One on This Island” director, Maxwell Williams, has breathed life into the cliched story of two worlds colliding. This story, told over and over again when it comes to theatre plays, is the epitome of an emotional rollercoaster.
“One on This Island” is a short, 90 minute play, whose intricate plot and well-designed sets, leaves the audience guessing what’s going to happen next. The play, a musical, is a fable about star-crossed lovers at the mercy of a group of whimsical and capricious gods. However, on a deeper level, the story delves into the topics of class conflict and the healing powers of courage, devotion and hope. It is a journey that begins with a storm and ends in the sunlight.
“Once on This Island” traces island girl Ti Moune (Shangobunmi Durotimi) as she matures into a headstrong woman. Her life begins when she is rescued from drowning and adopted by Tonton Julian (Robert Diago DaQui) and his wife Mama Euralie (Idella Johnson). When her prayers to the Gods to guide her life are heard, Ti Moune begins a journey to heaven …. and hell.
The stage was set as a Caribbean island wrecked by what looked like a hurricane or storm, which sparked my interest because of the recent damage Hurricane Irma did in the Caribbean.
This beautifully choreographed and directed production, with its all-Black cast, moves quickly over 90 minutes. The tale traces Ti Moune’s rescue of Daniel Beauxhomme (Luke Halpern), the mulatto son of the fictitious island’s French monarch; their love affair; and the inevitable ending to forbidden love–all influenced by Papa Ge, Demon of Death (Bryan Demond Williams); Erzulie, Goddess of Love (Taylor E. James); Asaka, Mother of the Earth (Jessica Mixon); and Agwe, God of Water (Kebron Woodfin). The songs and dances amazed the audience with how aligned they were with Caribbean culture. In addition to that the special effects drew even more attention with scenes that visually are captivating. The final scene brought the audience to tears which were either good or bad. In order to find out you have to go see “Once On This Island” starring Durotimi and Halpern.
“One on this Island” kept getting better and better until, suddenly, you realize the end is nearby. The songs and dances amazed the audience with how aligned they were with Caribbean culture.
In addition to the plot, the special effects drew even more attention with scenes that were visually captivating. In order to find out what happens, you have to go see “Once On This Island” starring Durotimi and Halpern.
“Once On This Island” finishes its three-week run at Le Petit Theatre Du Vieux Carre` with 7:30 p.m. shows Sept. 28, 29, 30, and a 3 p.m. matinee on Oct. 1. Student tickets are discounted to $15, and regular prices range from $35-$50. Tickets can be bought online at www.lepetittheatre.com, by telephone at 504.522.2081/ext. 1, or at the door, 616 St. Peter St.