John Larroquette in The Best Man (2012)
I played both his secretary Catherine (who his character was having an affair with) then played Alice (his character's estranged wife) after Cybill Shepherd left the show and I was asked to replace. Larroquette's stage prowess was tremendously delicate and yet terrifying to experience. It was like being on stage with a lion I was caught in a vice grip with. The audience didn't exist.
How the f#%$ did she run up and down those stairs every performance much less obliterate everyone in her path as Violet Weston? At 80-something years old!? I decided I wanted to be her when I grew up so when I had the chance to go on the national tour of that play with her, I jumped at the chance. Someone asked me what it was like chewing up the scenery with her. I said there was nothing left to chew she had eaten it all.
Amanda Plummer in Agnes of God (1982)
I first saw Amanda in Agnes on opening night. My mother, who originated the role of Mother Miriam, invited me to opening night and sat me front-row center. When Amanda as Agnes literally climbed the curved set by Eugene Lee with a running start and then slid across to vomit over the lip of the stage (practically into my lap) because the other nuns had fed her glass, I was hooked.
Maryann Plunkett in Agnes of God (1983)
When Maryann stepped into the role, it was toward the end of the run and I had seen the play dozens of times with countless Agnes'. Maryann's final exit, clutching the front of her bloody habit as if it were her murdered infant, has emblazoned itself in my psyche.
Elizabeth Ashley in Agnes of God (1982)
Those legs. Those eyes. That hair. That voice. Say no more.
Geraldine Page in Absurd Person Singular (1974)
Gerry wore a spectacular orange wig and sequined pant suit in that production, which was billed as the longest-running comedy on Broadway at the time. How I loved that play and her in it. For most of the second act, her character sat at an open stove, drunk, admiring the cleanliness of it with a bottomless martini in hand while Sandy Dennis' character failed at various suicide attempts. Genius.
Rip Torn in A Glass Menagerie (1975)
My dad was in his 40's when he played Tom. A different spin on the casting at that time. "A manly Tom" as Tennessee Williams discerned. I thought it was even more heartbreaking to see an older Tom playing out his memories as his younger self. Beautiful, elegant, raw performance. As a child, I loved watching the addition of flash paper he would light off his cigarette nightly during the "I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion,” bit at the top of the play.
Michelle Pawk in Cabaret (1998)
As the red-headed, accordion playing Nazi Fraulein Kost, she was the sexiest thing I think I've ever seen on stage. When I lost the role of Louise in Hollywood Arms to her (which she won the Tony for) I couldn't be happier. And, of course, she was beyond exquisite.
Robert Sella in Cabaret (1999)
I was obsessed with Joel Grey's MC in the film version of "Cabaret" since I was a tot (was too young to see that Broadway version which preceded it, drats I was 2). And, of course, LOVE Alan Cumming in the role (who doesn't) but when Robert Sella replaced Alan, it was a revelation. Platinum blond and terrifying beyond words. The ending in his hands sent a bolt through my body and tears down my face.
Frank Wood in Side Man was one of the most sensitive, nuanced and unique performances I have ever witnessed.