A world without Thomas Derrah is almost inconceivable.
From the very first company of Robert Brustein’s A.R.T. —a where he dazzled in Goldoni and Brecht (from his impossible hat trick in Servant of Two Masters to his raucous rendition of Kurt Weil’s sardonic Button Song) —his performances are indelibly etched in the memory.
When the A.R.T. changed hands and actors, Boston’s smaller companies profited. We saw Derrah even oftener, on small stages from SpeakEasy to Stoneham. He defied age. He defied type, even gender, portraying outrageous (and touching) women with gusto and sensitivity. There was no role he couldn’t conquer.