CenterStage - Once on This Island Review

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Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Once on This Island is one of my favorite musicals!  Many people have never heard of it, I was in the same boat until we did it as our Senior Show in high school.  After that, I was hooked! This enchanting musical fable, which is the newest production in the 100th anniversary season at CenterStage of Louisville,  tells the story of forbidden love between people from two different worlds, a calypso-flavored re-telling of the traditional “Little Mermaid” tale.  The Caribbean vibe you get from the music immediately takes you away to the beach and warmer weather!  This is a wonderful show that is great for the whole family!  The music will have you dancing and singing along!  

Artistic Directorb2ap3_thumbnail_once1_20150217-022021_1.jpg, John Leffert, and Choreographer Frank Goodloe, whisk the audience away in a wonderfully packaged 90 minute show that tells the tale of two groups of people living on an Island where the Gods of Love, Water, Earth and Death actually run the show!  With wonderful staging and energetic dancing, audiences young and old alike will be thrilled that they saw this show!

Erzulie, the Goddess of Love, played by Tamika McDonald wears beautiful robes of red and pink and gold.  She belts out an even more beautiful song, The Human Heart, and reminds audiences of why they enjoy seeing her on the stage at the JCC as she has played several major roles before!  

Agwe, the God of Water, is played by Aundrey Ligon, Jr. seems loving and kind even though, with his song, he bring the "Rain."  It must be noted that this is one of the best songs of the show as there are some very cool effects Props Master, Jason Tumulty.  

Asaka, the Goddess of the Earth, is played by Tymika Prince.  She is playful and powerful with Mama Will Provide, reaching notes that soar!   The ensemble brings a colorful vibrance to her number with flying birds and dancing frogs!  

Papa Ge, the God of Death, is played by Alonzo Richmond’s who creates a presence that is not frightening but ominous and sort of reminds us about how our parents warned us against talking to strangers or taking unknown risks!  

Cierra Richmond plays the lead role of Ti Moune, a hopeless romantic who wants to follow her hear but does not want to displease her family.  She sweeps you off your feet with her songs and makes you remember what it was like to love for the first time as a young girl. 

Other cast members to make note of are Patricia Mathison, playing Mama Euralie and Troy Bell, playing Tonton Julian.  Their commitment to the love they portray as Ti Moune's parents was moving.  As a mother I can't imagine what it must be like to let your children go and have faith that they will make the right decisions.  I was moved to tears as they led the ensemble in A Part of Us.  There is a true depth to the emotion they give their characters.  

This is a show to go and take the whole family too.  There are important lessons to be learned and it is overall truly great entertainment!  CenterStage continues to provide one of the best theater experiences in town! 


Additional Show Times

Saturday, February 14 at 7:30pm
Sunday, February 15 at 2:00pm
Sunday, February 15 at 7:00pm
Monday, February 16 at 7:30pm
Thursday, February 19 at 7:30pm
Saturday, February 21 at 7:30pm
Sunday, February 22 at 2:00pm
Sunday, February 22 at 7:00pm


Children (10 and under): $16    Adults: $20
+$2 fee for day-of ticket purchases
Group rates (20 or more) available by request, contact Anne Ensign at 238-2773.

You can also order by phone: 502-238-2709 


$10 Rush tickets are now available as a new way to help patrons save on their CenterStage tickets! Rush tickets are only available for evening performances on Sunday, Monday and Thursday and ONLY if there are still tickets available for that performance! Up to 20 rush tickets will be sold for each performance. Rush tickets can only be bought in person the day of the performance from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the front desk of the JCC. After all 20 rush tickets are gone, there will be no more tickets sold at the rush price. Rush tickets will be limited to two per person.

CenterStage prides itself on providing high quality productions at a price the general public can afford.