Updated 

Arts & Entertainment: 2014 Best of Las Vegas results


ADULT SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

‘ABSINTHE’

Caesars Palace

3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Isn’t it funny how we label as “adult” things, such as porn, that are actually pretty juvenile? That includes “Absinthe,” which plays like a low-rent Cirque du Soleil (and as such, a parody of Cirque) with enough lowbrow, raunchy humor to charm readers when it comes to this particular niche of the Strip. The runner-up is “Men of Sapphire,” a more traditional example of a Las Vegas adult show.

Our Pick:

‘ABSINTHE’

We agree that you can’t get much more lowdown funny than Penny Pibbets’ puppet show here. Just one example of how “Absinthe” is more sophisticated than it lets on: The topless burlesque star, Melody Sweets, is a good singer who writes her own songs.

AMUSEMENT RIDE

Readers’ Pick:

EXOTICS RACING AT LAS VEGS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

6925 Speedway Blvd.

Face it, your Prius couldn’t burn rubber if you drove it through the depths of Hades — otherwise known in these parts as the Spaghetti Bowl. And that’s OK, because you make up for your ride’s painful shortcomings at Exotics Racing, where you can get behind the wheel of a number of incredible sports cars that are a speed lover’s dream and a traffic officer’s nightmare. There are Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins, McLarens and more to choose from. And, best of all, you never have to worry about seeing a police cruiser’s flashing dome lights in the rearview mirror. Runner-up: The Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York.

Our Pick:

SKY COMBAT ACE

1420 Jet Stream Drive, Suite 100, Henderson

Finally, here’s your chance to live out all your “Top Gun” fantasies, but without your best buddy dying horrifically in an unfortunate jet fighter accident or Val Kilmer getting all up in your business in a locker room. At Sky Combat Ace, you can actually fly a plane, engage in dogfights like Maverick versus those nasty Ruskies or take flight for scenic views of the Hoover Dam and the greater Vegas area. OK, now that we’re all in the “Top Gun” spirit, let’s get our chests oiled for some shirtless volleyball, stat!

ARCADE

Readers’ Pick:

PINBALL HALL OF FAME

1610 E. Tropicana Ave.

Runner-up: Circus Circus

Our Pick:

INSERT COIN(S)

512 Fremont St.

ART GALLERY

Readers’ Pick:

BELLAGIO GALLERY OF FINE ART

3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South

There are so many breathtaking works of art on display at the Bellagio, from the majestic fountains out front to the eye-popping Dale Chihuly glass sculptures in the lobby to our enrapturing reflection in the bathroom mirror whenever we visit the property. But tops among them all may be the Bellagio’s fine art gallery, where masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Claude Monet and more have been displayed in the past and which now houses a collection of paintings from female greats such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, Mary Cassatt and more. All that’s missing is a portrait of yours truly. Runner-up: Artifact.

Our Pick:

TRIFECTA GALLERY

107 E. Charleston Blvd., No. 135

If the Art Factory is the heart of the downtown 18b Arts District, the Trifecta Gallery is its main artery. In the past decade, Trifecta has gone from a 250-square-foot studio space to a gallery five times that size, now in the front of the building. Showcasing both established and emerging artists in its two rooms, Trifecta is a First Friday staple, perpetually redefining itself like the city it calls home.

BACHELOR PARTY

Readers’ Pick:

SAPPHIRE

3025 S. Industrial Road

Runner-up: Exotics Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Our Pick:

SPEARMINT RHINO

3340 S. Highland Drive

BACHELORETTE PARTY

Readers’ Pick:

STRIPPER 101

3663 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Runner-up: “Men of Sapphire”

Our Pick:

SHe LAS VEGAS

3720 Las Vegas Blvd. South

BARGAIN SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

Marc Savard

V Theater

Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort

3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South

It costs about $40 for an entry-level ticket to this comic hypnotist, which readers found to be a good deal even if they didn’t get called to the stage to take on a belt turned into a serpent. Maybe the real bargain here is the sex. For the hypnotized, the congress with blow-up dolls is a lot cheaper than the things many a Las Vegas visitor pays for. Not sure what the bargain is about runners-up Donny and Marie Osmond, unless you consider them so wonderful $104 is only half of what you’re willing to pay.

Our Pick:

JEFF CIVILLICO

The Quad

3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South

As with many a show, particularly in the afternoon, paying the face-value $38.50 for comic juggler Civillico is a worst-case scenario. Various promotions bring the matinee down to as low as $10. Whatever you pay, “Comedy in Action” is a rewarding long-form variety act in which a likable star balances laughs with physical derring-do.

BIG CONCERT VENUE

Readers’ Pick:

MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA

3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, Lil Wayne, Drake, the iHeartRadio Music Festival, Jason Aldean, Eagles, Josh mother slappin’ Groban — you’d have to look to the Las Vegas Review-Journal masthead to see as many big names as there have been at the MGM Grand Garden arena over the past 12 months. The venerable venue had another huge year in 2013, landing dozens of superstar acts in the confines of a room that doesn’t feel quite as large as its capacity suggests, though it’s still big enough to squeeze Kanye West’s ego in through the doors. Barely. Runner-up: The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Our Pick:

MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA

Hey, we dig this venue as much as you! Wonder what else we have in common? Do you also have a three-legged cat named Tripod and a life-size tattoo of Emmanuel Lewis running down the length of your back? Seriously, we should hang out more, new best friend! And this is just the place to do it.

