The Race to the 2013 Tonys: A look at the candidates for Best Featured Actress in a Play

Whether they were making their Broadway debut or returning to the Broadway stage, each of the actresses nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Play inspired audiences with real stories about the human condition, relationships and just trying to survive through life. These were the scene stealing ladies who reminded audiences why the theatre is a powerful and important art form.

Shalita Grant and David Hyde-Pierce

Shalita Grant and David Hyde-Pierce

Shalita GrantVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike:

Grant makes her Broadway debut in this play as Cassandra, a psychic maid to a quiet family. Her quirkiness and generous nature towards her employers make the character endearing, entertaining, and, above all, a scene stealer.

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Carrie Coon and the cast of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’

Carrie Coon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf:

Coon excels in the role of Honey, a biology professors mousy and drunk wife. In the show her and her husband are the unlucky visitors to a dysfunctional couples place, which results in chaos, and a lot of drinking on the part of Coons character.

Judith Ivey and Jessica Chastain in 'The Heiress.'

Judith Ivey and Jessica Chastain in ‘The Heiress.’

Judith Ivey, The Heiress:

As Lavinia Penniman, the recently widowed aunt of Catherine Sloper (played by Jessica Chastain), Ivey is a prominent role in The Heiress. Although in mourning, Ivey’s character acts as a mentor to Sloper, encouraging her to chase after love. As Penniman, Ivey is relatable and owns the stage.

Jessica Hecht and Judith Light in 'The Assembled Parties.'

Jessica Hecht and Judith Light in ‘The Assembled Parties.’

Judith Light, The Assembled Parties:

Light nails her performance as Faye, the powerful head of a wealthy Upper West Side family that is facing struggle. She owns this role of a Jewish woman who faces crisis in both her personal life and family life with class and impressive pronunciation of Yiddish words. As Faye, Light is both witty, and wise. 

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Cicely Tyson and Condola Rashad in ‘The Trip To Bountiful’

Condola Rashad, The Trip to Bountiful:

 Rashad delivers a phenomenal performance as army bride Thelma, a travelling companion to a past seeking elderly woman. Her performance is subtle and perfectly low-key, exactly as Thelma is to be portrayed.

My Prediction: I think a Tony is in the stars for Shalita Grant, as she owns the role of the clairvoyant maid in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Her quirkiness steals the show, and her kindness towards her employers is a constant throughout the play. Her performance is both comedic and heartwarming. Grants performance is spectacular, and turns heads in her Broadway debut.

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