Art and entertainment celebrity picks for Best Of Indy

Editor's Pick

Every year we let you — the NUVO readers — pick your favorite things around Indy. This year we also wanted to ask some of the bigger names in arts and entertainment for their Best of Indy votes. John Green won Best Local Author, the Phoenix took a runner-up spot for Best Local Live Theatre, Krzysztof Urbanski (right)and the ISO won Best Local Performing Arts group (David Hochoy and Dance Kaladescope were runners-up). Melissa Smith and the Naptown Roller Girls took home Best Local Amateur or Collegiate Sports Team. Charles Venable and the IMA were runners-up for Best Local Museum and won Best Local Park. Dave Lawrence and the arts counsel can be traced as a point of origin for a huge chunk of our arts winners over the years.


John Green

Best local author

Favorite spot for dinner in Indy?


Where do you take someone to show off Indy if they aren't from here?

100 Acres at the IMA

Favorite yearly event?

Bicycling down to The Indy 500 (and to a lesser extent the race itself!)


Melissa Smith

Head of the Naptown Roller Derby training committee and Tornado Siren Skater

Favorite spot for a quick bite?

I would probably say Red Lion Grog House.

Favorite local craft beer?

Sun King, love me some Sun King. I like their Wee Mac and Osiris.

Best local doctor's office to go get repaired after a rough match?

I would say Ortho Indy


Krzysztof Urbanski

Music director of the ISO

Favorite spot for a cocktail?

When I go out, it is to dine. I like going to Fogo de Chao or Capital Grille for a late dinner after a performance. Indianapolis is a great place to have steaks — grill houses downtown are my favorite.

What artist(s) or arts group in Indy do you admire most right now (besides the ISO)?

I believe David Hochoy and the dancers at Dance Kaleidoscope are doing amazing work.

Where is the best view of downtown?

When Joanna and I enter the city, after being abroad for some time, we love driving down the highway and seeing downtown from far away. Seeing that downtown view feels like coming home. And I must say, after attending my first Colts game inside Lucas Oil Stadium last year, that view is pretty spectacular too. 


David Hochoy

Artistic director of Dance Kaleidoscope

Best spot to take a date?

I think it depends on the date ... I would probably take them to Tinker Street — that new place that's open that's really fantastic. Or I would take them to the Symphony and we would go to Adobo — another one of my favorites, to go to Adobo first then go to they symphony. Adobo has incredible margaritas. They make a margarita from scratch, it's just lime juice and tequila, Grand Marne. Fantastic. They also have the best guacamole in town too. They make it right at your table. So the next time you go to the symphony ... go to Adobo and have guacamole and margaritas and you will be very happy for the symphony.

Best venue for a concert?

Well it probably is Circle Theatre, it's so beautiful.

Favorite restaurant?

My favorite restaurant, believe it or not, is La Parada. I don't know if you have ever been there, but it's this little Mexican place on New York Street and State Avenue, it's pretty far east. They have the most incredible tamales, and it's so reasonable. You can get out for $15.


Dave Lawrence

President of the Arts Council of Indianapolis

What is your favorite outdoor spot in Indy?

Probably along the Canal. I take my dog down there and we go for a walk. Either that or along the Monon if it's nice out. Those are great spots to go for a walk, people watch and just soak up Indianapolis.

Favorite sports team?

Indianapolis Colts. I am a season ticket holder. And I love Lucas Oil Stadium, I love the excitement. It's a great afternoon or evening.

How do you feel about this upcoming season?

I am cautiously hopeful.

Instead of asking your favorite existing local gallery, if you could make any space around town into a gallery what would it be?

Oh, that's a good question. Well I would probably say the Coca Cola bottling plant that I know that they are talking about accepting bids on. How cool would that be? Either a performing arts space or gallery space or studio space for artists. I think that would be great. Perfect location too that close to Mass Ave.

*We also asked Dave what he would be doing if he wasn't in the arts. He said designing roller coasters. His hobby is traveling the world to ride new ones. His current count is just under 600.


Bryan Fonseca

Producing director of The Phoenix Theatre

Favorite local musician?

I love Tim Brickley. and at the Jazz Kitchen on his Troubadour nights. He is fun, smart the arrangements are always clever. He is my favorite Troubadour.

Best 2D artist in Indy?

That's a tough one. Kyle Ragsdale. Orlando Paelz and lately the papel picado artist, Beatriz ... She did the backdrops for La Casa Azul. I really like her work.

Where do you get your coffee fix?

I have coffee with breakfast but then would go very close to the places near the The Phoenix ... the staff and I alternate between Henry's and Yogulatte in the morning.


Charles Venable

CEO of the IMA

Favorite radio station?


Favorite theater production that you have seen in Indy?

Red by John Logan at the IRT

Where do you go shopping in town for home decor or artisanal items?

Form & Function and Solomon & Paris Antiques.

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