BOWLING ALLEY

Readers’ Pick:

RED ROCK LANES

11011 W. Charleston Blvd.

Remember back in the day when bowling alleys were dingy places scented by fungal spray and the pungent aroma of lowered expectations? Well, Red Rock Lanes will erase those memories — and plenty of others, thanks to cocktails delivered right to your lane. The mammoth 77,000-square-foot, 72-lane luxury bowling emporium is like the Taj Mahal of hurling spherical hunks of plastic at teetering blocks of wood, with 42-inch plasma TVs between each pair of lanes, 40-inch color LCD scoring monitors, VIP suites and a cosmic themed arcade to match our out-of-this-world bowling skills. Runner-up: South Point Bowling Center.

Our Pick:

SOUTH POINT BOWLING CENTER

9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South

There’s no better place to throw rocks like Donny Kerabatsos than this 64-lane church of bowling and beer. The South Point is investing heavily in turning itself into a national destination for professional bowling, with a new arena for the sport being constructed and a dozen major tournaments planned in the upcoming years. In the meantime, though, its current digs are as impressive as Jeffrey Lebowski’s tolerance for white Russians, and it’s open 24 hours, so you can get plenty of practice time in for that big showdown with Jesus Quintana.

CIRQUE SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

“LOVE”

The Mirage

3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South

With eight Las Vegas titles to choose from, Cirque creates its own formidable competition. Readers felt the “Love” here, where a little band called the Beatles is mixed into jaw-dropping stereo and provides a focused theme for the acrobatics. The runner-up is “O,” the aquatic show that was Cirque’s second original Las Vegas creation and still hard to beat.

Our Pick:

“MICHAEL JACKSON ONE”

Mandalay Bay

3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Fans also will be amazed by the sound here. But we like how you don’t have to be as much of a die-hard Jackson fan here as you did with the touring tribute “The Immortal.” This one takes us back to the days when everyone had a “Thriller” album and we could just enjoy Jackson’s talent, and forget for an hour and a half that the story did not have a happy ending.

COMEDY

Readers’ Pick:

Marc Savard

V Theater

Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort

3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South

The Strip’s two hypnotists not only get their own category this year, but rallied voters enough to create a one-two finish in this category as well. You can’t argue Savard’s comedic chops if you follow his Twitter one-liners or if you have seen him host a series of late-night entertainer roasts. Runner-up hypnotist Anthony Cools could do regular stand-up, too.

Our Pick:

DANIEL TOSH

The Mirage

3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Not that Tosh needs our approval; his self-confidence in his own awesomeness is a running theme of his stand-up act. Tosh has committed to spreading his TV fame in Las Vegas since early 2012 and takes on taboo subjects — such as taboo subjects (whether we can joke about them) — to make some points about the 24-hour news cycle and his place in the mockery portion of it.

DAY CLUB

Readers’ Pick:

SAPPHIRE POOL &DAY CLUB

3025 Industrial Road

Strippers are like vampires: You never see them in the daylight and they hate it when you drive wooden stakes through their hearts. But, at least the former caveat has forever changed thanks to the Sapphire Pool &Day Club, where some of the club’s comely exotic dancers frolic beneath the sun, making your day that much brighter. Runner-up: Marquee Dayclub.

Our Pick:

ENCORE BEACH CLUB

3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South

As hot as the sun beating down from above, this fantasia of flesh and beats could make even heatstroke seem inviting. With multiple three-tiered pools, tricked out cabanas, top-notch service and performances by such big-name DJs as David Guetta, Avicii and Afrojack, Encore Beach Club makes the 110 degree, skin-liquefying Vegas summers tolerable. Bonus: Show up, and you just might get to see us in a thong, a sight so wondrous, you’ll rent an eagle to peck out your eyeballs so that no other image will ever mar your vision.

DAY TRIP/TOUR

Readers’ Pick:

MAVERICK HELICOPTERS

6075 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Runner-up: The Hunt Las Vegas

Our Pick:

HOOVER DAM

Boulder City

DINNER SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

“TOURNAMENT OF KINGS”

Excalibur

3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Runner-up: “Marriage Can Be Murder”

Our Pick:

“MARRIAGE CAN BE MURDER”

The D Las Vegas

301 Fremont St.

EXTREME ADVENTURE EXPERIENCE

Readers’ Pick:

EXOTICS RACING AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

7000 Las Vegas Blvd. North

Runner-up: World Class Driving

Our Pick:

FLIGHTLINEZ BOOTLEG CANYON

1512 Industrial Road, Boulder City

FAMILY ATTRACTION

Readers’ Pick:

“V — THE ULTIMATE VARIETY SHOW”

Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort

3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South

The performers here may strike parental units as old school — jugglers, magicians, contortionists, illusionists — but they’ll be new to the young ’uns, whose favorite entertainers are made of pixels more than flesh and blood these days. Fantastic feats of the human body and mind are on display daily here in a fun, freewheeling environment where no computer screens are necessary. Runner-up: Kiss by Monster Mini Golf.

Our Pick:

WET ‘N’ WILD

7055 S. Fort Apache Road

What is the only thing in the known universe that could possibly be better than 41 acres of water park wonder? Perhaps only a fully operational sports utility vehicle made of cheese, delicious, delicious cheese. But, until Dodge develops a Colbyjack Durango — and really, it’s only a matter of time — Wet ‘n’ Wild is the next best thing. With 25 attractions, including the North American debut of the Rattler, a supremely gnarly, gravity-defying raft ride, nearly a dozen water slides, a gigantic, 17,000-square-foot wave pool and more, this place leaves the competition — wait for it — all wet.

