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Tamyra Gray as Papa Ge

Tamyra Gray returns to Once on This Island on Broadway

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Forever Yours... "American Idol" star Tamyra Gray returns to the role of Papa Ge for a second engagement in the Tony Award-winning "Best Revival of a Musical" Once on This Island at the Circle in the Square Theatre tonight. She previously played the role from January 8 through to June 17, 2018. Original cast member Merle Dandrige played her final performance as Papa Ge on August 19.

Tamyra Gray made her Broadway debut as Priya in Bombay Dreams in November 2004 and went on to assume the roles of 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".

The principal cast of Once on This Island currently includes Loren Lott as Ti Moune, "Glee" star Alex Newell (as Asaka), Tamyra Gray (as Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (as Agwe), Darlesia Cearcy (as Erzulie), 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 September 29, 2019.

(Photo by Joan Marcus)

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