Theater — Under the Carribbean with the little mermaid


By Michelle Saturley 

The Majestic Teen Players present Ahrens and Flaherty’s musical Once on This Island for two consecutive weekends in July. The show gives the tale of The Little Mermaid a Caribbean flair.

Based on the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy, the show is a twist on the traditional Little Mermaid tale, and tells the story of Ti Moune, a poor peasant girl, who falls in love with Daniel, an upper-class boy whose life she saves after a car crash. Central to the story are four gods that the peasants believe rule their lives. The gods of Love (Erzulie), Earth (Asaka), Water (Agwe) and Death (Papa Ge) cause the lives of the young lovers to intersect, and send Ti Moune on the fateful journey that tests the strength of her love.

Set in the French Antilles, Once On This Island boasts an uplifting score immersed in the music of the Caribbean culture. There are rousing, upbeat numbers like “Mama Will Provide” and “Some Say,” as well as poignant ballads like “The Human Heart” and “Forever Yours.” The show originated at Playwrights Horizons in New York on April 6, 1990. It opened at the Booth Theater on Broadway on Oct. 18, 1990, and played for 469 performances. The show also received eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

The Majestic Teen Players’ version of the show is directed by Jeff Caron, who directed last year’s production of Annie at the Majestic. Erin Cashman serves as musical director, and the choreographer is Joshua Dudley.

Once on this Island at the Majestic Theatre runs July 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $9 for kids 17 and under. The Majestic is located at 281 Cartier Street in Manchester. For more information, call 669-7469.

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