FREE SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

PETE “BIG ELVIS” VALLEE

Harrah’s Las Vegas

3475 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Pete Vallee continues to fascinate readers with his voice (if you’re gonna do the Big E in Vegas, you best sound like him), his claim that the real Elvis is his dad and, a few years ago, that he was bumping 1,000 pounds until he lost 500 of them. You can still find him in the Piano Lounge at Harrah’s every weekday except Wednesday. The runner-up, the Bellagio fountain show, is always a reliable cooldown.

Our Pick:

FREMONT STREET STAGES

Fremont Street

The light shows are fun, but the novelty of them can wear off quickly for locals not playing tour guide. The two stages at First and Third streets, however, feature reliable show bands such as the Swingin’ Pedestrians, and the occasional special attraction, such as REO Speedwagon during this month’s NASCAR weekend.

GAY CLUB

Readers’ Pick:

PIRANHA NIGHTCLUB

4633 Paradise Road

OK, we’ll admit, we were mildly bummed to learn that Piranha’s “Thrash Thursdays” did not involve dudes in thongs belting out Overkill tunes. No Death Angel, no dice, we say. Other than that, though, Piranha never disappoints with the best theme nights, a welcoming, come-as-you-are vibe — even the doorman is nice — a cozy, fireplace-festooned patio and more. Even when in drag, this place is never drag. Runner-up: Freezone.

Our Pick:

SHARE

4636 Wynn Road

Sharing is caring — except when it comes to leprosy, of course. Get in on the communal spirit here, where you and certain chiseled staff members can celebrate human togetherness with a lap dance or 10. This two-level nightspot caters to a variety of moods: You can head upstairs for some of the aforementioned up-close-and-personal time with the hunk of your choice, or dance and drink the night away in style in the main room. These folks give you the shirts off of their backs to ensure that you have a good time — literally, they do not, in fact, wear shirts.

GENTLEMEN’S CLUB

Readers’ Pick:

SAPPHIRE

3025 Industrial Road

Unless we’re talking about bar tabs or tumors, bigger is almost always better. This goes double when it comes to gentlemen’s clubs, and when it comes to sheer size, Sapphire has it covered — and that’s about the only thing covered at this 70,000-square-foot club where some 400 entertainers perform nightly on three stages. What’s more, there’s a showroom that hosts comedy and magic acts as well as burlesque performances, a “Men of Sapphire” revue for the ladies and even pole-dancing classes so that maybe someday you, too, can become a Sapphire gem. Runner-up: Spearmint Rhino.

Our Pick:

CRAZY HORSE III

3525 W. Russell Road

Celebrities are in the crowd and on the stage here, where the likes of Carmen Electra, Jenna Jameson and Heidi Montag frolic amongst famous athletes, musicians and actors weekly. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a star to hang here, though you’ll likely feel like one with all the attention lavished upon you by the gorgeous staff. For a night, you’ll feel just like George Clooney — if George Clooney wasn’t rich, famous, talented or good looking. Crazy, right?

GOLF COURSE

Readers’ Pick:

ANGEL PARK

100 S. Rampart Blvd.

Did you know that besides being a world-famous beverage hybridist, Arnold Palmer is also a golfer of some renown, apparently? Yeah, and there’s more. In the same way that Palmer bravely blended ice tea and lemonade into his legendary wonder drink, the pioneering thirst vanquisher combined scenic beauty with golf nirvana in his course design for Angel Park. With 36 championship holes, the illuminated Cloud Nine Short Course for nighttime playing and a natural grass putting course, Angel Park provides a complete golf experience as heavenly as the stomping grounds of its namesake. Runner-up: TaylorMade Golf Experience.

Our Pick:

BADLANDS GOLF CLUB

9191 Alta Drive

When you hit the links, there’s more ducking and covering than in a bomb drill. You spend so much time in the sand traps, you get your mail delivered there. Your swing is so ugly, it frequently gets mistaken for a “Duck Dynasty” cast member. And so something, anything, has to take your mind off your thorough lack of game. And the gorgeous Badlands grounds will do just that. Equally challenging and scenic, Badlands features three nine-hole layouts with Red Rock Canyon serving as the backdrop. Plus, there’s great deals for locals, so the cost won’t be nearly as high as your score.

HOOKAH LOUNGE

Readers’ Pick:

3 KINGS

4199 S. Fort Apache Road 5375 S. Fort Apache Road

Runner-up: Cloud 9

Our Pick:

LUNA LOUNGE

3057 Las Vegas Blvd. South

HYPNOTIST

Readers’ Pick:

ANTHONY COOLS

Paris Las Vegas

3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas gamblers would relish the odds this category offers a trio of resident hypnotists with similar acts; two of them are even Canadian. Readers opted for Cools, perhaps thanking him for the thousands of orgasms he has induced on the Strip. Fellow maple-leafer Marc Savard is the runner-up among this year’s porn-star auditioners.

Our Pick:

ANTHONY COOLS

Every show genre should be a little better in Las Vegas, and Cools has earned his 10 years and counting on the Strip. If you’ve seen a state fair or student union hypnotist and think you can skip this one, you underestimate Cools’ stand-up timing and ability to run his show as tightly as an orchestra conductor — which he sort of is at one point.

