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Actress of the Year 

Since her jaw-dropping debut in Thoroughly Modern Millie propelled her to Newcomer of the Year honors in 2007, Caroline Bower has quickly risen to become Charlotte's pre-eminent musical comedy sweetheart. After wearing the gingham in the Children's Theatre production of The Wizard of Oz, it wasn't surprising to see the Judy Garland youthfulness and pluck that Bower brought to Belle in Beauty and the Beast at ImaginOn. But there were flecks of Judith Anderson starch and venom in there, too. Could they have come from her escape to Bohemia for her role in last summer's "anti-play," The Bald Soprano? Earlier in the year, Bower presented a far trashier heroine in her Actor's Theatre debut as Linda, the S-Mart housewares department cutie who becomes a Candarian demon in Evil Dead: The Musical.

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