‘Once On This Island’ preview

%27Once+On+This+Island%27+preview

You are in Haiti. It is a beautiful day, and you are out on the field, washing clothes, tending the home, but the crash! The worst storm to ever hit the island is upon you. Many villages are destroyed, but somehow you are safe because the gods placed you in a tree to keep you safe.

This is where our story begins. Little Ti Moune (played by 11-year-old Rohey Colley) is rescued and adopted by two peasants who believe the gods put her in the tree for them to find and that she is destined for something grand.

Fast-forward several years. Ti Moune, now played by MC student Awa Secka, is now roughly 16 years old and searching for her purpose in life. She prays to the gods and though they initially laugh at her plea, Erzulie, the god of love (played by Brianna Baylor), and Papa Ge, the god of death (played by Michael Mainwaring) decide to place a bet to determine which is stronger: love or death.

The gods send her Daniel Beauxhomme, a grande homme (meaning a person of the upper-class with light skin) whose last name translates to “beautiful man,” (played by Jonathan Miot) but he gets into a car accident and is close to death.

Now Ti Moune is faced with the challenge of love, race, and social divide. Can she save his life? If she can, will he, a man from the other side of the island, love her in return, a mere peasant? Can the people of Ti Moune’s village and the grande homme accept the cross between social classes?

You will have to see to find out!

Director Devron Young loves that “the themes [of the show] are universal and timeless. They are love, faith, tradition, sacrifice. It’s universal because you can put it in any culture, any year, and it still works…the show is an emotional roller coaster.” It is a happy musical “though it ends in a way the audience wouldn’t think…it just doesn’t go the route that you think. That’s what I love about the show so much. It’s not the same ol’ same ol’ fairytale story.”

“We don’t leave [the audience] on a sour or sad note. We leave them with hope and joy… I hope that they really get into the story,” he said. “This show is amazing. It’s not just about the singing and dancing. It’s really about telling the story… hopefully they leave singing and dancing but also talking about the themes of the show and questioning it, comparing it to their own lives.”

Colley (little Ti Moune) agrees and encourages everyone to come see the show “because it’s exciting and fun and makes you want to get up and dance.”

Come see “Once On This Island” in the Performing Arts Center:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Mar. 1 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Mar. 2 at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Mar. 3 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for students and seniors. Regular ticket price is $10. Opening Night (Wed. Feb. 27) is buy one, get one! The two-act show runs 90 minutes with a ten-minute intermission. Tickets are sold at the door or online.