IMPERSONATOR

Readers’ Pick:

TERRY FATOR

The Mirage

3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Readers applied the category definition loosely here, but Fator’s layers of talent can understandably be confusing. He is not only a ventriloquist, but one whose puppets can do impressions of Etta James, Elvis, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and others. Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee sticks with Elvis and only Elvis and that’s good enough for second here.

Our Pick:

PURPLE REIGN

Sin City Theatre

Planet Hollywood Resort

3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South

For more than 16 years, Jason Tenner has frozen Prince at his mid-’80s peak, though “frozen” is a poor word to describe a man constantly in bust-that-body, do-me-baby motion. But Purple Reign is a whole show (just as Prince used to give us) complete with a faux Morris Day and the Time, complete with a mirror-toting Jerome. O-e-o-e-oh!

KARAOKE

Readers’ Pick:

ELLIS ISLAND

4178 Koval Lane

Ellis Island is as much a karaoke institution as the soused Steve Perry wannabe who inevitably tries to belt out “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” at a point in the night when the believin’ should have stopped hours ago. Their songbook boasts the heft of the New York City Yellow Pages, there’s karaoke sessions from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day and delicious beers from the Ellis Island brewery to be had on the cheap. OK, drunk guy, you were right. We’re believin’ again. Runner-up: Aloha Kitchen.

Our Pick:

KARAOKE Q STUDIO

3400 S. Jones Blvd.

So your singing voice is akin to the sound of an asthmatic seagull ralphing up a semidigested flounder. Even your own mother once likened your vocals to the pained screech of Tiny Tim attempting to pass a kidney stone while getting a leg amputated with a spork. No worries! What’s especially cool about Karaoke Q is that you can rent your own private room for you and your friends, so you don’t have to embarrass yourself in front of strangers. The song selection here is top notch, the prices are affordable and there’s a bar as well to help you summon up the courage to debut your tender, a capella version of Juicy J’s “Hit It from Da Back.”

LOCAL BAND

Readers’ Pick:

SIN CITY SINNERS

Tiffany, Kip Winger, Rikki freakin’ Rachtman — that’s enough star power to shame the Milky Way, dude. But for the Sin City Sinners, it’s merely business as usual. These dudes have jammed with dozens of famous rockers — and Chris Holmes. The Sinners are nothing if not versatile, having performed with thrash titans (Chuck Billy, Joey Belladonna), punk greats (Cheetah Chrome, East Bay Ray), guitar heroes (George Lynch, Bruce Kulick) and let’s not forget Kevin Federline. On second though, let’s. Runner-up: Yellow Brick Road.

Our Pick:

CARAVELS

Capturing the intensity of a Caravels gig on a piece of vinyl is kind of like trying to accurately describe the scent of a rose: It’s all but impossible. And yet on “Lacuna,” the band comes the closest to harnessing the meticulously orchestrated frenzy of their live shows. The best album by a Vegas band in 2013, “Lacuna” is emotive without being emo, metallic without being metal, progressive without being prog rock. Basically, it’s above and beyond easy categorization, easy only to get lost in.

LOCAL SPORTS EVENT

Readers’ Pick:

UNLV Men’s BASKETBALL

Thomas &Mack Center

Tropicana and Swenson avenues

The Rebels’ 2012-13 season was bittersweet, like being invited home by a supermodel only to fall asleep on the ride there. There were plenty of highlights: The team clawed its way into the top 10 of the national rankings for a time, power forward Anthony Bennett was selected with the first pick in last summer’s National Basketball Association draft and the team made the NCAA tournament for the fourth year in a row. Of course, it also lost in the first round of said tournament for the fourth year in a row and the season had an unsatisfying end. But, hey, who cares? They’re winners with you, and that’s what really matters. Runner-up: National Finals Rodeo.

Our Pick:

FLOYD MAYWEATHER Jr. VS. SAUL “CANELO” ALVAREZ

MGM Grand Garden arena

3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Floyd Mayweather Jr. barely broke a sweat en route to breaking a number of box office records during his anticlimactic showdown with Saul Alvarez. (One judge had it a draw, though his seeing eye dog must have tabulated his score wrong. Canines are notoriously suspect when it comes to arithmetic.) Not only did the September bout set the mark for the highest grossing pay-per-view fight ever by earning more than $150 million on 2.2 million buys, but it also took in a record gate of more than $20 million and a record $2.6 million by selling more than 26,000 tickets for closed-circuit viewing in Las Vegas. Mayweather may not have been able to score a knockout inside the ring, but he left the competition in need of smelling salts outside of it.

LOCAL SPORTS TEAM

Readers’ Pick:

THE WRANGLERS

Orleans Arena

4500 W. Tropicana Ave.

There are tears in our eyes as we write this, and not just because there are no more beers in the fridge. No, we can’t help but get a little choked up as we reminisce about the Wranglers leaving their home at the Orleans Arena to move to a new venue at the Plaza beginning next season. What a decade it’s been for the hockey favorites at The Orleans, where they’ve won a pair of ECHL Pacific Division titles, earned the Henry Brabham Cup as the ECHL regular season champs in 2006 and compiled the highest winning percent in the history of the league. Here’s to a new start, then, from an old favorite. Now, pass the Kleenex. And get to the store for more beer. Runner-up: UNLV basketball.

