by Sam Maher and Tom Coppola
The 2017 Broadway revival of 1990's Once On This Island is pure musical theater magic. It is 90 minutes long and you'll wish it never ends.
5 Reasons You Should SEe IT:
1. Introducing Hailey Kilgore. This 18-year-old 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. She's a bona fide star and a half.
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 a really special room to be in.
3. Michael Arden's direction. After stunning the world with his recent 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 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. Expect him to be 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. Told 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. Composers Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens know what they're doing. Responsible for some of Broadway’s most prolific 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 more than two decades. It's, quite simply, a REALLY good show.
5. There's not a bad seat in the theater. The show takes place at Broadway's most intimate theater: The Circle In The Square. It is also staged in the round, which means there isn't a bad seat in the house. 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!
Sam saw ~250 shows this year. Here's his Top 10 faves!