Best Of 2016

Best actor: NICK LEREW

Best actor

In freeFall Theatre’s sensationally silly The Pirates of Penzance, Lerew was Frederic, a decent, well-meaning young man who’d been apprenticed to a pirate because his nursemaid misunderstood the word “pilot,” and whose years of indenture were just about over… except for a 40-year technicality. As played by Lerew, Frederic was honest, sincere and profoundly committed to justice, truth, and the love of a certain Mabel. He won our sympathy within moments, and was our ready entrée into the futuristic world of Eric Davis’s comic space-age adaptation. Lerew was equally as good as a sincere Italian Romeo in The Light in the Piazza and as a Britisher with a secret in The Importance of Being Earnest With Zombies. Clearly, St. Petersburg has found its Romantic Lead — and even though, with his tenure up as a member of freeFall’s resident company, Lerew is moving to NYC with equally talented fiançee Maya Handa Naff — see below — we suspect local theaters will be bringing him back often. —Mark Leib