PHOTO CALL: "We Dance!" Kenita R. Miller, Stephanie Umoh, Andre Ward, Aisha De Haas and More Offer Once On This Island Benefit Performance

By Matthew Blank
21 Jan 2014

Friends in Theater Company presented the Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical Once on this Island, benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York and Western New York, Jan. 20 at the Lucille Lortel Theater. Tony Award-winning actress Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon, Les Misérables) hosted.



The 7:30 PM performance was directed and choreographed by Curtis Holbrook, who will be seen in the upcoming Broadway musical If/Then



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Andre Ward and Kenita Miller
Photo by Monica Simoes


 

Once on This Island featured Erica Simone Barnett (Matilda) as Little Timoune, Aisha de Haas (Caroline, or Change) as Mama Euralie, Marisa Kennedy (Matilda) as Andrea, Tamika Lawerence as Erzulie, John Eric Parker (The Book of Mormon) as Tonton Julian, Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime) as Asaka, Kenita R. Miller (Xanadu, The Color Purple) as Timoune, Joe Aaron Reid (If/Then, Ghost) as Daniel, Michael James Scott (Aladdin) as Agwe and Andre Ward (Rock of Ages) as Papa Ge with Jonathan Burke and Renee Veronica Freeman. The musical director is Jonathan Rose.

The Caribbean-inspired, Tony Award-nominated musical by Aherns (book and lyrics) and Flaherty (music) — which opened on Broadway in 1990 — tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with the well-born Daniel and is aided by the gods of earth, water and love in her quest to be with him.

All proceeds benefit the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization that has given hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1980.

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Friends in Theater Company "endeavors to promote the talent and skills of artists while encouraging them to participate philanthropically."