Norm Lewis & Tamyra Gray debut in Broadway's Once on This Island
Lewis and Gray step in for original cast members Quentin Earl Darrington and Merle Dandridge at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis and "American Idol" star Tamyra Gray join the first-ever Broadway revival of Once on This Island, directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Arden, at the Circle in the Square Theatre tonight, stepping in for original cast members Quentin Earl Darrington (as Agwe) and Merle Dandridge (as Papa Ge), respectively. Both Mr. Darrington and Ms. Dandridge are scheduled to return to the production after their contractual leaves.
Norm Lewis earned a Tony Award nomination in 2012 for his performance in The Gerswhins' Porgy and Bess and also starred in the Broadway productions of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Sondheim on Sondheim, Les Misérables, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, The Who's Tommy, Miss Saigon, Chicago and The Phantom of the Opera.
Tamyra Gray made her Broadway debut as Priya in Bombay Dreams in November 2004 and went on to play Mimi Marquez in the Broadway production of Rent and Kate in the National Tour of If/Then. She rose to fame as a finalist on the first season of "American Idol".
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."
The cast is currently led by newcomer Hailey Kilgore, making her Broadway debut as Ti Moune, alongside Tony Award winner Lea Salonga (as Erzulie), "Glee" star Alex Newell (as Asaka), Tamyra Gray (as Papa Ge), Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis (as Agwe), Tony Award nominee Phillip Boykin (as Tonton Julian), Alysha Deslorieux (as Andrea), David Jennings (as Armand), Kenita R. Miller (as Mama Euralie) and Isaac Powell (as Daniel).
The "storytellers" for the Broadway revival are Darlesia Cearcy, Rodrick Covington, Cassondra James, Grasan Kingsberry, Tyler Hardwick, Loren Lott, T. Oliver Reid, and Aurelia Williams.
This new production features choreography by Camille 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, with Carl Daikeler, Richard Hopper, WitzEnd Productions, Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.
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 December 30, 2018.