Best Stage Actress

Linda Castro, The Rose Tattoo

Juicy roles are like raw sirloin, especially for carnivorous actors who relish tearing into a meaty character with multifaceted traits. But along with such a tasty assignment goes the hefty responsibility of not screwing it up. As Serafina in Ensemble Theatre's The Rose Tattoo, Linda Castro had a role dripping with luscious contradictions: a devoutly religious woman who loves sex, but seeks to guard her blossoming daughter's virginity. Under the direction of Licia Colombi, Castro submerged completely into this Sicilian wife, who, as conjured up by Tennessee Williams, lived on the steamy Gulf Coast. Castro underplayed her comic lines with panache and went on jags -- both the laughing and crying type -- that rang true the whole time. Her scenes with Peter Ferry, who played her lover Alvaro Mongiacavallo, brought out all of Williams' humor and humanity and were, indeed, quite a feast -- for her and for her audience.