Huntington Woman Nominated for Best Actress for 2010 Syracuse Area Live Theatre Awards

by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Mary Williams (right)
Mary Williams (right)

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) – A Huntington woman who earned her theatre degree at Marshall University has been nominated in Syracuse , New York , for her performance in “Six Dance Lessons” at the Cortland Repertory Theatre.

  The nominations and awards recognize outstanding achievements both community and summer theatre groups in Central New York.

Mary Poindexter Williams earned stellar reviews for her performance in “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” in August 2010 at the Cortland.

Having previously termed her opportunity in the production as a “unique experience of challenge and reward,” Ms. Williams recently received a “best actress” nomination for the role of an aging retiree in the production.

New York reviewers described her performance as “a proper minister’s wife and South Carolina school marm one moment and making sailors blush the next. “It’s like watching Betty White or Cloris Leachman on a Comedy Central Roast.”

The plot is simplistic --- Lily, a widow, hires a much younger Michael to come to her apartment and give her dance lessons, everything from the foxtrot to surf-rock. The two instantly dislike each other which makes for “no holds barred verbal battles” that occasionally turn “explosively hostile.”

Reviewers called her comic delivery “flawless,” her timing impeccable, and bringing “considerable poise” to the role.

Her husband, Huntington City Councilman Steve Williams told HNN in August, “at one point I just saw Mary’s character Lily and didn’t see Mary on the stage. She was truly transformed.”

The SALT awards will be given out in May 2011.