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Best New Club 

The Madrid Theatre

At first, The Madrid Theatre's arrival on the just-off-Westport scene long ruled by the Grand Emporium and Davey's Uptown raised more questions than it answered: Is this place really going to open in time? (It didn't, but its grand opening was only a few weeks off-track.) Is it really going to devote most of its schedule to salsa and ballroom dancing? (Its calendar still reserves several dates each month for these underserved genres, but hipster acts such as Orbital and Stereolab will also help the Madrid break in its fancy dance floor.) Where will I park? (Well, that hasn't been fully answered yet, though the demolition of Sanderson's opened up a few dozen more spaces.) But now that it's been open for more than a month, The Madrid's benefits to Kansas City are obvious. It funnels shows from Lawrence into Midtown, provides another classy restored building that touring acts can fawn over, and presents music fans with more diverse entertainment options (hip-hop, indie rock, gospel, blues, hippie-jam, folk, reggae and several breeds of dance music) than almost any other area venue.

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