San Carlos at Ninth, Carmel
The year 2011 was another good one for Carmel’s 700-seat cathedral of culture. Sunset’s recipe for success: variety, versatility and quality. From silver-bearded rocker Leon Russell, to the spellbinding Bach Festival, to jazz trumpeter extraordinaire Chris Botti, to OCD funnyman Howie Mandel, to the movie star-fronted Bacon Brothers, to wise-ass Paula Poundstone, to some of the best classical on the Central Coast, every talent that played the pristine theater this year offered something vastly different. But one thing never changed: The entertainment was always compelling. It helps that the acoustics are 100-percent pristine, and the bad seats number right around zero.