Our Pick:

THE WRANGLERS

Looks like we’re on the same page here, and that page is smeared with all the blood and tears raining from the faces of the Wranglers’ opponents like a cloudburst of shame and defeat. Pro hockey is right at the top of list of sports that are most fun to experience live — the action comes at almost a breathless pace as the witticisms do here — and the good times are only enhanced when the hometown squad totally sticks it to the competition — get it? Because you play hockey with a stick!

LOCAL/ ALTERNATIVE MUSIC VENUE

Readers’ Pick:

COUNT’S VAMP’D

6750 W. Sahara Ave.

This cool, cozy club is as sweet — and loud — as the custom rides featured on “Counting Cars,” the reality TV show that revolves around the daily exploits of Count’s Kustoms auto shop, which, like Count’s Vamp’d, is owned by Danny Koker. Koker takes the stage here often, performing with Count’s 77, which also features guitar badass John Zito. At Vamp’d, classic rock and ’80s metal rule — well, they rule everywhere, really, but here in particular. Runner-up: Dispensary Lounge.

Our Pick:

BACKSTAGE BAR &BILLIARDS

601 E. Fremont St.

Big sounds filled this small, 300-capacity room in 2013, where such maximum-impact live acts as Baroness, Kylesa, F!@#ed Up and Lucero highlighted the club’s debut year. With seating constructed from musicians’ tour cases, a vinyl library with more than 10,000 records, classic concerts played on the big screen behind the bar and half-a-million dollars worth of music memorabilia from co-owner DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit and House of Pain fame, the place has the feel of an upscale pool hall crossed with a rock ’n’ roll rec room crossed with a museum — if museums served vodka, as they should.

LOUNGE

Readers’ Pick:

LEVEL 107 LOUNGE

Stratosphere

2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Clearly, you enjoy elevating your mood and butt alike at this high-in-the-sky hang on the 107th floor of the Stratosphere. The views here are spectacular and even better when seen through the bottom of a pilsner glass. And while the location is way up there, thankfully, the drink prices don’t follow suit with 2-for-1 cocktails during early happy hour at 4 p.m. and late happy hour at 10:30 p.m. That’s a lot of happy for little dough. Runner-up: Peppermill.

Our Pick:

LADY SILVIA

900 Las Vegas Blvd. South

When we’re in the mood to drink — i.e., conscious — we prefer to do it at a place where the mood isn’t as static as the paint on the walls. Here, the decor is as eclectic as the cocktail menu: Chic and inviting, the Lady Silvia has the stately feel of a library — remember those? — crossed with a high-end vintage wares shop crossed with spirits that will most definitely lift your spirits. Seriously, show up during happy hour, order an El Rancho Fuego — a delicious blend of Chili Devil beer, hibiscus liqueur and fresh lime juice that we affectionately refer to as sadness-go-bye-bye sauce — and you’ll forget all about how your dog just got flattened by a cement truck.

MAGIC SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

“THE MENTALIST” GERRY MCCAMBRIDGE

V Theater

Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort

3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Gerry McCambridge is upfront in telling audiences his particular brand of trickery is just that, and he can’t converse with your late grandpa. He calls it “psychometry,” while readers call it “a lot of cool stuff that dude can figure out while blindfolded.” Runner-up Mac King keeps his eyes wide open, a lot of times using them to make funny faces.

Our Pick:

DAVID COPPERFIELD

MGM Grand

3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South

The grand master has become a year-round presence on the Strip, where he’s slowly and methodically introducing more of magic’s most precious commodity: new stuff. A prediction trick now uses your cellphone and email, and there’s a segment with a cute little alien that renews Copperfield’s commitment to bringing magic and its childlike wonders back to families.

MALE STRIP SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

CHIPPENDALES

Rio

3700 W. Flamingo Road

The bow ties, and the chiseled dudes who wear little else, flex their way to a third consecutive victory this year. Two cast members, Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis, became stars on “The Amazing Race,” though it turns out 2013 guest star Ian Zeiring’s timing wasn’t ideal: He started hosting just a few weeks before “Sharknado” made him a household name again. As always in this two-way race, a Chippendales win makes “Thunder from Down Under” the runner-up.

Our Pick:

“THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER”

Excalibur

3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South

After 10 years at the Excalibur, “Thunder” got to upgrade its production design and fancy up its room a bit without losing the low-ceiling, down ’n’ dirty vibe that’s always made this revue seem a little sweatier and more in your face (no, that’s not a metaphor) than chief rival Chippendales.

MOVIE THEATER

Readers’ Pick:

GALAXY THEATRES GREEN VALLEY

4500 E. Sunset Road

Because when you’re savoring the cinematic nuances of “Smurfs 2” like a quaff of a fine wine, you want to do it in style, right? Silence! That was a rhetorical question, because you’ve already answered in the affirmative with all the love you’ve showed this luxury theater, where the plush chairs recline, all seating is reserved and there’s beer and wine available, which will come in handy if you find yourself viewing anything starring Shia LaBeouf. Runner-up: Century South Point.

Our Pick:

GALAXY THEATRES GREEN VALLEY

Congratulations, readers, you have great taste — we know this because it mirrors ours. We’ve been called the Anna Wintour of filmgoing, such is our eye for the finest auditoriums in which to enjoy the cinematic arts. So, let’s meet up for a matinee, shall we? We’ll sit right next to you, pretend to yawn and then throw an outstretched arm around your shoulder, leaving buttery fingerprints all over your heart. In any other theater, our unwanted advances might make you feel uncomfortable. But in the cushy recliners here, being uncomfortable is an impossibility.

