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Best Actress Phoenix 2012 - Susan Claassen in A Conversation with Edith Head

Susan Claassen's performance in A Conversation with Edith Head, Actors Theatre's one-woman show about the world's most famous Hollywood costume designer, was the one to beat last season. In this pleasant, quietly entertaining homage to Head, which Claassen co-wrote with Head's biographer, Paddy Calisto, Claassen-as-Head dished about Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn ("She was awful, with that long, skinny neck!"), Hedy Lamarr (who ate constantly, even during fittings), and Bing Crosby (who hated clothes that made him look silly) and allowed us to forget that the renowned designer died in 1981. She prompted the audience with trivia questions and struck poses Edith Head was known for, placing a manicured hand on a hip she repeatedly jutted out into the audience. Claassen moved effortlessly from scripted storytelling to ad libs aimed at her audience, and even those of us not obsessed with the Late Late Show were able to enjoy this warm, witty performance by a fine actress.

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