Tony Nomination Spotlight – Once On This Island

Once On This Island

Once On This Island

Eight 2018 Tony Award Nominations:

Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Hailey Kilgore), Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Orchestrations.

A Tale of Magic and Romance:

A revival of the Caribbean-infused musical where a group of storytellers, caught in the midst of an unrelenting storm, recount the tale of Ti Moune, a Caribbean island country girl in love with an aristocrat.

From the Producers:

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune, guided by the island gods, sets out on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.


Literary Inspirations:

Set in the French Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, Once On This Island is based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy.  The show includes elements of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet story and also Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. The musical was originally staged at Off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons in 1990 before transferring to Broadway later that year. A West End production opened in 1994, where it won the 1995 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Cast & Creatives:

Once On This Island marked the Broadway debut of Tony-winning musical theatre writing duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Anastasia, Ragtime). Hailey Kilgore, an 18-year-old Broadway newcomer who was a student at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy at the time of her audition, received a Tony nomination for her performance as Ti Moune. She leads a cast that includes Miss Saigon Tony Award winner Lea Salonga  Glee groundbreaker Alex Newell, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington, as well as Tony nominee Phillip Boykin, Kenita R. Miller, Isaac Powell, Alysha Deslorieux, and David Jennings. Tony nominee Michael Arden (Spring Awakening) directs.


New York Times – “Ravishing…Arden’s staging serves his top-to-bottom terrific cast…he has also aced every theatrical trick he’s torn from the ancient handbook, freshening the show, and the tricks, in the process.”

New York Daily News – “Over a fast-moving 90 minutes, the score mixes captivating calypso beats and warm ballads, all brought to life vividly by the fine-tuned cast.”

Time Out New York – “Imaginative and dynamic…it is hard to imagine a better account of the show than the one that Arden and his team have assembled. It sings, dances and conjures up a storm.”

Variety – “Uplifting…Ahrens’ and Flaherty’s lush and lovely musical fable…Circle in the Square is put to imaginative use in director Arden’s inspired revival.”


The Journey to the Island: The Creative Process:

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