MUSEUM

Readers’ Pick:

The MOB MUSEUM

300 Stewart Ave.

Clearly, The Mob Museum has made you an offer that you can’t refuse. And who could blame you? Here, you can learn how the mob helped shape Las Vegas, see artifacts belonging to the likes of Al Capone, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, John Gotti and others, visit a historic courtroom where national hearings took place on mafia activity and more as this place leaves the competition trembling like poor, sniveling Fredo. Runner-up: Discovery Children’s Museum.

Our Pick:

The MOB MUSEUM

Initially, we selected another winner for this category, but then we awoke one morning with a decapitated horse head in our bed and decided to reconsider. So, The Mob Museum it is! In truth, the joint is worth accolades, as its bonanza of interactive exhibits immerse you in the world of organized crime without the looming threat of incarceration and the corresponding need to develop a taste for wine brewed in a toilet.

Musical

Readers’ Pick:

“Raiding the Rock Vault”

LVH

3000 Paradise Road

Runner-up: “Rock of Ages”

Our Pick:

“Jersey Boys”

Paris Las Vegas

3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South

NIGHTCLUB

Readers’ Pick:

TRYST

Wynn Las Vegas

3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South

TLC was full of it, man. You should go chasing waterfalls — at least the 90-foot one found here. It’s but one of Tryst’s many larger-than-life flourishes. (A cocktail made with real 24k gold flakes? We’ll take two.) Seriously, Tryst is like our bedroom: Everyone wants to be there, there’s a line to get in and thousands are satisfied nightly. Runner-up: Pure.

Our Pick:

XS

Encore

3121 Las Vegas Blvd. South

A nightclub’s buzz is akin to that of a fruit fly’s: It doesn’t last long. XS, though, has serious staying power. If anything, the luxe nightspot is hotter now than it ever has been since opening on New Year’s Eve 2008. For the fourth time, XS was ranked the top nightclub in America by Nightclub &Bar magazine after earning a record $90 million in 2013 thanks to resident electronic dance music titans like Avicii, David Guetta and Zedd and a setting as opulent as a pharaoh’s tomb.

NIGHTCLUB DJ

Readers’ Pick:

DJ FAME

On any given weekend, Las Vegas is filled with carpetbagging DJs who come here, drink our Champagne, get with our hotties, take all the prime slots at the biggest clubs and then leave for lesser cities the next day. But what about the native talent? Clearly, you prefer a DJ who knows what it’s like to live in Las Vegas, to have a pile of rocks for a front lawn and to know Glen Lerner’s office phone number by heart — and be able to sing it no less! This is why you’ve showed DJ Fame so much appreciation. He wasn’t born here, but has lived in Vegas since he was 18 and developed a rep for versatility, performing as rapper Dizzy Wright’s DJ as well as doing his own thing at hot spots such as Body English, Vanguard and Moon. Best of all, with this win, DJ Fame can finally live up to his name. Runner-up: DJ Munkey.

Our Pick:

STEVE AOKI

If there’s a knock on DJs, it’s that their live performances mostly consist of them doing little more than bobbing up and down behind a bed of electronics, their stage moves identical to those of a 5-year-old in a bouncy house. In short, they’re not exactly the most visually stimulating musicians. Steve Aoki though, works hard to make his gigs interactive experiences, his physical, in-your-face performances bridging the divide between artist and audience with energy and adrenaline. He’s all over the place, almost always wearing a smile — in addition to plenty of crowd member sweat.

NIGHTCLUB WITH MIXOLOGISTS

Readers’ Pick:

PIRANHA

4633 Paradise Road

Runner-up: Marquee

Our Pick:

COMMONWEALTH

525 Fremont St.

NIGHTCLUB WITH VIP SERVICES

Readers’ Pick:

PIRANHA

4633 Paradise Road

Runner-up: Marquee

Our Pick:

1OAK

The Mirage

3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South

OVERALL SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

DONNY AND MARIE OSMOND

Flamingo

3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South

A one-two finish reversed last year’s results, with 2012 winner Donny and Marie Osmond coming back to knock last year’s winner Terry Fator back to runner-up this time. Donny wins the trouper/sympathy award for playing hurt, performing at less than full “Yo-Yo” capacity while on the mend from surgery last fall.

Our Pick:

CELINE DION

Colosseum at Caesars Palace

3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Celine Dion lives up to her star power in this sophisticated production overseen by Grammy TV producer Ken Ehrlich, who adds just enough production value to keep every song interesting without ever crossing too far over the line of silly (for that you must revisit the Colosseum for the Shania Twain opus).

PERFORMING ARTS GROUP

Readers’ Pick:

THE DESERT WINDS

2232 S. Nellis Blvd.

Trying to resist obvious pun. Willpower fading … can’t help it … these Winds don’t blow. There! We said it, and we feel better. Yes, our jokes may be lame but not this wind ensemble, which, in 2013 celebrated its fourth year of entertaining and educating alike with consistently stirring performances and laudable community outreach programs. Clearly, that’s music to your ears. Runner-up: Rainbow Company Children’s Theatre.

Our Pick:

LAS VEGAS PHILHARMONIC

1412 S. Jones Blvd.

How much orchestral arse does the Las Vegas Philharmonic kick? The symphony had another incredible season in 2013, this time as the resident company at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, all while performing without a musical director. How do they do it? By relying on a core of 76 world-class contracted musicians. If all this wasn’t enough, in January, the Philharmonic continued its annual free concert series for fourth- and fifth-graders, exposing 13,000 kids to classical music. Talk about some great sounds for an even better cause.

