the world premiere of Stuck Elevator April 4-28. Perloff will direct Tom Stoppard's Arcadia in May.
American Conservatory Theater, Box Office 405 Geary Street, San Francisco, (415) 749-2228. www.act-sf.org.
Best Movie Theater
The Castro's very own art deco movie palace wins this award for the third consecutive year. Nothing says classic movie like a classic movie house. Film premieres, special shows, and sing-a-longs are just some of the magic you will find at this theater in the heart of the gayborhood. It is well-known for its diverse programming and is one of the venues for the Frameline Film Festival in June. It also plays host to several other film festivals throughout the year.
A registered landmark with the city of San Francisco, the Castro Theatre was built in 1922 and is currently owned by the Nasser family.Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco, (415) 621-6129. www.castrotheatre.com.
a Bay Area favorite.
de Young Museum
The de Young is a winner for the second time in this category. And while the museum, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, has made headlines recently over its leadership issues, the jewel in Golden Gate Park is as popular as ever. (FAMSF just announced the hiring of director Colin B. Bailey.) Currently, the acclaimed Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis exhibition is drawing crowds and will be on display through June 2.
The new de Young, designed by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog and de Meuron, opened in 2005. The museum showcases American art from the 17th through 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles, and costumes and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.
de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, (415) 750-3600. http://deyoung.famsf.org.
(Photo: Courtesy SF Ballet)
Best Dance Company
San Francisco Ballet
The oldest professional ballet company in America, the San Francisco Ballet has emerged as a world-class arts organization since its founding as the San Francisco Opera Ballet in 1933. Helgi Tomasson's arrival as artistic director in July 1985 marked the beginning of a new era for the company. The ballet has staged new productions of the classic holiday favorite, Nutcracker, and next month will showcase the U.S. premiere of Cinderella.
Upcoming programs include Raymonda Act III, Ibsen's House, and Symphonic Dances (April 9-20) and Criss-Cross, Francesca da Rimini, and Symphony in Three Movements (April 11-21).
San Francisco Ballet, 455 Franklin Street, San Francisco, (415) 865-2000. http://www.sfballet.org.