Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wisey Best Actress: Carolyn Marie Monroe

The nominees for best actress are:

Carolyn Marie Monroe, End Days, Seattle Public Theatre
Terri Weagant, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Balagan Theatre
Anne Allgood, Rock 'n' Roll, ACT
Robin Goodrin Nordli, Macbeth, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Tracy Hyland, Just Drink It, 14/48

And the Wisey for best actress of 2009 goes to Carolyn Marie Monroe for her portrayal of Rachel Stein, an exasperated, super-bright goth teenager, in the Seattle Public Theater production of End Days.

While we listed five nominees this was really just a tough choice between two great actresses. Monroe was terrific as Rachel, the normal one in a dysfunctional family. She nailed the teen thing, with just the right mix of confident brass and emotional insecurity. (That's her as Rachel in the John Ulman photo at right.) She's a marvelous young performer. We've enjoyed her recent roles as Opehlia in Hamlet at GreenStage and as Miranda in The Tempest at Seattle Shakespeare Company. She was fun in last summer's 14/48 festival as well. We're looking forward to seeing more of Monroe.

Weagant was spectacular as the bag lady Trudy, and a zillion other characters, in Search for Signs at Balagan. Like Monroe, Weagant is playing a lot around town and we love it all. She was great as Desdemona in Othello last year, also at Balagan, and hosts Schmorgasborg, the company's monthly late-night theatre mash-up. Members of Theatre Puget Sound agree with us about Weagant; they voted her their member's voice award for best actress back in October. We hear she's landed a role in Cider House Rules at Book-It this summer.

Thumbs up to two great veteran actresses. Robin Goodrin Nordli, 2008 best actress for The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, turned in a splendid performance as Lady Macbeth at OSF last season. Anne Allgood was marvelous in a couple of roles in ACT's Rock 'n' Roll. Tracy Hyland was memorable in the hot, sexy Just Drink It at 14/48 in August.

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