Best Creator of Experimental Theater

We don't quite know what to make of Thaddeus Phillips, who managed -- all by himself -- to perform two full-length Shakespeare plays, King Lear and the Tempest, during one strange and coldly electrifying evening at Denver's Buntport Theater and who later amazed a sparse crowd at the historic Rossonian Hotel with a loose narrative about how he learned to tap dance. The latter also involved a tribute to his teachers and a trip to Cuba, along with some dazzlingly fast tap displays. Phillips creates a world on stage the way a kid makes a city out of blocks. He uses objects -- a high-heeled shoe, a cigarette, a grinning Javanese puppet -- as stand-ins for other characters. Though we have no way of defining him, we plan to be there for whatever he comes up with next.

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