The Best of Silicon Valley 2012

Best Theater and Stage

Best Theater Company

San Jose Repertory Theatre

101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose. With its big blue Cubist building, the Rep can't be missed. After a smooth transition from longtime artistic director Timothy Near to new guy Rick Lombardo, the company has scored with a well-received version of Spring Awakening and a cool stage adaptation of noir classic Double Indemnity. The Rep recently scored 22 nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle.

City Lights Theater Company 529 S. Second St., San Jose

San Jose Stage Company 490 S. First St., San Jose

Best Small Theater

Company Retro Dome

1694 Saratoga Ave., San Jose. That old stately pleasure dome, Century 25, lives again. More than a venue for giving Hollywood standards the big-screen treatment they deserve, the Retro Dome has become a successfully producer of plays, most recently Becoming Britney, a musical meditation on pop stardom.

Children's Musical Theater San Jose Performances at the Montgomery Theater, San Jose

Renegade Theatre Experiment Performances at Historic Hoover Theater, San Jose

Best Dance Company

Ballet San Jose

40 N. First St., San Jose; performances at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. A new partnership with American Ballet Theatre gives the veteran company a chance to present some major classics of the 19th and 20th-century repertory. The results are already on display in a spring season boasting several Ballet San Jose premieres.


Los Gatos Ballet

Best Comedy Venue

San Jose Improv

62 S. Second St., San Jose. Over the years, the Improv has built up a collection of favorite area comedians they call on to fill an opening slot here or there, or even headline. And the big names that come through regularly seem to like it, too, coming back for weekend-long stands every time they're on the road. All in all, there's a real neighborhood feel to the place, which is rare for the Improv comedy brand. We're big fans of Big Al's monthly Big Ass Comedy Show, too.

Rooster T. Feathers 157 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale

ComedySportz 288 S. Second St., San Jose