Helen Mirren is also the biggest, most powerful character on Broadway — with apologies to the 82-year-old Chita Rivera. Maybe it’s the crown — Mirren embodies Queen Elizabeth II on Broadway — but it’s not just borrowed lineage that makes Mirren coruscate and command on stage. It’s her own personal dignity, and her extraordinary control over her craft, that make people who’ve seen The Audience want to give this nimble, transcendent actress a Tony Award. Mirren is nominated for the role.
And that description doesn’t even mention the glamour, which Mirren controls just like her craft, letting it simmer rather than boil over — a talent she could teach to some of the younger stars out there. But then younger, age in general, hardly crosses the mind when encountering Mirren. She seems not so much ageless as indifferent to time, like she’s found a pocket in it and time can’t quite reach her. And oh yeah, she’s a Dame — the kind the Queen names and the kind Dean Martin might have flirted with, all rolled up into one.