Best Actor - 2000
Readers' Choice: James Black
All hail John Feltch, the gorgeous and thoroughly rakish actor who played Henry in the Alley's production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. The show was one of the season's best, owing in no small part to Feltch's bespectacled and brooding sexuality, along with his blazing intelligence. The long-limbed performer burned like a smoldering fire as he brought to life the lead character, a cuckolded playwright whose heart is crushed by the diddlings of his kitteny wife. In Henry, Feltch found a character who was astoundingly complex. An intellectual miser who lolled in the lush glitter of language like any fine playwright should, verbally cuffing anyone around who got it wrong, he was also an ordinary everyman who discovered the impotent and shameful grief that rises from the useless rage of a broken heart. It's a rare performance that can inspire in its audience the kind of thoughtful, deeply felt sadness that Feltch's did. It is glories such as this actor that make live theater urgent, meaningful and worth every dime.