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Once upon a time, Joe and Gavin Maloof were kings among men in this town. But the fun-loving brothers went from Maloof to Magoof when they tried earlier this year to take our once-beloved basketball team down south to Anaheim. Who would have guessed that the best Maloof of all would be a tiny, blond-tressed, stiletto-heeled Beverly Hills Housewife? On her Bravo TV show, ADRIENNE MALOOF charms us with her no-nonsense, anti-mean-girl approach to life in the 90210. In Season 1, she brought her fellow housewives to town (via private plane, natch), where she treated the ladies to a meal at Grange. Afterward, they all trooped out to Power Balance Pavillion to shoot hoops, then catch a Kings game from courtside seats. Adrienne may have a private chef, a plastic surgeon husband and gazillions in the bank, but this is one down-to-earth gal. Mwah!
Best Debut Novelist
When a Sacramento-based author gets a first novel published, it’s cause for celebration. When that same author makes The New York Times best-seller list within two weeks of publication, it’s reason to have a parade. Such is the case with VANESSA DIFFENBAUGH, author of The Language of Flowers, a tale of a young woman named Victoria who ages out of foster care and has nowhere to go. Through her knowledge of floriography, the 19th century study of flower symbolism and meanings, Victoria finds love, forges a career and heals her past. Diffenbaugh, a longtime foster parent, used funds from her book deal to form Camellia Network, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping young adults transition out of foster care. Now living in Massachusetts with her family, she returned to Sacramento in late August to launch the nonprofit with a fundraiser, as well as promote the novel, which was written in midtown cafes and analyzed in local writing groups. Diffenbaugh is still beloved in Sacramento, if the rousing applause she received at her Tsakopoulos Library Galleria reading and book signing is any indication. “It’s exciting to be here, where I’m surrounded by people I love,” she said.
Best Local Maestro
MICHAEL NEUMANN knows how to make beautiful music. For 33 seasons, he’s taken bows as artistic director and conductor of the Sacramento Youth Symphony, leading the group in performances throughout the world. In 2004, he opened the Folsom Symphony’s first season as music director and conductor. Today, he juggles both symphonies with aplomb. According to Folsom Symphony board president Bruce Woodbury, the maestro brings exceptional talent to Folsom. “His vast network of connections and his overall expertise in music bring so much to our stage,” says Woodbury. “His reputation and style bring high-caliber musicians to the area. Performers love to work with him.”
Best Local Leap to Hollywood
ANALEIGH TIPTON, former El Dorado Hills resident and St. Francis High School graduate, is redefining “triple threat”: A championship ice skater as a tween, she went on to be a finalist on “America’s Next Top Model” in 2008, then moved into acting. In 2011, she had roles in The Green Hornet and Crazy, Stupid, Love, working alongside box-office powerhouses Seth Rogen and Steve Carell, respectively. Her performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love as a teenage baby sitter with a crush on her employer garnered her an appearance on New York Times’ film critic Karen Durbin’s “Faces to Watch” list. It also landed her a starring role in Samaritan, scheduled for release in 2012. Last month, Season 3 of HBO’s comedy series “Hung” featured Tipton as a schizophrenic pimp, and she can be seen in the comedy Damsels in Distress alongside fellow Sacramentan Greta Gerwig.
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