Kenita R. Miller, Phillip Boykin, Alysha Deslorieux and More to Lead Broadway’s ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Tony Award nominee Phillip Boykin, Alysha Deslorieux, Kenita R. Miller, and Isaac Powell are joining the new Broadway production of Once On This Island, which will play the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 W. 50th Street, NYC) this fall.

Kenita Miller, backstage at New York City Center after a performance of Kirsten Childs' THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN on July 27, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita Miller, backstage at New York City Center after a performance of Kirsten Childs’ THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN on July 27, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The revival of the Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Best Musical will be directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown. The production will begin preview performances on Thursday, November 9, 2017 and officially open on Sunday, December 3.

Also joining the cast as Storytellers are Darlesia Cearcy, Rodrick Covington, Cassondra James, David Jennings, Grasan Kingsberry, Tyler Hardwick, Loren Lott, T. Oliver Reid, and AureLia Williams.

Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team of Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production will feature new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Richard Hopper & Witzend Productions. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Once On This Island is the Broadway musical celebration that sweeps us across the sea to a small village-where, in the aftermath of a great storm, a joyous new life begins. It is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune, guided by the island gods, sets out on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life through the score by Tony Award winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Anastasia, Ragtime). The striking production by Tony Award-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian) is a Bass-Baritone from Greenville, SC. He is a TONY, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle, Awards nominee, winner Theater World Award and I.R.N.E. for “Crown” in Porgy and Bess. He’s a graduate of The Hartt School. Performances include: “A Boatman” Sunday In The Park With George, “TW” Sondheim on Sondheim LA Philharmonic/Boston Pops, “Booker T. Washington” Ragtime, “Jim” Big River, “Pirate King/Samuel” Pirates of Penzance, On The Town, “Joe” Show Boat, “Ken” Ain’t Misbehavin’, Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and JCS Gospel. He Directs THE NYGOSPEL BROTHERS. Movies: Top Five, Freedom, & Easter Mysteries. For more information, visit www.PhillipBoykin.com.

Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller) Recently appeared as Simone Murphy on S5 of “House of Cards;” S5 of “Elementary” on CBS. Broadway: Lottie Gee in Shuffle Along; The Book of Mormon; Nettie in The Color Purple, Sarah in Ragtime for which she received a Helen Hayes nomination, and The Goodbye Girl! Her single release “Everlasting” appeared on MTV’s Most Wanted, VH1, Top of the Pops in London, and was nominated for a Viva Award. Television: “Law and Order SVU,” Ms. Berg in “Rescue Me,” “Nurse Jackie” and Mercy as “Adrienne Mercer” on NBC. Film Credits: Sharla in The Challenger and Rush.

Rodrick Covington (Storyteller). Broadway: The Lion King. Off-Broadway: Joan of Arc, Invisible Thread, Drumstruck, Central Avenue Breakdown. Regional: Witness Uganda, Miss Saigon (Best Actor Nomination), The Brothers/Sister Plays (Best Actor Nomination); Venice, Pippin, Jelly’s Last Jam (Best Actor Nomination), In the Red and Brown Water. National Tour: Fosse. Other tours include South Africa at the renowned Baxter and Market Theatre as the lead in The Brother Size. TV: “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and “Chappelle’s Show.” Nutrition and Fitness at Corerhythmfitness.net. Grateful to God, family and friends. Ephesians 3:20

Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea) comes directly from the Broadway company of Hamilton where she was playing the roles of Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds. She was a member of the original company both at The Public Theater and on Broadway, where she stood by for Eliza Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler and Peggy. Other Broadway credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Original Broadway Company) and Sister Act (Deloris u/s). She traveled with the national tour of Sister Act (Deloris standby). Regionally she was seen in Found (Denise) at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, also the St. Louis MUNY and Marriott Lincolnshire in Chicago. IG @alysha_des Twitter @alysha_d.

Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller) is thrilled be a part of Once On This Island! Broadway: Motown the Musical (Eddie Kendricks, Smokey Robinson u.s.); Tours: Dreamgirls (C.C. White); Motown the Musical (Norman Whitfield); New York: ACAPPELLA, the Musical (Jeremiah); Little Dancer (Gilbert); Popstar (Robby); Regional: RENT (Angel); You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy); Shrek the Musical; Hairspray. All of my love to my family and friends for your endless support! Instagram: @tylerhar Twitter: @tylerhardwick1

CASSONDRA JAMES (Storyteller) is delighted to be making her Broadway debut in Once On This Island. Recent credits include The First Noel with the Classical Theatre of Harlem. As a background vocalist, she has performed alongside a wide range of artists including Christina Aguilera, Wynton Marsalis, Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, Kim Burrell, Laura Izibor, Ledisi, and Gladys Knight. She is currently finishing a PhD at the Graduate Center (CUNY). Website: www.CassondraJames.com

David Jennings (Armand) is thrilled to return to Broadway in this iconic production and once again work with Lynn and Stephen. Broadway: After Midnight, Hands On A Hardbody, Genius of Ray Charles (West End). Tours/Regional: Ragtime (Coalhouse), Dreamgirls (Curtis), Kinky Boots (Simon Sr.), Sister Act (Eddie), Waitress w/Sara Bareilles, Disney’s Freaky Friday (Mike), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Grammy Nom. for 30th Anniversary Recording). Television: “Blue Bloods,” “The Shield,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” Follow me on Instagram @djmusicbiz.

Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller) Emmy Award winner and eleventh Broadway production. Recently appeared in the Grammy and Tony Award winning Best Revival The Color Purple. Favorite Broadway credits include: Motown, Leap of Faith, Catch Me If You Can, Finian’s Rainbow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Aida. Regional: One Night In Miami (Sam Cooke, Center Stage), Dreamgirls (Curtis, North Shore). TV/film: “Mozart In The Jungle,” “Royal Pains,” “Smash,” I Am Legend. BFA, Juilliard. Thanks: creator, family, FSE, and KBK. Follow: @gray_sandy.

Loren Lott (Storyteller) San Diego native. Clark Atlanta University alumna (BA, Mass Media Arts). “American Idol Top 16 in 2015. TV/FILM credits include “Tales,” “The Quad,” “Greenleaf” (Season 2 Soundtrack), “Powers,” “The Game, Fatal Attraction, Tag. BROADWAY AND REGIONAL THEATRE: Motown the Musical Broadway and National Tour (Diana Ross u/s, Gladys Knight, Esther), Ragtime (Sarah), Shrek the Musical (Fiona u/s), Once On This Island (Erzulie), Sweet Charity (Ursula/Carmen), The Princess and the Black-eyed Pea. @LorenSharice

Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie) Bway: The Color Purple (Celie), Xanadu (Erato/Kira understudy) Off B’way: Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Granny) Encores!, Bella: an American Tall Tale (Miss Cabbagestalk/Mama), Merrily We Roll Along (Encores!), Wild Party (Encores!), Langston In Harlem (Zora Neale Hurston -Drama Desk Nom./ Audelco Award), Working (Drama Desk Award), Avenue Q. Regional: Parade (Minnie McKnight, Angela/2014 Barrymore Award Outstanding Featured Actress), Once On This Island (Timoune/ Mama Euralie), Ragtime (Sarah) Film/TV: “Sesame Street,” “Hostages,” “Blacklist.” Follow me on Twitter! @miller_kenita

ISAAC POWELL (Daniel) is a 2017 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, he recently originated the title role of Nikola Tesla in Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat by Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead at the Adirondack Theatre Festival. @isaaccolepowell

T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller) is honored to celebrate show #12 with OOTI. BROADWAY: Sunset Boulevard, After Midnight, Sister Act, Mary Poppins, The Wedding Singer, La Cage Aux Folles, Chicago, Never Gonna Dance,Thoroughly Modern Millie, Follies, Kiss Me Kate. FILM/TV: “Sex & The City,” “Girls,” “Mercy.” “All things come of thee, O Lord…” Thanks to JLF, CTG, CLA. Proud AEA Member and prouder #OneOfMildredsKids www.Toliverreid.com

AureLia Williams (Storyteller). Past credits include B’way: In Transit; Off B’way: Sistas the Musical, They Wrote That; Nat’l Tours: All Shook Up, Ain’t Misbehavin’; Regional: Dreamgirls (Effie White ), Once On This Island (Asaka), Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle), Kiss Me Kate (Hattie), Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Jewel). Aurelia would like to thank her incredible family for their love and endless support!

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Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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