Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams debuts in Once on This Island on Broadway
Michelle T. Williams assumes the role of Erzulie for the remainder of the Broadway run through to January 6, 2019.
Destiny's Child member and Grammy Award winner Michelle T. Williams returns to Broadway tonight and assumes the role of Erzulie, Goddess of Love, in the Tony Award-winning "Best Revival of a Musical" Once on This Island at the Circle in the Square Theatre. She will remain with the production for the rest of the Broadway run, which, as previously announced, will now end on January 6, 2019.
Ms. Williams previously released the following statement: “I am totally overjoyed to return to Broadway and excited to join the cast of Once On This Island. Taking on the role of Erzulie, the Goddess of Love, speaks to my heart. The musical is such a moving, inclusive, spiritual journey that is needed in these times. It feels just right to represent love.”
Michelle Williams rose to fame in early 2000 joining the RnB group Destiny's Child alongside Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland, selling more than 35 million records in their trio line-up and winning a Grammy Award in 2002 for the track "Survivor." She also earned a further six Grammy Award nominations as part of Destiny's Child. Williams has also made a career as a solo Gospel artist and has released four studio albums to date: "Heart to Yours" (2002), "Do You Know" (2004), "Unexpected" (2008), and "Journey to Freedom" (2014). On stage, she made her Broadway debut in the title role of Aida in November 2003 and made her West End debut as Roxie Hart in Chicago in July 2009 (reprising the role in the Broadway production in February 2010 and in Los Angeles in April 2010). Aside from Broadway, Williams has starred as Shug Avery in the 2007 National Tour of The Color Purple, as Lena Summers in the 2011 National Tour of What My Husband Doesn't Know, and she joined the National Tour of Fela! as Sandra Isadore in 2013. In 2016, she reprised her performance in the leading role of Aida in The Muny's production in St. Louis.
The principal cast of Once on This Island currently includes Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore (as Ti Moune), "Glee" star Alex Newell (as Asaka), Michelle T. Williams (as Erzulie), Tamyra Gray (as Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (as Agwe), Tony Award nominee Phillip Boykin (as Tonton Julian), Kenita R. Miller (as Mama Euralie), Alysha Deslorieux (as Andrea), David Jennings (as Armand), and Isaac Powell (as Daniel).
Once on This Island began previews at the Circle in the Square on November 9, 2017, ahead of an official opening on December 3.
The musical features a book & lyrics by Tony Award winner Lynn Ahrens and music by Tony Award winner Stephen Flaherty, who are also currently represented on the Great White Way by the Broadway premiere of Anastasia.
Synopsis: "Once on This Island is the extraordinary story of a fearless young dreamer named Ti Moune. After a massive storm rages through her village, a ray of hope appears through a young man from the wealthy side of the island. An unexpected romance blossoms. But when their different cultures threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune—guided by the island gods—sets out on a journey to stay beside the man who has captured her heart. The musical transforms the reality of post-storm Haiti into a fantastical world bursting with Caribbean rhythms and dance."
Directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Arden, this new production features choreography by Camille A. Brown, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by Alvin Hough, Jr., new orchestrations by the musical's original orchestrator Michael Starobin, vocal designs by AnnMarie Milazzo, scenic design by Dane Laffrey, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer and sound design by Peter Hylenski. Tony Award winner Nikki M. James also serves as Assistant Director.
Once on This Island is produced on Broadway by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold.
Once on This Island premiered off-Broadway at Playwright’s Horizons in 1990 and transferred to Broadway in October of the same year. The Broadway production ran for a total of 469 performances and received an impressive total of eight Tony Award nominations including "Best Musical". Its West End premiere was staged in 1994 and ultimately won the Olivier Award for "Best New Musical" at the 1995 ceremony.
Once on This Island Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.
(Photo courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown)