Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold and NETworks Presentations announced today the North American tour and casting of the Tony Award®-winning revival of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. The tour will launch at The Carson Center for Performing Arts in Paducah, KY on October 12, 2019, followed by its official opening in Nashville, TN at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) on October 15, 2019. ONCE ON THIS ISLAND will play over 25 cities in its first year on tour, including the Hobby Center presented by Theatre Under The Stars from February 18 to March 1. Tickets for ONCE ON THIS ISLAND are available here.
Cast members from the 2017 Broadway revival of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND will lead the touring company, including “American Idol” Alum Tamyra Gray as Papa Ge, Cassondra James as Erzulie, Tony Nominee Phillip Boykin as Tonton Julian, Courtnee Carter as Ti Moune and Tyler Hardwick as Daniel Beauxhomme. Completing the gods of the island are Jahmaul Bakare as Agwe and Kyle Ramar Freeman as Asaka.
Casting also includes Briana Brooks as Andrea, George L. Brown as Armand and Danielle Lee Greaves as Mama Euralie, along with Mckynleigh Alden Abraham, Michael Ivan Carrier, Jay Donnell, Phyre Hawkins, Savannah Jackson-Page, Alex Joseph Grayson, Tatiana Lofton and Robert Zelaya. Additional casting to be announced at a later date.
“This company of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is truly an embarrassment of riches for me as a director. I cannot wait for audiences across the country to witness this group of incredible actors transport them to our island,” says Tony Award Nominated director Michael Arden.
Producers have also announced that seating for ONCE ON THIS ISLAND will be available on stage. Inspired by the revival’s immersive set design on Broadway, this touring production will feature a unique set, welcoming audiences to be a part of the storytelling and magic of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND with the opportunity to sit onstage.
“At each performance, there will be onstage seating, creating a unique experience within the footprint of every theater we play,” says Arden. “Audiences will be invited to put their feet in the sand and surround our company, becoming part of the show. It’s our goal to give all audiences a unique perspective of the communal nature of what theater can be in hopes that ONCE ON THIS ISLAND’S story of love, hope and forgiveness might inspire young minds and hearts all across the United States to lead their lives with compassion and empathy.”
Winner of the 2018 TONY AWARD FOR BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.
The groundbreaking vision of two-time Tony Award nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live) conjures up “a place where magic is possible and beauty is apparent for all to see!” (The Huffington Post). With a score that bursts with life from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning songwriters of Anastasia and Ragtime, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is a timeless testament to theater’s unlimited possibilities.
This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin, who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo, Scenic Design by Dane Laffrey, Costume Design by Clint Ramos, Sound Design by Peter Hylenski and Lighting Design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer.
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The original Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End Production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The critically acclaimed 2017 Broadway Revival, which opened in December of that year, won the 2018 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival before closing January 6, 2019.
The ONCE ON THIS ISLAND national tour is also produced by Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Sandi Moran, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Diego Kolankowsy, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian/Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix/Una Jackman/Jeff Wise, Witzend Productions/Jeff Grove/Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris/Michelle Riley/Marie Stevenson, Conor Bagley/Invisible Wall Productions/Silva Theatrical Group, and The Harbert Family/Keith Cromwell/Red Mountain Theatre Company.