Once On This Island Sweeps Away

The Local Tourist tickets for two to the opening night of Once On This Island courtesy of Margie Korshak, Inc.

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to bring Once On This Island to Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre for a limited two-week engagement through February 2, 2020. 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 Gods in Once On This Island (Photo by Joan Marcus)
The Gods in Once On This Island (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, the Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy (which in turn draws inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid), it is set in the French Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Once On This Island is the story of how one seemingly insignificant girl becomes myth and legend for survivors of a wounded and healing island.

Cast members from the 2017 Broadway revival of Once On This Island 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.

Ti Moune Dances in Once On This Island (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Ti Moune Dances in Once On This Island (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Meet the gods! Erzulie is traditionally the spirit of love, beauty, jewelry, dancing, luxury and flowers. Deeply compassionate, her symbol is the heart. As the embodiment of femininity, she is a defender of women and children, and is frequently depicted protectively holding a young child.

Asaka is the loa of harvest and the patron of agriculture, she is also sometimes called Azaka. Up in the Haitian mountains, the farmers frequently pray to Asaka for good harvest. In the musical, she guides our heroine Ti Moune on her journey, and shows her how the land itself can help.

Papa Ge is based on Papa Ghede, from the loa family of death. Sinister and seductive, Papa Ghede is commonly believed to be the corpse of the very first man who died. He stands at the crossroads between the living and the dead, eagerly waiting to carry souls into the afterlife.

Agwe is the loa of direction, specifically across the oceans. Often depicted as dashing and handsome, Agwe controls the currents, waves and ocean depths. Sometimes dressed as a naval officer, he guides all sea travelers home.

Ti Moune's Past and Future in Once On This Island (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Ti Moune’s Past and Future in Once On This Island (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Haiti is a country deeply rooted in both faith and ritual. Once On This Island honors the island’s beliefs and traditions both in design and execution, creating a magical evening of theatre. Sit back, enjoy the beautiful voices and fantastic dancing by a talented cast. Funny and romantic and at times tragic, Once On This Island tells the story of how the good we do can echo long after our lives are over.

Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at 151 West Randolph Street in the heart of Chicago’s Theatre District.





Leave a Reply