It's not hard to single out Nancy Lewis as an artist of boldness and daring. But how to single out one of her performances during this past year above the others? Lewis veritably slithered through her withering turn as the tyrannical Violet Venable in Stray Dog's Suddenly Last Summer, and she was sweetly endearing as a toothless old theater crony in the Orange Girls' Playhouse Creatures. But her compassionate portrayal of an artist in decline in Orange Girls' The Road to Mecca was more than mere performance; it was an affirmation of life. An artist in decline? Not Lewis. The ever-growing body of her work (let's not forget her indelible creations in the likes of Women's Minyan, Separate Tables and Enchanted April) — and the intelligence she manifests in the roles she chooses to play — reveal this artist as a unique combination of both grounded and otherworldly.