Best Supporting Actress (2014)

Kim Ostrenko and Betsy Graver

The dysfunctional family, an overdone theater chestnut if ever there was one, received a refreshingly offbeat treatment from playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer and the team at Boca-based Parade Productions this year. The Last Schwartz chronicled a tumultuous weekend in the ancestral home of the Schwartz siblings, who gathered to honor the first anniversary of their patriarch's passing but instead reopened old filial wounds. The result was a lot funnier than this description sounds, thanks in large part to the yin and yang of Ostrenko and Graver, who portrayed a wife and girlfriend, respectively, of two of the Schwartz siblings. Graver proved once again that she could play an airhead better than anyone around. Her low-information fashion model invariably consumed the gravitational pull of any given conversation, with hilariously tactless results. Operating on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, Ostrenko provided the show's heartbreaking core. As she was forced to confront her history of miscarriages and a repressed family secret, we watched her veneer of marital normalcy chip away, resulting in a vulnerable and sometimes devastating performance.


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