Best of 417 2008—Entertainment
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.To find out how to contact each and every one of these winners, check out our Best of 417 Resource Guide
Best Comedy Show
The Skinny Improv
How the Skinny Improv has changed in 2007! Not only did founder Jeff Jenkinsâs comedy show/troupe/nonprofit cottage industry get a new and bigger theatre space on Park Central East, it also coped with the departure of the talented Nick Semar and Joe Swink. The product hasnât suffered from the shakeup: Watch the up-and-coming Tim Lee add new dimension to this family-friendly (set of) show(s). The Skinny Improv: Itâs not just for church youth groups anymore.
Runners-up: Yakov Smirnoff, Jim Stafford
Best Live Music Venue
Dick Clarkâs American Bandstand Theatre
This tailfin paradise opened in April 2006, and folks started to embrace it immediately. Artists such as Bill Medley, Paul Revere and the Raiders and Bob Anderson perform here, and the atmosphere features pristinely preserved classic cars and other memorabilia. The experience lives up to Dick Clarkâs blue-chip brand.
Runners-up: Outland Ballroom, Cartoons
Best Place for a Bike Ride
This is far from one specific place, rather, itâs a network of places. Hundreds of linear miles of the Ozark Greenways system allow residents to run, walk and especially bike in Springfield and the nearby country. Our favorite bike route on the Greenways is the Galloway trailânot a lot of hills, leisurely, except for one bit thatâs a super-straight up and down bump. âItâs not a hard ride at all, but it has a mini-adventure right in the middle,â says one of our editors.
Runners-up: Wilsonâs Creek Trail, Dogwood Canyon
Best Place to Be Seen
Central Springfield is a great place to be seen. There are different kinds of seeing: There are posh dinnertime chance-meetings with friends at Bijanâs or Gallery Bistro. Thereâs the chance to hobnob with fellow art-lovers at First Friday Art Walk or see the townâs elite at a performance at the new and revved-up Gillioz Theatre, among others. Come bar time on a weekend night, you can also see 21-year-olds hobbling down the street or the âsidewalk salesâ taking place at Jimmy Johnâs or in front of Marthaâs Vineyard.
At Branson Landing, the âlifestyle centerâ shopping district arrangement gives you that chance to wander your way along on foot without pesky cars being in the way. In the same way that Joplin and West Plains people run into each other when theyâre in Springfield, Springfield people run into each other at Branson Landing. Itâs also fun to go to restaurants such as the new White River Fish House and gaze out at Lake Taneycomo.
Runners-up: Hammons Field, Best of 417 Party
Best Branson Show
Itâs a spectacular spectacular, Branson-style. Originated by Dolly Parton, Dixie Stampede offers a four-course country dinner plus entertainment including horses, stunts and magic. Tip: If you get to the show an hour early, you can tour the stables and see the various breeds of horses.
Runners-up: Kirby VanBurch, Andy Williams and Shoji Tabuchi
Best People- and Animal-Watching
Bar Louie, Branson
In the summertime, sitting on the patio here at Branson Landing is fun enough for us. Itâs even better when you sit on the lakeside terrace just at the edge of the massive open doors to the restaurantâs interior, feeling the air-conditioning brush your back. (Insert carbon-footprint guilt here.) Then look across Lake Taneycomo up at the green hillside near Candlestick Inn. If youâre as lucky as we were one afternoon last August, you might see a peaceable kingdom of deer, birds and even a fox or two.
Best Place to get Married
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
No, itâs not in 417-land. But as the current edition of 417 Bride magazine shows, 417-landers like Susan Jackson-Falls choose it as a spot to tie the knot.
Runners-up: Elfindale, Drury University Stone Chapel
Best Place to Go Dancing
Entrepreneur Paul Sundyâs downtown dance palace definitely brings a big-city nightclub vibe to Springfield. Fun fact: Look for fashion shows at Icon, which hosts GO Magazineâs Fashion Icons event March 7.
Runners-up: Cartoons, Marthaâs Vineyard, Club 57 (Dick Clarkâs American Bandstand Theatre)
Best Place to Take a Tourist
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Thereâs a live shooting range, a buffet, gear of all kinds, a waterfall, aquarium, a boat showroom, plenty of outdoor gear of all kindsâ¦ all of it practically screaming âwelcome to the Ozarks.â If you want to put your out-of-town friends and family in touch with a part of southwest Missouriâs soul, head here first.
Runners-up: Branson Landing, Silver Dollar City
Best Girly Party (KIDS)
Ellie Berry Pie
Play dress-up at this party-space that offers young girls a chance to don sassy outfits for a photo shoot.
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