Happy Trails to ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Star Tony Award-Winner Lea Salonga

Happy trails to Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, who will play her final two performances as Erzulie in the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical Once On This Island, before heading out to the Hollywood Bowl to star as Grace Farrell in the Michael Arden helmed production of Annie, July 27 – 29.

I will have the opportunity to enjoy her final turn as Erzulie tonight.

Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang

“Greenleaf” star Merle Dandridge, who originated the role of Papa Ge in the current revival, has returned for a limited run through August 19.

Merle Dandridge, Aurelia Williams-Philpotts, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Merle Dandridge, Aurelia Williams-Philpotts, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

Below are photos of the cast and creative team of Once On This Island celebrating taking home the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical at Vida Verde.

Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Producers Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang

The production opened to rave reviews on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre and received eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival, seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations. In addition to Best Musical Revival, the other Tony nominations included Best Leading Actress in a Musical – Hailey Kilgore, Best Scenic Design of a Musical – Dane Laffrey, Best Costume Design of a Musical – Clint Ramos, Best Lighting Design of a Musical – Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Best Sound Design of a Musical – Peter Hylenski, Best Direction of a Musical – Michael Arden, and Best Orchestrations – AnnMarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin.

Producer Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang

The current cast stars Tony Award winner Lea Salonga as Erzulie, Alex Newell as Asaka, Merle Dandridge as Papa Ge, Quentin Earl Darrington as Agwe and Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune. The cast also features Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie) Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Ximone Rose (Storyteller), Anthony Wayne (Storyteller, Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl). Darlesia Cearcy will portray Erzulie beginning June 25.

Victor Lirio, Director Michael Arden, Andy Mientus and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Victor Lirio, Director Michael Arden, Andy Mientus and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge and Justin Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge and Justin Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Kenita R. Miller, Justin Hicks, Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Justin Hicks, Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller and Hailey Kilgore. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller and Hailey Kilgore. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang
Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang
Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Ken Davenport, Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Davenport, Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island 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 keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Lia Chang, J. Elaine Marcos, Lea Salonga, Victor Lirio at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, J. Elaine Marcos, Lea Salonga, Victor Lirio at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Garth Kravits

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER cast members J. Elaine Marcos, Jasmine Richardson, Garth Kravits at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER cast members J. Elaine Marcos, Jasmine Richardson, Garth Kravits at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Anthony Wayne, Tyler Hardwick, Aurelia Willams, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga, Alivin Hough, Jr., Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Anthony Wayne, Tyler Hardwick, Aurelia Williams, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga, Alivin Hough, Jr., Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Phillip Boykin and Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang
Phillip Boykin and Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Clint Ramos, Lea Salonga and Victor Lirio. Photo by Lia Chang
Clint Ramos, Lea Salonga and Victor Lirio. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport, Assistant Director Nikki M. James and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport, Assistant Director Nikki M. James and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
T. Oliver Reid, Kenita R. Miller and Tyler Hardwick. Photo by Lia Chang
T. Oliver Reid, Kenita R. Miller and Tyler Hardwick. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Arden and Andy Mientus. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Arden and Andy Mientus. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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