by Sam Maher and Tom Coppola
The current Broadway revival of 1990's Once On This Island is PURE. MUSICAL THEATER. MAGIC. It’s 90 minutes long and you'll wish it never ends. There's a reason it dark-horsed the Best Revival of a Musical category at the 2017 Tony Awards like a bawse!
5 Reasons You Should SEe IT:
1. Introducing Hailey Kilgore. This ingenue plays our heroine Ti Moune and was discovered as part of an international casting search that included Haiti! You'll be in love with her the moment she walks out onto that stage. Expect to see Hailey shine on Broadway and beyond for many years to come as she's a bona fide star and a half...now with a Tony nomination to prove it!
2. The scenic design is incredible. Once On This Island plays at Circle In The Square, which is known as Broadway’s most intimate theater. Shows here are staged “in the round” (action is seen from all sides of the audience), which is especially lovely for a show that takes place...on an island! The stage is covered with sand to make it feel like an actual beach and real pools of water are involved. It's, quite simply, a really special room to watch a musical in.
3. Michael Arden's direction. After stunning us all with his Broadway revival of Spring Awakening, Michael is back with his signature breathtaking direction that almost makes you wonder if he's a theater sorcerer. His work is so brave and so generous. He's not afraid to take risks and the end result is extraordinarily lovely theatrical experiences that you'll remember and cherish for a lifetime. It's no wonder that he was nominated again for a Tony Award® for his direction of Once On This Island. Fun fact: Michael is one of YesBroadway's inaugural 40 Under 40. Don’t say we didn’t tell ya!
Check out this video of Assistant Director Nikki M. James (who won the Tony Award for The Book of Mormon) talking about the show with Sam.
4. The music. Prolific composers Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens know what they're doing. Responsible for some of Broadway’s most memorable writing over the past 25 years, you’ve probably already seen and loved a show they’ve written: Ragtime, Suessical, Anastasia…just to name a few. There's a reason Once On This Island has been put up in hundreds of high schools all across the country for almost three decades. It's, quite simply, a REALLY good show.
5. There's not a bad seat in the theater. Because The Circle In The Square is so intimate, you'll be close to the action no matter where you sit!
Photos: Joan Marcus
Once On This Island is an incredibly special experience. Do not miss this glorious revival before it closes on January 6.