Best Chicago theater performances of 2012
Chicago stages were filled with memorable performances in 2012, many the work of veteran local actors who have only improved with age. So in our annual tribute to the city's incomparably talented stock of actors of all stripes, here's our list of the 10 best performances of the year. It appears in alphabetical order. -- Chris Jones
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Manny Buckley in 'Hit the Wall,' a production by The Inconvenience at the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre
In Ike Holter's new drama "Hit the Wall," Buckley played an initially apolitical drag queen whose consciousness is raised one night at New York's Stonewall Inn, when gay Americans fought back against routine harassment. This was a stunning piece of acting from a mostly unknown young performer: raw, complex, authoritative and deeply vulnerable. You could not take your eyes off Buckley's beautiful Carlson or fail to feel the power of defiance.