Best Of 2011

Best Ensemble Cast in a Play: November

As President Charles Smith in the St. Louis Actors' Studio production of David Mamet's White House farce, November, Alan Knoll spoke relentlessly for nearly two hours. President Smith has more dialogue than any sane person should have to memorize — and as it turns out, Mamet's prez ain't sane. Knoll's ferocious energy was matched by John Krewson as Smith's implacable aide. Watching these two buoy one another was enough to take your breath away. But if Knoll had the most lines, Michelle Hand had the most sneezes. You don't normally think of a runny nose as being integral to a play's pace. But as overseen by director Bobby Miller, the coordination of dialogue and phlegm added a fresh dimension to ensemble acting. Toss actors Chopper Leifheit and Alan McClintock into the blender, and November was a two-hour marathon of synchronized acting.

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