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Best Funny Performer 

Lauretta Pope

Lauretta Pope romped as Gertrude McFuzz, a lovesick lady bird who wouldn't let being born with just one tail feather keep her from shaking it. The Coterie Theatre's second go at Seussical: The Musical showcased her talent for gawky, all-elbows bird dances and ridiculous squawks, and for perching right there on the fine line between beloved oddball and wretched outcast. Daft as she was and preen as she did, McFuzz never lost her dignity — in fact, audiences felt for her. Pope pulled this trick again a couple of months later at the Unicorn, this time as an actual person (albeit a birdlike squawker). Playing the awkward, garrulous drama geek Diwata in Speech & Debate, Pope perched right between diva and loner, this time to even greater comic — and emotional — effect. She captured the way that, when we're young, bluster disguises fear, recklessness hides fragility, and how we're never happier than when we're shaking whatever feathers we've got. Pope provided yet more evidence that it's funnier when it's true.

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