Blair Brown in Copenhagen
Blair Brown's busy Broadway season concludes with a Tony nomination for her role as Margrethe in Copenhagen, but she started it off starring with Christopher Walken in the musical adaption of James Joyce's The Dead. Her theatre credits include Camino Real, Cabaret, Arcadia, The Secret Rapture and The Threepenny Opera. Brown earned five Emmy nominations and a Best Actress Ace Award playing the title role in television's "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd."
Frances Conroy in The Ride Down Mt. Morgan
As Theo in The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Frances Conroy plays a reserved, WASPish first wife opposite a bigamist husband played by Patrick Stewart. Though she played the same role Off-Broadway, Conroy is well known to audiences for her Broadway credits, including Ring Around the Moon, The Little Foxes, In the Summer House (earning a Drama Desk Award nomination), Two Shakespearean Actors, Some Americans Abroad and Our Town at Lincoln Center. She has also worked in as such films as "Scent of a Woman" and "Sleepless in Seattle."
Amy Ryan in Uncle Vanya
Though her character, Sonya, was left behind in Uncle Vanya, Amy Ryan took away a Tony nomination for her work in the Roundabout production. Her Broadway credits include The Sisters Rosensweig and The Three Sisters, while her Off-Broadway work includes Hysterical Blindness, Marking, The Rimers of Eldrich and A Shayna Maidel.
Helen Stenborg in Waiting in the Wings
As Sarita in Waiting in the Wings, Helen Stenborg's performance as a rest home's delightful resident firebug proved, in more than one way, incendiary. Her Broadway credits include A Month in the Country, A Life, A Doll's House, Trial of Cantonsville 9, Sheep on the Runway and Da with her husband and Waiting in the Wings co-star, Barnard Hughes.
Sarah Woodward in The Real Thing
Sarah Woodward's role as Charlotte in The Real Thing earned her a first-time Tony nomination, but she has already won the Laurence Olivier Award for Supporting Actress for the London production of Tom and Clem. The British actress' other key roles include Habeas Corpus Wild Oats, The Sea, Love's Labour's Lost, Henry V, and Hamlet among numerous other theatre and television appearances. Analysis: This year's Featured Actress category captures the imagination and showcases five talented women, but it is widely viewed as a two-lady race between Copenhagen's Blair Brown, who had a great year overall, and respected veteran Frances Conroy who earned the coveted Tony nomination even after Patrick Stewart's statements about the state of Mt. Morgan's advertising had generated controversial press.
-- By Murdoch McBride