Best Actor in a Comedy - 2004
Ed Baierlein, Relatively Speaking, Germinal Stage Denver
Ed Baierlein may be the most interesting, subtle, intelligent and multi-layered actor in Denver -- a role he's played for more than two decades. In Alan Ayckbourn's hilarious comedy Relatively Speaking, which he also directed, Baierlein played the male half of what seemed at first like a very conventional English couple. But we soon discovered that what these people felt for each other wasn't affection, or even the mutual acceptance of a couple of old codgers who'd been rubbing along together for ages. No, it was dislike. It amused him to cheat on her; it amused her to trip him up. Ed Baierlein played Philip like an elephant riding a bicycle through a minefield strewn with his own lies. He was scheming, but also perpetually baffled: mildly baffled, struck-dumb baffled, oh-my-God-I've-just-realized-what-this-means baffled or raging in furious, impotent bafflement. And underneath it all there was a shiver -- just a shiver -- of genuine nastiness.