Best Actress in a Play

Brooke Edwards

Passionate theater, persuasively rendered, was the stock-in-trade of the Orange Girls theater company, which concluded its brief but exhilarating four-year tenure with an effervescent production of David Lindsay-Abaire's madcap comedy Wonder of the World. In the pivotal leading role of a rudderless woman on the run from reality, Brooke Edwards somehow managed to anchor the anarchic evening even as she was cavorting about as a crazed loony. As Cass, a married woman who initiates a love affair with the captain of the excursion boat Maid of the Mist, Edwards etched her bizarre portrait in so disciplined a manner that she also guided the show's momentum. If the (already missed) Orange Girls company was created in part to showcase actresses in delicious roles, Edwards rose to the challenge. In a performance whose energy never flagged and whose control never wavered, she delivered the stage equivalent of tightrope-walking across Niagara Falls without a net.

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