Fri09192014

Stepping Out

TheatreWorks musical 'Island' closes Sunday in Palo Alto


Tracy Martin/Special to the Town Crier
Max Kumangai stars as Papa Ge, Demon of Death, in the TheatreWorks musical “Once on This lsland.”

TheatreWorks is slated to present “Once on This Island” through Sunday at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

A one-act musical filled with joy, heartache and adventure, “Island” – with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens – features a score with Caribbean beats by Tony Award-winner Stephen Flaherty.

Ahrens and Flaherty have worked as a team since 1988, creating the award-winning Broadway musical “Ragtime.”

TheatreWorks Artistic Director Robert Kelley directs the musical, which takes its story from the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy, in turn inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” Award-winning director, choreographer and actor Gerry McIntyre choreographed the production.

“Island” includes musical direction by William Liberatore, scenic design by Joe Ragey, costume design by Cathleen Edwards, lighting design by Pamila Z. Gray and sound design by Jeff Mockus.

The musical follows Ti Moune, a peasant girl on a tropical island in the French Caribbean. When she rescues a wealthy young aristocrat from the wreckage of a car accident, a star-crossed love affair begins in defiance of the class divide.

“Island” was originally staged Off-Broadway in 1990, moved to Broadway later that year and ran through the end of 1991, earning eight Tony Award nominations – including Best Musical and Best Original Score. The 1994 West End production received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

TheatreWorks’ cast includes Salisha Thomas (as Ti Moune), Paris Nix (Daniel), Berwick Haynes (Tonton Julian), Rotimi Agbabiaka (Armand), Dawn L. Troupe (Mama Euralie), Omari Tau (Agwe, God of Water), Safiya Fredericks (Asaka, Mother of the Earth), Max Kumangai (Papa Ge, Demon of Death), Adrienne Muller (Erzulie, Goddess of Love), Khalia Davis (Little Ti Moune) and Michelle Cabinian (Andrea).

Performances are scheduled 7:30 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $19-$73, with discounts available for educators, seniors and those age 30 and under.

For advance tickets and more information, call 463-1960 or visit theatreworks.org.

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