Best Of 2008

Bohemian Best of Culture 2008 Readers Choice 


03.19.08

Best Art Gallery

Marin

Gallery Route One

11101 Hwy. 1, Pt. Reyes Station. 415.663.1347.

Napa

Di Rosa Preserve

5200 Carneros Hwy., Napa. 707.226.5991.

Sonoma

First Place Tie

Riverfront Art Gallery

132 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.707.775.4278.

The Quicksilver Mine Co.

6671 Front St., Forestville.707.887.0799.

Honorable Mention

A Street Gallery

312 S. A St., Santa Rosa.707.578.9124.

Best Outdoor Art Event

Marin

Sausalito Art Festival

www.sausalitoartfestival.org

Napa

Napa Wine & Crafts Faire

www.napadowntown.com

Sonoma

ARTrails

www.arttrails.org

Honorable Mention

Petaluma Art in the Park

Walnut Park at D Street, Petaluma. 707.793.2113.

Best Dance Studio

Marin

Dance Arts Studios

704 Mission Ave., San Rafael.415.459.1020.

Napa

Napa Valley Dance Center

950 Pearl St., Napa. 707.255.2701.

Sonoma

The Dance Center

56 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa.707.575.8277.

Honorable Mention

Ellington Hall

3535 Industrial Lane, Santa Rosa. 707.545.6150.

Best Ballet Company

Marin

Marin Ballet

100 Elm St., San Rafael.415.453.6705.

Napa

Napa Valley Ballet

P.O. Box 4256, Napa. 707.294.2568.

Sonoma

Petaluma City Ballet

110 Howard St., Petaluma.707.765.2660.

Honorable Mention

Sebastopol Ballet

390 Morris St., Sebastopol.707.824.8006.

Best Performing Dance Company

Marin

Marin Ballet

100 Elm St., San Rafael.415.453.6705.

Napa

Napa Valley Dance Center

950 Pearl St., Napa.707.255.2701.

Sonoma

The Dance Center

56 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa.707.575.8277.

Honorable Mention

La Fibi Flamenco

208 Hayes Ave., Petaluma. 707.762.5201.

Best Theater Troupe

Marin

Marin Theatre Company

397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.415.388.5200.

Napa

Dream Weavers

1637 Imola Ave., Napa. 707.255.5483.

Sonoma

Sixth Street Playhouse

52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa.707.523.4185.

Honorable Mention

Raven Players

734 Johnson St., Healdsburg.707.433.6335.

Best Place to Dance

Marin

Rancho Nicasio

1 Old Ranchero Road, Nicasio.415.662.2219.

Napa

Hydro Bar & Grill

1403 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga.707.942.9777.

Sonoma

Last Day Saloon

120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.707.545.2343.

Honorable Mention

Seven Ultralounge

528 Seventh St., Santa Rosa.707.528.4700.

Best Festival

Marin

Italian Street Painting Festival

999 Fifth St., Ste. 290, San Rafael.415.457.4878.

Napa

Mustard Festival

www.mustardfestival.org

Sonoma

Harmony Festival

www.harmonyfestival.com

Honorable Mention

Apple Blossom Festival

www.sebastopol.org

Best Performing Arts Center

Marin

Marin Civic Center

10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.415.421.8497.

Napa

First Place Tie

Lincoln Theater

100 California Drive, Yountville.707.944.1300.

Napa Valley Opera House

1030 Main St., Napa.707.226.7372.

Sonoma

Wells Fargo Center for the Performing Arts

50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.707.546.3600.

Honorable Mention

Spreckels Performing Arts Center

5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park.707.588.3400.


Lincoln Theater and Napa Valley Opera House: Napa's Finest

Nestled among the grounds of the Veterans Home of California with its old buildings and remote valley location, Yountville's Lincoln Theater is a thing of beauty, even before one walks in the door. Approaching the property for an evening summer show, attendees are sprinkled by late-day sun streaks that shine through the thick trees covering the driveway, and a walk from the parking lot to the theater lobby passes stucco barracks, rusted cannons and historical markers.

Once inside, a grand, curving staircase leads to the balcony section, while stratospheric ceilings and large works of art give the lobby a formal elegance. The raked hall makes for good viewing whether in the back row or in the box seats, and their hosting of select Festival del Sole events each summer brings out world-class classical performers—just a few of the reasons that you chose the Lincoln Theater in a first-place tie with the Napa Valley Opera House as the best performing arts centers in Napa County.

And what a tie it is. Whereas the Lincoln Theater holds a large audience yet manages to seem intimate, the Napa Valley Opera House holds a small audience but manages to appear sweeping and grand. The performance hall's second-floor placement makes for crowded clusters near the lobby stairs after the 10-minute light warning, but the place turns open and inviting once you get up and inside, a miracle of restoration to the old theater's original 1879 décor.

