Best Impromptu Performance by an actor - 2000
Bruce DuBose displays his, um, artistic temperament
Undermain Theatre stalwart Bruce DuBose excels at roles in which self-absorption can be easily confused for intensity. Onstage, he's often as serenely soporific as one of his voiceovers for KERA Channel 13 or a truck company, and veteran theatergoers have grown so accustomed to his rich-throated narcotic stylings, they forget that the role can be played in a way not dependent on Nyquil chic. Imagine our surprise when we discovered what has been a widely known phenomenon in the Dallas theater scene for quite a while--DuBose's tendency to pitch major, lung-blasting hissy fits with little provocation. Late last year, we called DuBose at home--he'd given us the number a couple years ago--to invite him to lunch, with the expressed intent to nail down those rumors about the Undermain Theatre's uncertain future. Straight out of the gate, DuBose's voice was a self-righteous sneer ("We're not interested in addressing rumors"), but it quickly gathered into a thunderhead tantrum of adolescent bohemian outrage. Why, he wanted to know, were we calling people at home? Because messages left at the Undermain office are not returned. We, in turn, asked why calls weren't answered, and why press releases weren't sent out to help us inform the public of the Undermain's status. "I don't consider the Observer press!" (get in line on that one, Bruce) was not the corker of the short conversation. That would have to be: "Why should we conform?!" The yelling made his sentences incomprehensible, so we had to hang up on him. The Undermain's imminent displacement after 16 years of excellence is truly tragic, but to have one of its founders represent the company's legacy with such petulance is confounding.