Tony Question #1: Will This Be Laurie Metcalf's Year?
If I told you twenty years ago that the actresses playing Angela in Who's the Boss and Jackie in Rosanne would go on to become two of Broadway's best actresses, would you have believed me? Regardless, Judith Light has certainly risen to the top of the theatre world in recent years and Laurie Metcalf is right there with her, or at least she should be.
Her nomination for A Doll's House Part 2, is her fourth. I argued that she should have at least won last year for carrying Bruce Willis through Misery in more ways than one. But this year feels much different. This time, she's stepped into the iconic role of Nora Helmer in an incredibly risky yet triumphant show and she is absolutely owning it.
Marilyn Stasio stated in her review in Variety:
"Metcalf is amazing, uncovering so many facets to Nora — her intelligence, her wit, her pluck, her courage — while retaining the humor to laugh at her idiocies. But by now, we’re starting to suspect that this isn’t really a play, but a very funny and quite biting manifesto that Nora could just as easily deliver to an auditorium of avid students in women’s studies."
Maybe in any other year, Metcalf would be the clear front-runner, but she is up against a bevy of Hollywood awards favorites including Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, Sally Field and two-time Tiny winner Jennifer Ehle. A crowded field indeed.
I'm confident that if not this year, someday Metcalf is going to take home a Tony Award. I just hope it's this year for what is truly her best work in a performance for the ages.