RISE & SHINE BROADWAY FANS! The COVID-19 pandemic has taken effect so much on our New York City community including the upcoming MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET in just 28 DAYS!!! However, The 94th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is still happening but done in a unique new way. To still keep the spirit of both the parade and Broadway alive, you are tuning in every morning to New York Broadway Tours with our TOP 30 BROADWAY AT MACY'S COUNTDOWN
At # 28 on our countdown, we take a journey to a destructive tropical Island. There, we meet a young peasant girl who uses the power of love to bring together peace with people of different races including the man’s life she saves. This is Once On This Island. Based on the 1985 novel MY LOVE, MY LOVE (or THE PEASANT GIRL) by Rosa Guy, it features an original score by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics and a book by Lynn Ahrens. This was their major debut musical.
From the 2017 NBC telecast, Tony nominee Hailey Kilgore as “Ti-Moune”, Tony winner Lea Salonga as “Erzulie”, Alex Newell as “Asaka”, Merle Dandridge as “Papa Ge”, Quentin Earl Darrington as “Agwe”, Issac Powell as “Daniel”, and the cast of the recent Broadway revival bring a little bit of paradise to Herald Square. Here they are with a medley of WAITING FOR LIFE and the show’s spiritual finale anthem WHY WE TELL THE STORY.
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND originally premiered Off Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in the Spring of 1990. It was a smash hit, the show officially transferred to Broadway's Booth Theatre in the Fall of that same year running for 19 previews and 469 regular performances. Under the direction and choreography by Graciela Daniele, the cast was led by….
LaChanze as "Ti-Moune" (The Peasant Girl),
Jerry Dixon as "Daniel" (The Lover),
Andrea Frierson (later Rozz Morehead) as "Erzulie" (The Goddess of Love),
Sheila Gibbs as "Mama Euralie",
Kecia Lewis as "Asaka" (The Mother Of Earth),
Gerry McIntyre as "Armand",
Milton Craig Nealy as "Agwe" (The God of Water),
Eric Riley as "Papa Ge" (The Demon God Of Death),
Ellis E. Williams as "Tonton Julian",
Nikki Rene as "Andrea",
Afi McClendon (later Ibijoke Akinola) as "Little Ti Moune",
The original Broadway production was nominated for 8 Tony Awards in 1991 including BEST MUSICAL and BEST LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (for LaChanze) but lost all of it's categories.
The show would later go on to wow audiences around the world including a production in London's West End where it went on to win the Olivier Award in 1995 winning only for BEST NEW MUSICAL.
Most recently, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND was revived on Broadway in 2017. It played Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre for 29 previews and 457 performances. Under the direction of Michael Arden and choreography by Camille A. Brown, the cast was led by….
Newcomer Hailey Kilgore (later and temporarily Loren Lott) as "Ti Moune",
Issac Powell as "Daniel",
Lea Salonga (later Darlesia Cearcy and Michelle T. Williams) as "Erzulie",
Kenita R. Miller as "Mama Euralie",
Alex Newell as "Asaka",
David Jennings as "Armand",
Quentin Earl Darrington (later and temporary Norm Lewis) as "Agwe",
Merle Dandridge (later Tamyra Gray) as "Papa-Ge",
Phillip Boykin as "Tonton Julian",
Alysha Deslorieux as "Andrea",
Mia Williamson as "Little Ti-Moune".
The recent revival was nominated for 8 Tony Awards in 2018 winning only 1….and the big one…… BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL.
Following its life on Broadway, this recent revival embarked on a North American National Tour but was abruptly cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this summer, it was announced that a film adaptation of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is officially in the works for Disney+. It will be directed by Wanuri Kahiu, feature a screenplay by Jocelyn Bioh, and produced by Marc Platt. The announcement of Casting, Filming, and Release dates will be revealed at a later time.
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND today is a popular musical done in schools, community, and Regional Theaters everywhere.
How beautifully spiritual is this show?!!!