Monday, 29 July 2013

OF MIGHT & MEN: Checking in on theatre's Best Actor frontrunners du moment

SCENE STEALERS: Tulloch bonds with his onstage daughter. Below, an intense Campbell and Patterson.

As I outlined in last week's "A Tale of Three Divas", 2013's Best Actress race is nicely taking shape, thanks to award-calibre turns from, among others, Lisa Williams, Audrey Reid and Dahlia Harris, clearly the leaders at this point. But what about the gents? 

For me, any mention of the Best Actor frontrunners right now must include comeback kid David Tulloch who, after hiding out behind the scenes for years in the guise of director-producer-writer, returned to the boards this past April in his own Paternal Instinct, playing a brilliant, decent lawyer grappling with domestic woes. Not unlike talented alternate Orrin Scott-Stewart, Tulloch imbued the part with a mixture of gravity and believability, even turning on the waterworks in that pivotal scene near the end when his character faces losing custody of his young daughter. Impressive work. 

A family man of a whole different breed is Keiran King's deeply off-putting William, a tortured creative soul, in Taboo. That King managed to make this self-loathing wreck come across as simply vulnerable and hurting and, indeed, human is testament to the actor-playwright's depth and all-round terrific acting chops. Rodney Campbell, with whom King has an out-and-out brawl in arguably the play's most explosive scene, is a shoo-in for supporting-actor consideration. 
Of late, Glen Campbell has been making a habit of wowing theatregoers with dynamic and passionate portrayals of charming womanizers, the type who leave heartbreak in their wake. Following up the Thespy- and Actor Boy-winning Charlie's Angels and last year's Glass Slippaz, Campbell gives a splendid performance in this month's Ladies of the Night as slick-talking music producer Carlos, whose love-em-and-leave-em days may be numbered after an encounter with four talented (musically and otherwise) prostitutes, played by Keisha Patterson, Sharee McDonald-Russell, Sakina Deer and Camille Davis, whose presence in the show (despite her long hiatus) made me feel as if she never left.




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