Dates are now set for the previously announced Broadway revival of Once On This Island. The Michael Arden-helmed production will begin performances November 9 prior to a December 3 official opening at a theatre to be announced.
Joining the creative team as choreographer is Camille Brown, whose previous credits include Fortress of Solitude, The Box, and Bella: An American Tall Tale, and as set designer, Dane Laffrey. Ken Davenport will produce alongside business partner Hunter Arnold, marking a reunion between the two and Arden following the 2015 revival of Spring Awakening.
An international casting call will be held for the central role of Ti Moune, beginning April 7 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The search will continue to Detroit April 14, Chicago April 15, Los Angeles April 27, New Orleans April 29, Atlanta April 30, and New York May 2.
The musical, which features a score by Anastasia and Ragtime duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 1990 before transferring to Broadway later that year. The story, set in the Caribbean, follows a peasant girl and her star-crossed romance with a young man from the wealthy side of her island, which is ruled by four island gods.
A developmental workshop for the production was held in December 2016. In the presentation, original orchestrator Michael Starobin and vocal designer Ann Marie Milazzo created a new sound for the piece by stripping the score of its traditional pit orchestra and utilizing objects such as trash bins and piping.
“We are approaching this sonically in a new way, by making the human body an instrument in a way that it hasn’t been heard in the past,” Starobin told Playbill at the time. “We are taking a lot of the orchestrations and making them vocal orchestrations.”
“I am so thrilled to be bringing one of the finest pieces of American musical theatre back to Broadway this fall,” Arden said in a statement. “Ahrens and Flaherty have created a perfect combination of music and words that has inspired an entire generation of artists and theatre-goers alike. This tale of how love can conquer death and break down (literal) walls between races and social spheres is both timeless and incredibly timely. I am excited for audiences to witness the work of this incredibly talented and diverse creative team and company.”
While casting for the Broadway mounting has yet to be announced, the workshop cast featured The workshop cast includes Darlesia Clearcy, Lawrence Clyton, Patrice Covington, Quentin Earl Darrington, Charity Angel Dawson, Mike Evariste, Adrianna Jackson, Bre Jackson, Cassondra James, Isaiah Johnson, Mykal Kilgore, Grasan Kingsberry, Kenita R. Miller, Dimitri Joseph Moise, and Maria Wirries.
Visit OnceOnThisIsland.com for information about the production and open calls.
Take a look at photos from the December workshop below.