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Readers' Choice Awards

NOT TOO LONG AGO, Drew Carey asked the audience on his improv show to suggest a movie to mock--The Blair Boring Witch Project came back in a heartbeat. Our readers obviously agreed, giving the nod for the year's worst movie to the faux documentary (a.k.a. The Blare Witch Project).

For every 10 people who picked American Beauty as 1999's peak cinematic experience, one submitted American Pie (and are those two films really that far apart in their depiction of suburban sexual angst?). Two time-warp victims persisted in voting for Titanic. And we were gratified to see that at least one other medieval gore-fan actually saw The 13th Warrior and realized that it was perhaps the most perfect 14-year-old-boys fantasy every committed to film.

In the acting category, tireless Ralph Peduto edged out Shakespeare Santa Cruz's Paul Whitworth and Daniel Hughes, star of too many community theater productions to list individually. Among the radio DJs, Mistress Muff has obviously won a legion of followers for being dumped from KSCO.

Most curious of all was the realization that in Santa Cruz, the most popular art form is tattooing. How else to explain the fact that the leading art gallery was a tattoo parlor, the top three visual artists all used human skin as their canvas and the No. 1 pick for best writer was a tattoo-parlor founder (beating out novelist and sometimes Metro Santa Cruz contributor James D. Houston and Ashley Brauner, author of Love Songs of the Tone-Deaf).

Curious about winning writer Cheri Lovedog, we requested some samples. In addition to a soon-to-be-produced all-girl rock musical, she has also self-published a book of stories and a collection of disarmingly direct poetry. Our favorite is a haikuish verse titled "I Am Not a Morning Person": "One of my biggest flaws/is that/in the morning/until I've had a few cups of coffee/and smoked a few cigarettes/I have no personality." We know the feeling.


Best actor

Gold Ralph Peduto

Silver Paul Whitworth

Bronze Daniel Hughes


Best art gallery

Gold Lovedog Tattoos
1117 Soquel Ave., SC, 469.3642

Silver Many Hands
1510 Pacific Ave., SC, 429.8696

Bronze Atelier
320 Cedar St., SC, 429.9005


Best artist (visual; local)

Gold Garth of Lovedog

Silver Zack Gaylord Lovedog

Bronze Erica Davis of Papa Joe's


Best festival/community celebration

Gold First Night

Silver Capitola Art & Wine Festival

Bronze Gay Pride Day


Movie-best of 1999

Gold American Beauty

Silver Fight Club

Bronze The Sixth Sense


Movie-worst of 1999

Gold The Blair Witch Project

Silver Mystery Men

Bronze The End of the Affair


Best movie theater

Gold Nickelodeon Theatre
210 Lincoln St., SC, 426.7500

Silver Santa Cruz 9 Theatres
1405 Pacific Ave., SC, 457.3500

Bronze Rio Theatre
1205 Soquel Ave., SC, 423.2000


Best museum

Gold Museum of Art and History
705 Front St., SC, 429.1964

Silver Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History
1305 East Cliff Dr., SC, 420.6115

Bronze Surfing Museum
Lighthouse Point, SC, 420.6289


Best radio personality

Gold Johnny Simmons (local host of Morning Edition and co-host of Lost Highway , Sundays, 3-5pm, on KUSP-89FM)

Silver Mistress Muff (formerly of KSCO)

Bronze Ralph Anybody (weekdays, 7pm-midnight, on KPIG-107.5FM)


Best radio program

Gold Please Stand By (hosted by John Sandidge, Sundays, 10am-noon on KPIG-107.5FM)

Silver Daisy Hill Puppy Farm (hosted by Zack Caulden, Saturdays, noon-2pm, on KUSP-89FM)

Bronze Cousin Al's Bluegrass Show (hosted by Al Knoth, Sundays, 6-9pm, on KPIG-107.5FM)


Best radio station-AM

Gold KSCO--1080

Silver KGO--810

Bronze KTOM--1380


Best radio station-FM

Gold KPIG-107.5

Silver KUSP-88.9

Bronze KZSC--88.1


Best TV news station

Gold KSBW

Silver KION

Bronze KCBA


Best theater troupe

Gold Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Silver Um ... Gee ... Um

Bronze Scriptease


Best writer

Gold Cheri Hubert

Silver James D. Houston

Bronze Asher Brauner

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Best Food & Drink
      Reader's Choice
      Critic's Choice

Best Arts
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Best Music & Nightlife
      Reader's Choice
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Best Goods & Services
      Reader's Choice
      Critic's Choice

Best People & Places
      Reader's Choice
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Best Sports & Recreation
      Reader's Choice
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Best Write-in

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From the March 22-29, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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