Rounded walls, wooded wainscoting and illuminated crown molding enliven the theater with classicism, and with only 500 seats, there's no feeling whatsoever of a wall between performer and audience in the miniature space. Recent headliner Rufus Wainwright said it best: "This is such a cute little opera house!" he exclaimed from the stage. "I'm imagining a cute little production of Aida, with baby elephants playing big elephants, and little midget singers!" And, yes, amid its regular bookings of theater as well as jazz, pop, folk, and classical music, the Napa Valley Opera House still does opera—look for Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Pasquale and La Boheme later this year.

Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville.707.944.1300. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. 707.226.7372. —G.M.

Best Media Personality

Marin

Gus Conde, KWMR 90.5-FM

P.O. Box 1262, Pt. Reyes Station.415.663.0905.

Napa

L. Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register

1615 Second St., Napa.707.226.3711.

Sonoma

Bill Bowker, KRSH 95.9-FM

3565 Standish Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.588.0707.

Honorable Mention

Brent Farris, KZST 100.1-FM

3392 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.707.528.4434.


Gus Conde and KWMR: Radio's sweet and savory audio pie

It's just what you'd expect from the land of cosmic hot tubs, proud liberality and stratospherically priced bungalows. Indeed, KWMR 90.5-FM community radio is everything you'd expect—and then some. As Marin County's one and only broadcast station, it serves up hot, fat slices of both the sweet and the savory: fruity, nutty, meaty and cool creamy slices of radio pie. Musically, KWMR casts an eccentric/eclectic net over programming, ranging from the deep tracks of Bach and Bartók to space jazz, bluegrass, Tibetan Monk chants, old-timey rock 'n' roll and bowhead whale whistles, those subpop genres you'd expect every sophisticated Marin west-ender to bury between his or her well-fed ears.

KWMR has a paid staff of just four, an 18-watt low-power signal, lots of accomplished dedicated volunteers and a mission to western Marin County that extends to its role as the area's sole broadcast emergency info provider.

Among the regular favorites is "Barrio Vibes," broadcast at 8:10 each Friday morning and hosted by Point Reyes National Seashore ranger and part Mayan Indian, Augusto "Gus" Conde, your pick for Best Media Personality in Marin. "Barrio Vibes" is a bilingual talkfest-cum-music-show combining Spanish tunes of the Americas as well as English and other language songs from Conde's personal collection. In addition to the music, Conde and his guests discuss issues facing the large and growing Spanish-speaking populace of western Marin.

Beyond the tunes and disasters, KWMR comes in with "West Marin Green Cuisine," lit blasts, environmental updates and intrigues, historical sketches, Commonweal school conversations, nature explorations, kitsch, a show called "The Hippie from Olema" as well as programming for Sufis, deep-sea ocean-life divers, fine-art junkies and film nuts, while featuring audio scenes from interesting places like the Cockroach Hall of Fame, as well as interviews with the obscure, the notable and such famed guests as Noam Chomsky. KWMR calls itself "Homegrown Radio for West Marin," which is to say that it's not Manhattan, Montana or Mississippi.—P.J.P.

Best Band

Marin

Til Dawn

www.myspace.com/123tildawn456

Napa

Johnny Smith Group

www.johnnysmithgroup.com

Sonoma

Pat Jordan Band

www.patjordanband.com

Honorable Mention

Pumps: Fire

www.myspace.com/pumpsfiresound

Best Music Festival

Marin

Novato Music Art & Wine Festival

www.novato.org

Napa

Mustard, Mud & Music Festival

www.calistogajazz.org

Sonoma

Harmony Festival

www.harmonyfestival.com

Honorable Mention

Russian River Blues Festival

www.russianriverfestivals.com

Best Music Venue

Marin

19 Broadway Nite Club

19 Broadway Blvd., Fairfax.415.459.1091.

Napa

First Place Tie

Outdoor Concerts at COPIA

500 First St., Napa.707.259.1600.

Napa Valley Opera House

1030 Main St., Napa.707.226.7372.

Sonoma

Mystic Theatre

23 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma.707.765.2121.

Honorable Mention

Wells Fargo Center for the Performing Arts

50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.707.546.3600.

Best Media

Napa

KVON / KVYN

1124 Foster Road, Napa. 707.258.1111.

Sonoma

KRSH 95.9-FM

3565 Standish Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.588.0707.

Best Movie Theater

Marin

Christopher Smith Rafael Film Center

1118 Fourth St., San Rafael.415.454.1222.

Napa

Cameo Cinema

1340 Main St., St. Helena.707.963.9779.

Sonoma

Rialto Cinemas Lakeside

551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa.707.525.4840.

Honorable Mention

Roxy Stadium 14 Cinemas

85 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa.707.522.0330.

Best Museum

Marin

First Place Tie

Marin History Museum

1125 B St., San Rafael.415.454.8538.

Bolinas Art Museum

48 Wharf Road, Bolinas.415.868.0330.

Napa

Di Rosa Preserve

5200 Carneros Hwy., Napa.707.226.5991.

Sonoma

Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center

2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa.707.579.4452.

Honorable Mention

Sonoma County Museum

425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa.707.579.1500.





Previous Winners

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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