BEST ACTOR (2002)

Casey Greig

Short, lean, ruddy-cheeked, and mop-topped, young actor Casey Greig is one of the most recognizable faces in the local theater scene. In fact, Greig is impossible to ignore, whether he's effortlessly stealing scenes in the Jungle Theater's production of Torch Song Trilogy or fleshing out larger leading roles, such as his turn opposite Sally Wingert in Cowbird at Eye of the Storm. His best performance this year, however, was one of his most subdued: the nebbishy, overearnest mortician in Craig Wright's Molly's Delicious. Greig played the role with awkwardly formal mannerisms and a thin, bristling moustache. And in the process, he made convincing the most unlikely of plot points: that a youthful crush might be enough to radically transform a life, and to such an extent that the most impossible decisions might seem entirely reasonable. It was a role that was at once comic and poignant, and Greig, still early in his career, proved himself abundantly capable of both.

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