In "Clybourne Park," the drama inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun," Shamos plays dual roles that he has described as "jackassy." In the first act, set in 1959, he is a community leader who discourages his white neighbors from selling their house to a black family. Fifty years later, he is half of a young couple moving into the now-blighted neighborhood and meeting with longtime residents. His character often says what others might think but would never say aloud. To Shamos' great credit, pegging either character as simply "racist" becomes complicated, and he was nominated for a featured actor Tony.
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times