Best Actor in a Musical

Ben Nordstrom

At first glance Ben Nordstrom is as all-American as Huckleberry Finn, as modestly wholesome as the scrawny kid next door. Next thing you know, he's flying over your head, higher than Peter Pan without the wires. Who is this guy, anyway? In Urinetown he was Bobby Strong, a young innocent who becomes a seditious revolutionary after he allows patrons at a public utility to pee for free. This is not your typical leading-man role. In a wonderfully cast production mounted by the Rep (in a moment of parochial pride, need we add how many of these actors were St. Louis performers?), Nordstrom was practically the only principal onstage who didn't have to play attitude first. (Or if he did, he did a great job of concealing it.) Nordstrom's Bobby became our entrée into this bizarre world, and we were putty in his empowered, pliable hands.
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