Merle Dandridge Returns to Broadway’s Once On This Island | Playbill

Broadway News Merle Dandridge Returns to Broadway’s Once On This Island Dandridge created the role of Papa Ge in the Tony-winning revival at Circle in the Square.
Isaac Powell and Merle Dandridge Joan Marcus

Original cast member Merle Dandridge returns to the role of Papa Ge in the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Ahrens and Flaherty’s Once On This Island, beginning June 18 at Circle in the Square.

Dandridge returns for a limited engagement through August 19. Current cast member Tamyra Gray, who succeeded Dandridge in the role, will return as Papa on August 20.

“Reviving Once On This Island was one of the most creatively and emotionally rewarding experiences of my life,” remarked Merle Dandridge. “It was bittersweet to leave this beautiful Island family after our rigorous rehearsal and preview process and only six weeks into the run to return to a wonderful season three of Greenleaf on OWN. It was a banner year and it is now topped by the opportunity to come back to the Island this summer. Creating the heartbreaking and terrifying journey for a female Papa Ge was and is a thrill. I cannot wait to delve deeper into the character this summer.”


Directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden (Deaf West’s Spring Awakening), Once on This Island officially opened to raves December 3, 2017, at Circle in the Square. The musical features book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, the Tony-winning writing team behind Ragtime and Anastasia.

The company includes 2018 Tony nominee and Theatre World Award recipient Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune, Quentin Earl Darrington as Agwe, Tony Award winner Lea Salong as Erzulie,, Alex Newell as Asaka, Tony nominee Phillip Boykin as Tonton Julian, Kenita R. Miller as Mama Euralie, and Isaac Powell as Daniel.

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