PHOTO CALL: Inside the Once On This Island Cast Party

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

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.


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