Once on This Island is a Broadway musical about the land, the gods, and the people of an island in the French West Indies. It’s one of the stories of us with characters who will be familiar to anyone with an African, Caribbean or Afro-Latin heritage. Anyway, it’s a universal story.
Once on This Island tells the story of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, who is ready to risk everything for love. Guided by the gods, she sets out on a journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.
I don’t know about you, but I have found that almost everything I do with honest love, multiplies and grows in the most unexpected ways.
Once on This Island
This is a one-act musical with a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty.
The story is based on Rosa Guy’s 1985 novel My Love, My Love; Or, The Peasant Girl. It’s basically a Caribbean version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
The musical premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in the 1989-1990 season.
The original Broadway production ran on Broadway in the 1990-1991 season.
A 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
Once on This Island 2017
The 2017 revival is directed by Tony-nominated director Michael Arden with choreography by Camille A. Brown.
Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold are the lead producers.
The main characters in the story are a light-skinned landowner and a dark-skinned peasant, but skin-color doesn’t matter in this telling of the story. Hallelujah! True to our times and the natural power of divinity, some of the gods are gender-fluid.
The story is beautifully staged. It’s very award-worthy. It’s rewarding to see one of our stories presented in a good light on a Broadway stage. There is something very powerful about that.
Once on This Island 2017 started previews on November 9, 2017. It opened on December 3, 2017, and is on sale through December 30, 2018.
The main cast is:
- Phillip Boykin is Tonton Julian
- Quentin Earl Darrington is Agwe, the spirit of the seas
- Emerson Davis is the Little Girl
- Alysha Deslorieux is Andrea
- Tamyra Gray is Papa Ge, the spirit of death and fertility
- Hailey Kilgore stars as Ti Moune
- Kenita R. Miller is Mama Euralie
- Alex Newell is Asaka, the spirit of agriculture and the harvest
- Isaac Powell is Daniel, the boy Ti Moune loves
- Lea Salonga is Erzulie, the spirit of love
- Mia Williamson is the Little Girl
Storytellers fill out the cast:
- Darlesia Cearcy
- Rodrick Covington
- Tyler Hardwick
- Cassondra James
- David Jennings
- Grasan Kingsberry
- Loren Lott
- T. Oliver Reid
- Ximone Rose
- Anthony Wayne
- Aurelia Williams
The creative team includes:
- Music Supervisor Chris Fenwick
- Scenic Design by Dane Laffrey
- Costume Design by Clint Ramos
- Lighting Design by Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer
- Sound Design by Peter Hylenski
Drama Desk Award Nominations
- Outstanding Revival of a Musical
- Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical – Kenita R. Miller
- The LaDuca Award for Outstanding Choreography – Camille A. Brown
- Outstanding Orchestrations – Annmarie Milazzo and Michael Starobin (John Bertles and Bash the Trash, found instrument design)
- Outstanding Set Design for a Musical – Dane Laffrey
- Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical – Clint Ramos
- Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical – Jules Fisher, Peggy Eisenhauer
Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations
- Outstanding Revival of a Musical
- Outstanding Director of a Musical – Michael Arden
- Outstanding Choreographer – Camille A. Brown
- Outstanding Costume Design – Clint Ramos
- Outstanding Orchestrations – Ann Marie Milazzo & Michael Starobin
- Outstanding Actress in a Musical – Hailey Kilgore
Once on This Island Tickets
Tickets are $79.50 – $189.50
The show is usually dark on Thursdays.
Children under 4 are not allowed in the theatre.
Monday – Tuesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Wednesday – Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm
Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday: 12 noon – 7:30 pm
Visiting the Circle in the Square Theatre
235 West 50th St, New York, NY 10019
(between Broadway and Eighth Ave)
Times Square Theater District
- (1) (2) to 50th St
- (C) (E) to 50th St
- (N) (R) (W) to 49th St
- (B) (D) to Seventh Ave