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Review: Once on this Island, starring Hailey Kilgore

The Ahrens and Flaherty musical Once on this Island opened at the Circle in the Square earlier this week, and I have to say it was one of the best show I’ve ever seen, certainly falling in the top 5. I saw the show’s fourth preview back in November and was moved by the story, like I am every time I see the show in any incarnation or listen to the music. I will definitely admit to crying multiple times (and I have no shame), and the experience was one to remember.

The actors breath new life into the show, and give it their own spin. Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, and Merle Dandridge are so incredible as Erzulie, Asaka, and Papa Ge, respectively that I was left in a state of shock after the show ended. Hailey Kilgore, who makes her Broadway debut, is a breath of fresh air in a season so heavily populated with celebrities and Broadway veterans. She brings her own innocence and beauty to the character of Ti Moune, that even if you know the character’s fate, you can’t help but root for her.

The entire cast gives life to this story that premiered on Broadway 27 years ago. As a staple among high school productions, the new take on telling the story with the incredible cast, staging, choreography, and creative costumes and musical arrangements it is truly a show anyone can enjoy.

If any show will have Tony nominations this year, it is bound to be Once on this Island. So, if you are a theater lover, RUN to the Circle in the Square to see this amazing production. You will not regret and you will want to go back tomorrow. I should know, I’ll be back tomorrow!

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