Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Janis Fontaine
Haven’t heard of actress Alycia Mulliez-Duberry yet?
“Remember her name,” said Kim Wick, vice president of The Wick Theatre & Costume Museum. “She will be on Broadway one day.”
Alycia, 8, made her stage debut in Boca Raton in the Wick’s production of South Pacific, the only musical ever made from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
“Alycia is simply lovely,” Wick said. “She’s sung at a few of our cabarets and we were all just so impressed with her.” The young star joined the cast late and had only a few days to prepare, but she handled it like a pro, according to Wick.
Those who work with her say Alycia is a poised, confident young lady without a trace of arrogance. She is in the second grade at the Gulf Stream School and she prefers art and P.E. to math and science, but she says her teacher is nice. At home, she enjoys playing with her two dogs, a papillon and a Rhodesian ridgeback. Sometimes she makes up little plays for her stuffed animals to act out.
She doesn’t get nervous when she’s getting ready to perform.
“I just feel excited,” she says. “Well, I am a Capricorn. We take risks.”
She likes to learn her lines and usually finds it easy to remember them. “It’s fun that you get to be something you’re not.”
Alycia also studies ballet — she started at age 3 — and she’s a good athlete, as well. Good thing, too, because she says her dream is to be an actor in Cirque de Soliel’s Cavalia, which features dozens of horses and acrobats. She likes horses and says the trick is, “you just have to be calm.” She rides at Delray Equestrian Center and says she’s been saving her birthday money so she can buy her own horse.
Alycia’s mother, Francine Duberry-Mulliez of Gulf Stream, has done some acting herself and is relieved that her daughter has been able to juggle her school, extracurricular activities and the performances so easily.
“Between scenes we do homework,” mom says. Both are committed to making it work. “It’s great experience for her to work with real professionals.”
It’s also great to be in a show that earned critical acclaim. South Pacific ran through Feb. 14 and received great reviews. The Palm Beach Post gave it an A-minus and called it “a straightforward, heartfelt, well-sung production with the show’s many assets intact.”
Alycia recalled a trip she took to New York City to see the Rockettes Christmas Extravaganza, when she visited Central Park and went to the best toy store ever, FAO Schwarz. She did not, however, get to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, so that’s on the rosebud’s bucket list. She’s ready to go to Broadway tomorrow, she says.
If the critics are right, she won’t always be in the audience.
Local performing arts classes for kids
Do you have the next Oscar- or Tony-winner living at your house? Here are 10 local opportunities where they can polish their craft:
Acting 101 — Boca Raton Community Center, 150 Crawford Blvd., Boca Raton. Ages 5-10. A broad introduction to acting offered in a fun way through exercises and drills. Info: 393-7807.
Actors Conservatory — Boca Raton Community Center, 150 Crawford Blvd., Boca Raton. Ages 12-18. From Shakespeare/stage work to film and television stage combat, and vocal/movement training for the actor. Info: 393-7807
The Arts Garage — 180 NE First Ave., Delray Beach. Offers an array of classes like theater play for 5- to 7-year-olds, “dream role” cabaret for 8- to 12-year-olds and the Bridge Project jazz combo workshop for students with two years’ jazz experience. Also offers private classes. Info: 450-6357; www.artsgarage.org
Center Stage Performing Arts — 7200 W. Camino Real, Suite 330, Boca Raton. Ages 5-12. The Broadway Workshop is a 13-week theater/dance performance program with training in singing, dancing and acting that ends with a full-scale musical production. The school offers both an improv student showcase and improv classes. Info: 750-7824; www.centerstageboca.com
Musical Theater and Drama — Boca Raton Community Center, 150 Crawford Blvd., Boca Raton. Ages 6-11. Joy Deco teaches singing, dancing and acting to popular Broadway songs and scripts. Info: 393-7807.
Rocky Mountain Conservatory Theatre — 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. The RMCT offers a variety of classes and summer programs for young performers. Info: 962-1570.
Showtime Performing Arts Theatre — 503 SE Mizner Blvd., Suite 73, Boca Raton. Classes are offered for preschool kids through adults in dance, acting, instrumental, vocal and audition preparation. The theater also offers winter and spring break camps and summer performing arts camps. Both group and private lessons are offered. Info: 394-2626; www.showtimeboca.com
Sol Children Theatre Troupe — 3333 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Beginner, intermediate and advanced acting, musical theater, creative drama and movement and improvisation. Summer programs take place at Olympic Heights High School. Info: 447-8829; www.solchildren.org
TakeLessons.com — A guide to people who offer classes. You can check out their résumés, compare prices and see if anyone clicks. Info: www.takelessons.com
Virtuous Productions — 2880 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Ages 4 and older. Children and teen classes in ballroom, etiquette, jazz, musical theater, creative dramatics, hip hop and modern dance. Choral and acting for teens only. Info: 750-6700; www.virtuousproductions.com.