Caribbean angel story ‘Once on This Island’ is short, sweet
May 26, 2017 - tonton
When revelation a story of a people, one contingency be aspiring to those a story reflects. It’s because some bewail “Miss Saigon” for a Eurocentrism while others praise “Moana” for attempting to see Pacific Islanders by their possess eyes. Like that nauseating angel story about island folk, another does a same for Caribbean science in “Once on This Island,” a desirable one-act low-pitched opening this weekend during a Leaf Theater in Quincy.
Set in a French Antilles, it’s “The Little Mermaid” meets “Romeo Juliet”, framed as a story-within-a-story. During a frightening thunderstorm, farmer villagers comfort a tiny lady by revelation her about another lady who as an tot was orphaned by a charge not distinct that night’s. This girl, Ti Moune (played as a child by Alaina Mohammad and as an adult by Ashley Bruce), is found and adopted by a farmer couple, Mama Euralie (Monica Howell) and Tonton Julian (Tory Williams).
The island is governed by 4 gods: Agwe, God of Water (Vincent Montgomery), Asaka, Mother of a Earth (Alexis Johnson), Erzulie, Goddess of Love (Akeisha Mandela), and a Demon of Death, Papa Ge (Vonzel DeShawn Reynolds). One day, a fully-grown Ti Moune prays to a gods that she competence find her purpose, call a gamble between Papa Ge and Erzulie about that is stronger: adore or death.
The gods exam their gamble by causing a automobile of a immature nobleman named Daniel Beauxhomme (Timothy Haney) to pile-up circuitously so that Ti Moune might find and reanimate him. She does, and while restoring him to health falls in adore with him. The usually problem is that Daniel is a grand hommes, light-skinned descendants of a French who occupy a abounding and grown half of a island. Such is a standing segregating him from Ti Moune, a coloured farmer who he too comes to desire. The classical Montague and Capulet scenario.
Tonton learns from a revisit to Daniel’s family about because a dual groups sojourn separated, in an verbal story doctrine about how a French pioneer named Armand (Aris Averkieu) had a mixed-race son named Beauxhomme who led a peasantry in repulsion a French, usually to come to hatred them when a abundant Beauxhommes replaced a colonists as a widespread amicable class.
Heartbreak enters a equation when a morose Ti Moune learns of Daniel’s organised matrimony to a well-heeled beauty Andrea (Naomi Lamarche) and she’s forced to make a unfortunate choice. The low-pitched ends most as it begins—to a sound of an upbeat island groove, one that is both informed and distant.
Much of a tract is sung-through, and so it’s a song itself that tells a story. The scenery, a garden of live pleasant plants fabricated around an crypt of a feign tree, is pleasing when interconnected with capricious lighting and a abounding hues of a costumes. But truly, a offered indicate here is a measure by Stephen Flaherty, famous also to audiences for his work on “Seussical” and “Ragtime.”
Here, a tiny rope led by Robert Nelson is some-more than adequate to siphon out a alloy of contemporary Broadway overtones with a synth, steel-drum, and bongo-driven song of a tropics. It’s a soundtrack in that a expel sings their faces off, in particular, Ti Moune, her parents, a 4 gods, and Andrea.
“Once on This Island” is crowded of romantic highs and lows, and it’s adult to a expel to plan that in only a small over an hour. At once jaunty and a tear-jerker, what it gives is a brief though sweet ode to both adore and redemption with a Caribbean season that audiences won’t shortly forget. Props to executive Bryan Mitchell, his different and gifted group of actors and singers, and to a Quincy Music Theater on a pursuit well-done.
IF YOU GO
What: “Once on This Island.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays and Jun 3. Through Jun 4.
Where: The Quincy Music Theatre, 118 E. Washington St., Quincy.
Cost: $18, $15 students, seniors, and military.
Contact: Call 875-9444 or revisit qmt.org