De Acha has long been producing solidly professional work, but lately his talents have really blossomed. In one production after another this season -- Hamlet, Anna in the Tropics, Madame Melville, The Credeaux Canvas -- his staging has been consistently subtle, sensual, literate, evocative, and (most important) clear. De Acha has shown an exceptional ability to bring a play's text and subtext to theatrical life. It's no wonder so many writers enjoy working with him. The courtly Cuban-born, New York City-trained director is also a master of musicality, using elements of rhythm, tone, and harmonics in his productions. Hardly surprising, as he's also an experienced opera director.
De Acha has long been producing solidly professional work, but lately his talents have really blossomed. In one production after another this season -- Hamlet, Anna in the Tropics, Madame Melville, The Credeaux Canvas -- his staging has been consistently subtle, sensual, literate, evocative, and (most important) clear. De Acha has shown an exceptional ability to bring a play's text and subtext to theatrical life. It's no wonder so many writers enjoy working with him. The courtly Cuban-born, New York City-trained director is also a master of musicality, using elements of rhythm, tone, and harmonics in his productions. Hardly surprising, as he's also an experienced opera director.
Talk about contradictions: The most dazzling performance of the season was Alicia Roper in what had to be the mousiest role of the year. In her Florida debut, Roper triumphed as Bonnie Schwartz, a horribly repressed, desperate-to-please neurotic whose self-effacing front masked a seething stew of emotions. Roper managed not only to make everything crystal clear but her performance was also very, very funny. A Broadway veteran and Yale Drama School graduate, Roper has a detailed, emotionally grounded acting style and a cool, blond look reminiscent of another Yale alumna, Meryl Streep. Roper is now back in New York City and on to other projects, but perhaps we'll see her back here again in future Florida Stage productions.

Talk about contradictions: The most dazzling performance of the season was Alicia Roper in what had to be the mousiest role of the year. In her Florida debut, Roper triumphed as Bonnie Schwartz, a horribly repressed, desperate-to-please neurotic whose self-effacing front masked a seething stew of emotions. Roper managed not only to make everything crystal clear but her performance was also very, very funny. A Broadway veteran and Yale Drama School graduate, Roper has a detailed, emotionally grounded acting style and a cool, blond look reminiscent of another Yale alumna, Meryl Streep. Roper is now back in New York City and on to other projects, but perhaps we'll see her back here again in future Florida Stage productions.

Morgan has long been a well-known and well-liked actress on the local scene, but her work this season really showed off her range of skills. The British-born actress recently knocked off the crotchety Scottish housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in Sherlock's Last Case for Actors' Playhouse, plus some bizarre comedic cameos as an android actress and a wacky wigged hooker in Comic Potential, also at AP. And her work in Tom Walker for the New Theatre was a range in itself -- playing Tom's nightmare of a harridan wife and doubling as his new love, the harried Widow Baine. While Morgan has been lauded for each of these performances, it's the span of her abilities that's really remarkable. Some actors do well by playing the same role over and over. Lisa Morgan is never the same twice.
Morgan has long been a well-known and well-liked actress on the local scene, but her work this season really showed off her range of skills. The British-born actress recently knocked off the crotchety Scottish housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in Sherlock's Last Case for Actors' Playhouse, plus some bizarre comedic cameos as an android actress and a wacky wigged hooker in Comic Potential, also at AP. And her work in Tom Walker for the New Theatre was a range in itself -- playing Tom's nightmare of a harridan wife and doubling as his new love, the harried Widow Baine. While Morgan has been lauded for each of these performances, it's the span of her abilities that's really remarkable. Some actors do well by playing the same role over and over. Lisa Morgan is never the same twice.

Q: Do you watch reality TV?

A: I'm going to blow my image as an intellectual. Yes, I do.

Q: Which shows?

A: I used to watch Survivor when it first came out. Now I watch American Idol -- pretty religiously, I have to admit.

Q: What draws you to them?

A: I think with Survivor, I must have stumbled on it by accident. The interaction between individuals was rather compelling. With American Idol, it was probably the arts educator in me that drew me to it. I'm interested in young people with talent, aspiring to be the best in entertainment arts. I like seeing that it's not necessarily the prettiest people advancing. That's a good message to send in an image-conscious medium like television. It's based on talent. I like the audience-participation component too. It definitely intrigues people that they can take an active role.

Q: What's the down side?

A: The academic in me finds it interesting the way they make marketing products seem as if part of the show. There's a really aggressive kind of marketing going on.

Q: Like what?

A: Well, obviously a lot of grooming goes on there. People change hairstyles. Some person came up with the idea of incorporating Herbal Essence [products] into the show so they're in the reality part. I root for the contestants, but I also watch with objectivity and a lot of skepticism.

Q: What do you think of Simon Cowell?

A: I think he's dead-on. Someone has to make those kinds of decisions. If you work in the arts, you make those decisions all the time. It's difficult giving honest, constructive criticism. I admire the fact that he has the courage to do it. Most of the contestants are young; they're not professional. Anyone who has gone through being rejected by a jury knows how they feel. But as an artist, you have to toughen your skin, take advantage of that experience of rejection. You have to be constantly putting yourself out there.

Q: Do you watch reality TV?

A: I'm going to blow my image as an intellectual. Yes, I do.

Q: Which shows?

A: I used to watch Survivor when it first came out. Now I watch American Idol -- pretty religiously, I have to admit.

Q: What draws you to them?

A: I think with Survivor, I must have stumbled on it by accident. The interaction between individuals was rather compelling. With American Idol, it was probably the arts educator in me that drew me to it. I'm interested in young people with talent, aspiring to be the best in entertainment arts. I like seeing that it's not necessarily the prettiest people advancing. That's a good message to send in an image-conscious medium like television. It's based on talent. I like the audience-participation component too. It definitely intrigues people that they can take an active role.

Q: What's the down side?

A: The academic in me finds it interesting the way they make marketing products seem as if part of the show. There's a really aggressive kind of marketing going on.

Q: Like what?

A: Well, obviously a lot of grooming goes on there. People change hairstyles. Some person came up with the idea of incorporating Herbal Essence [products] into the show so they're in the reality part. I root for the contestants, but I also watch with objectivity and a lot of skepticism.

Q: What do you think of Simon Cowell?

A: I think he's dead-on. Someone has to make those kinds of decisions. If you work in the arts, you make those decisions all the time. It's difficult giving honest, constructive criticism. I admire the fact that he has the courage to do it. Most of the contestants are young; they're not professional. Anyone who has gone through being rejected by a jury knows how they feel. But as an artist, you have to toughen your skin, take advantage of that experience of rejection. You have to be constantly putting yourself out there.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of