Once On This Island BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • DEADLINE

  • HR

  • CHIC TRIB

  • AMNY

Opening Night:
December 3, 2017
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Circle in the Square / 235 West 50th Street, New York, NY, 10019

Synopsis: 

Tony Award® winner Lea Salonga returns to Broadway in Once On This Island, the Broadway musical celebration from the Tony Award®-winning writers of Anastasia and Ragtime.

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie (Ms. Salonga), Asaka (Alex Newell, Glee), Papa Ge (Merle Dandridge, Greenleaf), and Agwe (Quentin Earl Darrington, Cats), on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Come and gather around for Once On This Island, a triumph of the timeless power of theatre to bring us together, move our hearts, and help us conquer life’s storms. You are why we tell the story.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Once On This Island

    BROADWAY REVIEW: ‘Once on This Island,’ Revived and Ravishing

    Jesse Green

    December 3, 2017:

    I wasn’t expecting the goat in diapers.

    Nor did I arrive at Circle in the Square the other night anticipating the panorama of village folk barbecuing on the beach, fishing in the lagoon and going about their daily business in a joyful preshow panorama on the theater’s lozenge-shaped stage.

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Once On This Island

    BROADWAY REVIEW: A Glorious, Timely Revival Of 'Once On This Island'

    Jeremy Gerard

    December 3, 2017: A joyful noise thunders through Circle in the Square theater, as Broadway welcomes a smashing revival of Once On This Island. Michael Arden’s exuberant staging of this 1990 musical fairy tale set on a Caribbean island conjures a spell that is devastatingly timely yet affectingly timeless in its evocation of how love goes when the indifferent, capricious whims of gods and nature intervene in the deepest yearnings of the human heart.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Once On This Island

    BROADWAY REVIEW: 'Once On This Island' Theater Review

    David Rooney

    December 3, 2017:

    The plight of real-world communities struck by natural disasters adds a powerful emotional charge to Michael Arden's immersive revival of this captivating 1990 musical fairy tale by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.

    Walking into Broadway's Circle in the Square and taking in the environmental staging of the lovingly crafted Once on This Island revival — with an upturned boat on the edge of a sandbagged pool of water, ensemble members milling barefoot around a steel-drum fire, shoes and clothing hung out to dry all over the theater, medics tending to the sick, and a live goat weaving its way among the cast — the visual association hits you instantly. The vivid scene is impossible to separate from recent news footage of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, or going further back, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake; the reference would be clear even without director Michael Arden's program note.

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  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW OF Once On This Island

    BROADWAY REVIEW: 'Once on This Island' on Broadway: Lovely, timely, touching one heart at a time

    Chris Jones

    December 3, 2017: The closing number of “Once on This Island,” the justly loved one-act musical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens now in a Broadway revival at the Circle in the Square Theatre, ends with a number called “We Tell the Story.” It’s a song filled with reasons as to why every community must pass on tall tales, in some form or another, to its young: life, pain, love, grief, hope, faith, the protection of those in need. But its final and most important reason is simple. It’s just “you.”

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF Once On This Island

    BROADWAY REVIEW: ‘Once On This Island’ review: Gritty realism and superb cast captivate in fairy-tale musical’s revival

    Matt Windman

    December 3, 2017: Since it premiered in 1990, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Caribbean-flavored fairy-tale musical “Once On This Island” has been performed by numerous schools and amateur groups, but there has probably never been a production quite like the stunning new Broadway revival at Circle in the Square. Emphasizing the musical’s themes of natural disaster and economic inequality, director Michael Arden brings an unexpected dose of gritty realism, while also honoring its gorgeous score of dynamic group numbers and tender ballads. Vocal fireworks and full-bodied dance choreography imbue spirituality and joyful theatricality.

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