Arts and Entertainment
Published: September 19, 2012
Bruce Nelson has played so many weirdos in his mind-boggling career as Maryland’s finest actor that the only way he had left to surprise us was to play someone as utterly conventional as Elyot Chase in Private Lives. That’s just what he did at the Everyman Theatre last winter, appearing as the British aristocrat in a white tuxedo in Noel Coward’s droll farce. It’s hard to breathe new life into a role—or type—as well-worn as this one, but Nelson revitalized the show by making it clear that Elyot’s stylish banter and waves of the cigarette were the thinnest of ice over the dark waters of panic. In January, Nelson appeared at D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., and in October he will make his Center Stage debut in The Completely Fictional—Utterly True—Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe.