Best Season for an Actor Denver 2012 - Brian Norber
Brian Norber has been such a mainstay of Boulder's Dinner Theatre for so many years that he could well say with Gus, the Theatre Cat (a role he took on this year): "I have played in my time, every possible part/And I used to know seventy speeches by heart/And I knew how to act with my back and my tail/With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail." His work keeps getting richer and deeper, however. As the Phantom's father, Gerard Carriere, he was quietly dignified through most of the evening, breaking down emotionally only at the end of the Phantom. And as the melancholy, middle-aged Man obsessed with 1920s musicals, he provided the spine and just a touch of gravity for The Drowsy Chaperone, a charming piece of fluff, pitching the role precisely between cynicism and wonder, and making the Man's enthusiasm infectious. Yes, it's dumb, he seemed to be saying, but, damn, ain't it great? Isn't the musical just about the best thing the USA ever gave the world? And in that moment, you simply had to agree.