Best Of 2018

Best actress encouraged to misbehave onstage: JENNY LESTER

Best actress encouraged to misbehave onstage

Talk about letting it all hang out: At American Stage, Jenny Lester played the part of Daphna in Joshua Harmon’s stunning drama, Bad Jews, as if instructed to shed all decency and let her shadow side run free. So this was an obnoxious, offensive, self-righteous bad girl, convinced not only that she alone had possession of the truth, but that her verbal fluency could get her through any disaster, especially the ones she herself created. Lester’s Daphna was a woman seriously in need of Xanax, as well as six months of training in basic etiquette. Which all meant, of course, that, like most stage villains, she was delightful to watch. —Mark Leib