Best Actress (2004)
Ann C. James in Laughing Wild In one of her strongest Houston performances in years, Ann C. James burned up the stage in Christopher Durang's Laughing Wild, produced by the amazingly resilient Unhinged Theatre Company. The strange play focused, in part, on a street woman haranguing the audience with her many wonderfully obscure opinions. During one 30-minute monologue, James ranted against a world full of people who don't have "sufficient humility to question themselves" and declared, "Mother Teresa makes me sick." Then she asked the audience, "Have you ever noticed how sexual intercourse makes you want to commit suicide?" Consistently sadistic and hilarious, James brought this feisty loony tune (and her adroit observations) to clarifying light, and she managed to create a realistic sense of woe in the character while maintaining the play's silly, macabre absurdity.