Best Brooklyn Performance Spot, Retrofitted Elegance Division - 2000
BAM's multimillion-dollar renovation has infused the venerable institution with the charm of the nouvelle hip. In addition to the BAM Rose Cinemasat which the film selection rivals that of any Manhattan art-house theaterthere's BAMcafé, the steeple-strewn upstairs performance space that meshes church inspirations with contemporary design touches like exposed blue metal arches. The performance mix is just as varied, ranging from classical and jazz to contemporary r&b and even literary readings. When Bilal performed there in July, his gyrations and histrionics were lent additional gravitas by the arena's devotional elements, making his show as much a prayer session as a performance.