PIANO BAR

Readers’ Pick:

DON’T TELL MAMA

517 Fremont St.

Runner-up: Harrah’s Piano Bar

Our Pick:

DON’T TELL MAMA

PLACE TO GO IF UNDER 21

Readers’ Pick:

CIRCUS CIRCUS

2880 Las Vegas Blvd. South

You know why it’s Circus Circus and not just Circus? Because it’s double the fun — and by “fun” we mean lots of clowns that make coulrophobic kids wet themselves in fear and roller coasters that cause their parents to do the same. What to do here? Well, there’s the Adventuredome, the world’s largest indoor amusement park complete with the new El Loco coaster. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the world’s largest permanent indoor circus, where aerialists, trapeze artists, jugglers, acrobats and more perform free shows throughout the day. You’d have to be a real Bozo not to have a blast here — and that’s only because if you were Bozo, you’d be on the clock. Runner-up: Trapeze Las Vegas.

Our Pick:

DESERT BREEZE SKATE PARK

8275 Spring Mountain Road

Every spring, this is where Extreme Thing goes down and teen spirits go up. The all-day music and sports festival is the best all-ages event of the year, a buffet of punk rock, metal and high-flying BMX action that will make your kids smile like you were going out of town for the weekend. But even after the show is over there’s still plenty to do here, with a full-on skate park, two roller hockey rinks, soccer and baseball fields and a dog park so that your Rottweiler will have a place to park his Mercedes.

PLACE TO SPOT CELEBRITIES

Readers’ Pick:

PALMS

4321 W. Flamingo Road

Justin Bieber ate at N9ne Steakhouse. We’ll say it again: Justin Bieber ate at N9ne Steakhouse. When we heard the news, we booked a reservation immediately for the small chance — hope! hope! — of maybe using the same fork that graced the Biebs’ lips. We think we succeeded, because since then, we’ve felt compelled to egg neighboring houses, stop wearing shirts, drag race strangers and be even more annoying than usual. Along with the aforementioned pop god, there are plenty of other famous people who routinely hang at the Palms, be it at nightspots like Ghost and Moon or the star-studded Ditch Friday pool parties, which have featured Wiz Khalifa, Ciara, Kendrick Lamar and others. Show up, and maybe some of their celebrity mojo will rub off of on you like it did with us. OK, we’ve got to go, we’ve got a probation hearing to get to. Runner-up: Forum Shops.

Our Pick:

FIGHT NIGHT

When Floyd Mayweather fought Canelo Alvarez last September, the action was hotter just outside the ring as inside of it, with stars like Jack Nicholson, Jay-Z, Heidi Klum, Kobe Bryant, Dave Chappelle and Jerry Bruckheimer reportedly in the house for the often boring bout. Celebrities flock to boxing and UFC cards in Vegas. What’s the big appeal? Well, when a famous person hits someone, they get sued and have to fork over tons of cash. Imagine the vicarious thrills for them, then, when they get to watch two pugilists pound on each other. Bet they pretend it’s their fists flying, flattening the faces of pesky entertainment journalists. We can all relate to that, right?

PLACE TO VIEW THE CITY

Readers’ Pick:

STRATOSPHERE

2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South

The top of the Stratosphere offers some of the best views of the city — if you can keep your eyes open. And your chili dog down. That’s because the array of thrill rides here, complete with such reassuring names as Insanity and X-Scream, offer an incredible vantage point of the city if you’re not the squeamish type. If you are, swallow your shame and take in the scenery from the tallest freestanding observation tower in the country. Seriously, you practically can see all the way into California. Wow, look at how poorly those people drive there! Runner-up: Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.

Our Pick:

VEGAS BALLOON RIDES

4390 Polaris Ave.

Feel what it’s like to glide through the air like some majestic bird of prey with the only downside being that you don’t get to poop on any strangers below. That’s what you get with a hot-air balloon ride, a serene, relaxing experience where you can take in all the natural beauty of the Las Vegas Valley at once. What’s more, you’ll get to see all the requisite tourist attractions without actually having to be around any tourists. As Confucius famously said: “That right there is a win-win, brah.”

REOCCURRING LAS VEGAS EVENT

Readers’ Pick:

LAS VEGAS FOODIE FEST

Silverton

3333 Blue Diamond Road

Harold and Kumar would have been totally stoked at the Las Vegas Foodie Fest in 2013, where they could have gotten their White Castle fix without having to mount a wild cheetah after a totally stoned Neil Patrick Harris ganked their ride. Seriously, y’all went nuts over White Castle — and then you went to the restroom for prolonged periods of time. And there was plenty more to get excited about, with more than 30 food trucks from around the country, carnival rides, a beer garden and more. Just remember to bring the Pepto Bismol IV drip this year. Runner-up: National Finals Rodeo.

Our Pick:

ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

7000 Las Vegas Blvd. North

It’s a question that we get asked daily it seems: “Hey, why are you always shaving your Pomeranian and then collecting the tufts of dog hair in used plastic grocery sacks from Albertsons?” And then when the Electric Daisy Carnival comes around, we whip out our homemade fuzzy boots for the festivities and everyone understands. But getting the proper venue to dress in such supersexy fashions is but one of the reasons we love EDC so much. It is truly a one-of-a-kind event, the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras and Quarter Pounder-With-Cheese of electronic dance music all in one. For three days, it’s like entering another dimension, where 100,000 revelers dance from dusk till dawn in a glowing, pulsating landscape where the carnival rides seem almost anticlimactic compared with their surroundings.

