Once On This Island, the Broadway musical that put Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty on a wider map, opens its resident Louisville premiere at Actors Theatre of Louisville Jan. 28, directed and choreographed by original Broadway cast member Gerry McIntyre. The tempest-and-sunshine fairy tale, with a Caribbean beat, is based on Rosa Guy’s novel, “My Love, My Love.” In the 1990-91 Broadway production, McIntyre played Armand in the story of a dark-skinned French Antilles peasant girl who falls in love with a light-skinned rich boy from the other side of the island.
The ATL staging had a Jan. 27 preview and continues at the Pamela Brown Auditorium through Feb. 27.
The Tony-nominated book and lyrics are by Ahrens, with Tony-nominated music by Stephen Flaherty. The pair had earlier written Off-Broadway’s Lucky Stiff, but the 90-minute, intermissionless Once On This Island was their Broadway splash, directed by Graciela Daniele. Their flop musical version of the film, My Favorite Year, followed, but their biggest hit came with the score to Ragtime.
The Louisville Once On This Island cast includes Erick Pinnick (Daniel), Kenya Brome (Ti Moune), Gregory Green (Armand), Margot Adams (Young Ti Moune), Tim Johnson (Tonton), Gayle Turner (Mama Euralie), Roz White (Erzulie), Kimberly Harris (Asaka), J. Lucas Harmann (Agwe), Sean Watters (Papa Ge) and Heather Brown (Andrea).
Designers are Paul Owen (scenic), Angelina Avallone (costumes), Pip Gordon (lighting) and Malcolm Nicholls (sound). Gayle King is musical director.
Tickets are $16-$35. ATL’s three-theatre complex is located at 316 W. Main St. in downtown Louisville. Call (800) 4-ATL-TIX or (502) 584 1205.
-- By Kenneth Jones