Arts & Entertainment

Readers’ choice

Best kids’ entertainment

Fairytale Town
3901 Land Park Drive, (916) 264-5233,

2. Sacramento Zoo
3930 West Land Park Drive, (916) 264-5888,

Best karaoke

Pine Cove Tavern
502 29th Street, (916) 446-3624,

2. Hamburger Mary’s
1630 J Street, (916) 441-4340,

Best museum

Crocker Art Museum
216 O Street, (916) 264-5423,

2. California State Railroad Museum
111 I Street, (916) 445-6645,

Best art gallery

Toyroom Gallery
907 K Street, (916) 446-1400,

2. 20th Street Art Gallery
911 20th Street, (916) 930-0500,

Best visual artist

Gayle Rappaport-Weiland

2. Skinner

Best local musician Jackie Greene

2. Scott West

Best local band

Sex On Sunday

2. Abandon Theory


This troupe is world-class but homegrown

One Second Saturday, near the Infusion coffeehouse, on a warm and balmy night, we happened upon Unmata, an amazing belly-dance troupe. We are used to seeing incredible street performances in world-class cities, but this was a world-class performance and troupe in our own hometown. They are impeccably trained, they cross cultures and genres of dance, they improvise, and there was a mesmerizing gender-bending performance as well. We learned later from their Web site just how many honors they’ve received, and we weren’t surprised to learn that they’ll be at Burning Man this year. We love them.

—Phillip G.


Best comedy club

Punch Line
2100 Arden Way, Suite 225; (916) 925-5500;

2. Laughs Unlimited
1207 Front Street, (916) 446-8128,

Best local actress

Amber Kloss

2. Stephanie Gularte

Best local actor

Jason Bortz

2. Jonathan Rhys Williams

Best local theater company

B Street Theatre
2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300,

2. Capital Stage
1000 Front Street, (916) 995-5464,

Best bar

2708 J Street, (916) 441-4693,

2. Torch Club
904 15th Street, (916) 443-2797,

Best neighborhood bar

<b>Bonn Lair </b><br>Traditional British pubs inherently feel neighborly, and the Bonn Lair is no different. With its wooden booths; steel darts; pub foods, like Cornish pasties; and wide variety of brews, including hard-to-find lambics, the Bonn Lair is a natural spot for East Sacramentans to congregate for chats about politics, say, or Vespas, and to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or a favorite team’s World Cup triumphs.

Photo By Larry Dalton

Bonn Lair
3651 J Street, (916) 455-7155

Golden Bear
2326 K Street, (916) 441-2242

2. Shakers Pub
5940 Sperry Drive in Citrus Heights, (916) 863-7465,

Best sports bar

Mandango’s Sports Bar & Grill
various locations,

2. Players Sports Pub & Grill
4060 Sunrise Boulevard in Fair Oaks, (916) 967-8492; 9729 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Fair Oaks, (916) 967-8492;

Best dive bar

Pine Cove Tavern
502 29th Street, (916) 446-3624,

2. Flame Club
2130 16th Street, (916) 442-9622

Best gay bar

2000 K Street, (916) 448-7798,

2. The Depot
2001 K Street, (916) 441-6823,

Best dance club

2000 K Street, (916) 448-7798,

2. The Ballroom of Sacramento
6009 Folsom Boulevard, (916) 737-7929,


Portrait of the artist

To Gayle Rappaport-Weiland: I never thought I could even draw a “stick-man.” I signed up for your beginners class, and at the end of that one session I felt so encouraged. I actually produced something beautiful, thanks to your persistence of faith and sharing your knowledge with all who come to you. I love you!

—Yvonne Hinrichs


Best club DJ

Linda Infante at The Ballroom of Sacramento
6009 Folsom Boulevard, (916) 737-7929,

2. Shaun Slaughter at Club Lipstick and Vicious inside Old Ironsides
1901 10th Street,

Best live-music venue

Old Ironsides
1901 Tenth Street, (916) 443-9751,

2. Harlow’s
2708 J Street, (916) 441-4693,

Best place to see a concert

Sleep Train Amphitheatre
2677 Forty Mile Road in Marysville, (530) 743-5200,

2. Memorial Auditorium
1515 J Street, (916) 264-5181,

Best place to hear loud music

Old Ironsides
1901 Tenth Street, (916) 443-9751,

2. Blue Lamp
1400 Alhambra Boulevard, (916) 455-3400,

Best place to hear quiet music

Java Cafe and Brew Pub
11755 Fair Oaks Boulevard, (916) 961-2739

2. Fox & Goose Public House
1001 R Street, (916) 443-8825,


Having a ball at The Ballroom

To dancing friends at The Ballroom of Sacramento: Loving you for all the joy you bring, for dancing and friendship. This is a great place to be!