SHOWGIRLS

Readers’ Pick:

“JUBILEE!”

Bally’s

3645 Las Vegas Blvd. South

This is a coast category for readers year after year, but this time it’s easier for us to think of something to write in this blurb. That’s because “Jubilee!” had a makeover this year, reopening two weeks ago after an overhaul by Beyonce choreographer Frank Gatson Jr. The suspense here is always in which show is runner-up, and this year those showgirls dance in the Luxor’s “Fantasy.”

Our Pick:

“PIN UP”

Stratosphere

2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Once you get past the sheer showgirl count of “Jubilee,” it becomes a question of quality versus quantity. “Pin Up” devotes much of its modest budget to clever costumes that pay tribute to showgirls, or more specifically vintage calendar girls, through the ages. It’s all done with a sense of wit and retro style, following the lead of its main pin-up girl, Playmate Claire Sinclair.

SINGER

Readers’ Pick:

DONNY AND MARIE OSMOND

Flamingo

3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South

For the past two years, Donny’s lifelong fans singled him out over his singing sibling. But if we’re interpreting the results correctly this year there is no sibling rivalry. Only, you can’t tell Marie that because it would take all the fun out of the show. An intense Twitter campaign almost paid off for runner-up Nieve Malandra.

Our Pick:

VERONIC

Bally’s

3645 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Veronic DiCaire actually can sound like Barbra Streisand or Celine Dion, so you have to be a fine singer to even try that. Or look at it this way: The impressionist’s bigger challenge is sounding like pop singers such as Britney Spears, who don’t sing well at all (if at all) in the technical sense. DiCaire even released a couple of albums in her own voice in Canada before launching this singing-impressionist-in-Vegas thing.

SMALL CONCERT VENUE

Readers’ Pick:

THE RAILHEAD

Boulder Station

4111 Boulder Highway

The Railhead specializes in the blues, and yet it’s hard to have the blues here. A small room with a big sound, The Railhead is among the most locals-friendly venues in town with its $5 Boulder Blues series, where you can see heavyweights such as Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Pat Travers and Eric Sardinas for less than the cost of a beer at most concert clubs in this town. There’s plenty of rock, Latin and jazz to be heard here too if the blues aren’t your thing because, you know, your lady never left you, your dog never died, you never sold your soul to the devil for improved guitar playing abilities, etc. Runner-up: Count’s Vamp’d.

Our Pick:

BOULEVARD POOL

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Coachella is cool and all, but do you really want to drive like five hours to get there, stand in line for a day-and-a-half behind a dreadlocked dude who smells like a cannabis-scented gym sock and then not even be able to drink a beer in front of any of the stages as the bands play? Didn’t think so. And so what’s cool about the Boulevard Pool is that every spring tons of bands performing at Coachella play here on their way to and from the festival in a much more intimate, accommodating setting. Coachella bonanza aside, the venue brings in great bands the rest of the year, too, and with incredible views of the Strip below, the sights are as sweet as the sounds.

TRIBUTE SHOW

Readers’ Pick:

ZOWIE BOWIE

Red Rock Resort

11011 W. Charleston Blvd.

We’ll spot readers a generous interpretation of “tribute” for this category, as the fun covers band helmed by Chris Phillips pays tributes more to different eras of music — ’80s pop or the Rat Pack — than to specific stars. No arguing that runner-up Arena knows it’s rawking out to the awesome era of ’80s arena rock.

Our Pick:

“THE RAT PACK IS BACK”

Rio

3700 W. Flamingo Road

Consistency is the key here, plus the magic of live entertainment. After all, how can guys who only vaguely resemble the stars they impersonate get us in their pocket after 10 or 15 minutes? The camaraderie of teamwork is your answer, along with a lot of old dirty jokes you haven’t heard in ages and a constant, subliminal message that booze is your friend.

ULTRALOUNGE

Readers’ Pick:

LAVO

Palazzo

3255 Las Vegas Blvd. South

It’s like a Moroccan bathhouse, only you don’t have to disrobe in front of strangers — well, you can if you want, provided you have sufficient bail money and bust out a few situps between now and then. With a Mediterranean-esque decor, Lavo (which means “to bathe” in Latin) is dark, seductive and inviting. But what exactly will you be “bathing in”? Exquisite sounds from top-flight DJs and the intoxicating aura of A-list celebrities who refuse to acknowledge your presence. Can’t blame ’em. Runner-up: Hyde.

Our Pick:

PARASOL UP/DOWN

Wynn Las Vegas

3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South

This bilevel beauty is like night and day — literally. Downstairs, natural light bathes the brightly hued decor. Take the one-of-a-kind spiral escalator to the second floor, and the domed roof serves as the titular parasol. The eye-popping visuals are enhanced by a selection of some of the rarest spirits in the world, including Hardy Perfection cognac that’s been aged for more than 100 years. What’s more, the luxe lounge offers breathtaking views of Wynn’s Lake of Dreams, a gorgeous reservoir filled with Jagermeister and populated by mermaids giving operatic interpretations of Cannibal Corpse tunes. Well, that’s our dream anyway.