Best Of 2022

1st: Drag Queen Story Hour at The Center, thecenterorlando.org
As Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis keeps busy banning books teaching basic history and issuing hateful political directives in our schools, Orlandoans are embracing both our right to read whatever we want and the fabulous art of drag. Drag Queen Story Hour at the Center is Orlando Weekly readers' pick for best literary reading series, and with good reason. The family-friendly series features local storytellers who use the art of drag to read books to kids, encouraging a love of reading along with body positivity, loving ourselves, and treating each other with kindness. Locally, the event first happened at the Orlando Public Library, earning them a Writers' Pick in 2017; most recently, The Center hosted Gidget Galore reading storybooks around Christmastime. Here's hoping our readers' support encourages a resurgence of this local celebration of imagination.

2nd: Orlando Story Club, downtownartsdistrict.com/orlando-story-club

3rd: African-American Read-In at OCLS, ocls.info/african-american-read

Best of Orlando® 2022: Arts and Entertainment

Best of Orlando® 2022: Arts and Entertainment

Local Legends: Felichia Chivaughn + Meka King

These righteous forces for change and diversity in Orlando's theater scene are both multi-hyphenate talents — acting, directing, singing and writing are just a few of the lines on their résumés. King and Chivaughn-Ellison achieved the near impossible: They started the long-overdue conversation about systemic racism in Central Florida's art institutions when they founded the Central Florida Entertainment Advocacy Forum, and they've gotten results. Much respect.

1st: CityArts, downtownartsdistrict.com

2nd: College Park Gallery, collegeparkgallery.com

3rd: Jeanine Taylor Folk Art, jtfolkart.com

Best Arts Event or Art Festival
photo courtesy Orlando Fringe

1st: Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, orlandofringe.org

2nd: Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org

3rd: Immerse, immersefest.org

1st: Dancers Royale, dancers-royale.com

2nd: Rachel's North Men's Club and Steakhouse, rachelscasselberry.com

3rd: Thee Dollhouse Orlando, theeoriginaldollhouse.com

Best Burlesque Troupe
Photo by Maia Monet, courtesy Les Vixens

1st: Les Vixens Burlesque, lesvixens.com

2nd: Bad Witch Burlesque, badwitchburlesque.com

3rd: Corsets and Cuties, corsetsandcuties.com

1st: SAK Comedy Lab, sakcomedylab.com
The decades roll on and SAK never lets up. The improv theater is nothing if not a reliable place to catch some laughs — and the interactive nature of the make-it-up-as-you-go skits and sketches guarantees surprises every time.

2nd: Improv Orlando, theimprovorlando.com

3rd: Bull & Bush, bullandbushorlando.com

Best Comedy Night
photo by Sarah Kinbar

1st (tie): Shit Sandwich, Bull & Bush, bullandbushorlando.com

1st (tie): Teachers Night at the Improv, theimprovorlando.com

2nd (tie): Bull & Bush Underground Comedy Show! Wednesdays, bullandbushorlando.com

2nd (tie): Open Mic at The Falcon, thefalconbar.com

3rd: Open Mic at Game On Avalon, gameonavalon.com/open-mic-night

Best Dance Company
photo courtesy Orlando Ballet

1st: Orlando Ballet, orlandoballet.org

2nd: Phantasmagoria, phantasmagoriaorlando.com

3rd: Varietease, bluelalaevents.com

1st: Drag Bingo at Hamburger Mary's, hamburgermarys.com/orlando

2nd: Southern Nights, facebook.com/southernnightsorlando

3rd: Off the Record Wednesdays, facebook.com/otrwednesdays

1st: Florida Film Festival, floridafilmfestival.com

2nd: Orlando Film Festival, offvirtual.com

3rd: Love Your Shorts Film Festival, loveyourshorts.com