—Tina MacGregor


Best place for a ladies’ night out

2000 K Street, (916) 448-7798,

2. Club 21
1119 21st Street, (916) 443-1537,

Best place for a men’s night out

Brew It Up!
801 14th Street, (916) 441-3000,

2. Folsom Lake Bowl Sports Bar & Casino
511 East Bidwell Street in Folsom, (916) 983-4411,


Eight days a week, he loves you

Dear Depot, I love you up, dirty, with extra olives; you are the martini of my soul, chilling me down on hot Sacramento weekend nights and warming me up on free-pool Mondays. Your bartenders are like Vox on the rocks, and your bar backs rock my socks. Trivia Wednesdays aren’t better in Manhattan ‘cause only with you can a guy answer questions about childhood board games, Madonna, scrambled world capitals, Queer As Folk, cocktails and Smurfs. You will always be my No. 1, so next Tuesday let’s make a date.

Always (drunk),


Best open-mic: music

Old Ironsides
1901 Tenth Street, (916) 443-9751,

2. Fox & Goose Public House
1001 R Street, (916) 443-8825,

Best open-mic: poetry

Luna’s Café & Juice Bar
1414 16th Street, (916) 441-3931,

2. Capitol Garage
1500 K Street, (916) 444-3633,

Best venue for underage kids

<b>Java Cafe and Brew Pub</b> <br>Some customers of Java Cafe and Brew Pub, a self-described “European-style cafe,” go for the sandwiches, wine, beer and coffee. Others love the Sunday-night open-mics and weeknight songwriters’ events. But the best reason to visit the coffee shop/brew pub may be that all its various shows, acoustic and electric, are open to all ages—a very rare thing in Sacramento.

Photo By Larry Dalton

Java Cafe and Brew Pub
11755 Fair Oaks Boulevard, (916) 961-2739

2. Club Retro
6521 Hazel Avenue in Orangevale, (916) 988-6606,

2. Rage
1890 Arden Way, (916) 929-0232,

2. The Boardwalk
9426 Greenback Lane in Orangevale, (916) 988-9247,

Best Second Saturday destination

20th Street Art Gallery
911 20th Street, (916) 930-0500,

2. Fools Foundation
1025 19th Street, Suite 0; (916) 446-4221;

Best place to take your date

Old Sacramento

2. The river

Best self-produced CD

Sex On Sunday by Sex On Sunday

2. Pick Up Your Feet by Pets

Best local filmmaker

Erin Kruger,

2. Bob Moricz

Best local book author

Bill Pieper

Suzanne Brooks

Best movie theater

Crest Theatre
1013 K Street, (916) 44-CREST,

2. Tower Theatre
2508 Land Park Drive, (916) 442-4700,

Best film festival

<b>Sacramento Film & Music Festival </b><br>This is the local event that puts Sacramento filmmakers in the spotlight. The Sacramento Film & Music Festival has evolved substantially since it began in 1999. Edgy, full of young filmmakers and special programs like 10 x 10, in which filmmakers are given 10 days to make a 10-minute film, the whole event is infused with Sacramento’s eclectic, artistic and sometimes hilarious voice.

Sacramento Film & Music Festival

2. Sacramento French Film Festival

Best casino

Thunder Valley Casino
1200 Athens Avenue in Lincoln, (916) 408-7777,

2. Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel
12222 New York Ranch Road in Jackson, (800) 822-WINN,





Hip, chic and out of control

My favorite still-unpretentious thing about Sacramento is Silk Bar and Café. It offers the best in house/techno/drum and bass etc. with an eclectic underground following. Some of the hippest, chicest and best-dressed Sacramento people (who aren’t candy ravers by far) come here. And the bartenders are hot and friendly!

—Rebecca Gonzales

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A stomping good time

Midtown Stomp is such a great place to go! I love that people come from all sorts of backgrounds to dance, sweat and enjoy each other’s company—without the necessity for alcohol! Great music, great activity and great people.

—Midtown Stomp volunteer Rachael Eisner

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We’re humble without cause

When I moved to New York after five years as an adult in my hometown of Sacramento, I expected to be wowed by the people and places—the arts, the theater, the intelligence, etc. But what I found was that the Sacramento counterpart was the same or better. I’d see a photo exhibit and realize that the folks at The Darkroom produced better stuff. I produced a theater show in New York, constantly thinking the entire time how much easier it is to do similar work in Sacramento. (Ditto for producing indie film.) I’d talk to political and policy types back East (D.C. and New York) and realize that, despite all the jokes about California politics and state workers, California and Sacramento are way ahead of the folks who supposedly drive the nation. Sacramento’s humility is a double-edged sword: The city is a nice place to live in part due to its humbleness and, with a little confidence, can realize it’s as “good” as the so-called big players.

—Mary Beth Barber