‘Once on This Island’ officially to open U.S. national tour Oct. 15-20 at TPAC

cast of Once On This Island on stage

Mia Williamson as 'Little Girl,' Alex Newell as 'Asaka,' and Hailey Kilgore as 'Ti Moune' in 'Once on This Island.' Photo by Joan Marcus.

Hailey Kilgore as ‘Ti Moune.'

Hailey Kilgore as ‘Ti Moune.’ Photo by Joan Marcus.

Winner of the 2018 Best Revival of a Musical, Once on This Island will officially open its national tour in Music City with a week-long engagement from Oct.15-20 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall.

Tickets go on sale on Friday, Aug. 16, at 10 a.m. at TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040 and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick St., in downtown Nashville. For groups of 10 or more, call 615-782-4060.

Written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), Once on This Island is 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.

Once on This Island is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

This new production is led by two-time Tony Award-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live). The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (scenic designer), Clint Ramos (costume designer), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting designers), Peter Hylenski (sound designer), John Bertles/Bash the Trash (unusual instruments), Cookie Jordan (hair/wig and 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).

Once on This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year 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. The revival opened in December 2017 at Circle in the Square Theatre and would go on to earn nine Tony nominations winning Best Revival of a Musical. The touring production of the Tony-winning revival was built, developed, and launched at The Carson Center in Paducah, Kentucky.

Ahrens and Flaherty are considered the foremost theatrical writing team of their generation and are members of the Theater Hall of Fame. They won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Ragtime, and were nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes for Anastasia, Twentieth Century Fox’s animated feature film. Anastasia is also a long-running hit on Broadway. In 2019, Ahrens and Flaherty were nominated for their fourth Grammy Award, as well as for the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Other theatre credits include Seussical (one of the most produced shows in America), Rocky, My Favorite Year, Chita Rivera-The Dancer’s Life, Dessa Rose, A Man of No Importance, The Glorious Ones, Lucky Stiff, and two upcoming shows, including Knoxville (premiering at Asolo Repertory Theatre in 2020) and Marie – Dancing Still (premiered at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in March 2019). They are on the council of Dramatists Guild of America and co-founders of Dramatists Guild Fellows Program.

Arden received his first Tony nomination for his revival of Spring Awakening. The acclaimed Deaf West production premiered in Los Angeles and transferred to Broadway. He also won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for the production. Arden made his Broadway debut in Deaf West Theatre and the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Big River. Other directing credits include My Fair Lady at Bay Street Theater, Merrily We Roll Along at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Los Angeles (where he is currently the Artist in Residence), LA Ronde for his company, The Forest of Arden and For the Record: John Hughes in LA and NYC. His production of The Pride opened at the Wallis Annenberg Center in June 2017. Other theatre credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Times They Are A Changin’, Ragtime (Avery Fisher), It’s Only Life, Swimming in the Shallows, Ace, Juno, As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, The Secret Garden, Pippin (Mark Taper Forum), and Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. Arden’s film work includes Source Code, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Bride Wars and So B It. He has also worked extensively in TV, most notably on FX and Fox’s Anger Management. Other TV credits include GCB, Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, Unforgettable, Off the Map, Kings, The Closer, The Forgotten, Bones, The Return of Jezebel James, Cashmere Mafia, Grey’s Anatomy, and NUMB3RS. Concert work includes singing with Barbra Streisand, Chris Botti, and performances at 54 BELOW, Feinstein’s at the Regency, and Joe’s Pub. Michael is an alum of The Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School.

For more information, visit onceonthisisland.com, or find the show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


If You Go:
Once on This Island
Oct. 15-20, 2019
TPAC’s Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick St.



Once on This Island is the second production featured in the 2019-20 HCA Healthcare/ TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC season. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice. The Broadway season is supported by the HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals, and NewsChannel 5 is the media sponsor for the season. Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America and Coca-Cola. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission. TPAC is an accessible facility that provides a variety of services including wheelchair accommodations, accessible parking, and assistive listening devices. Open captioning, American Sign Language, audio description, and large print and Braille programs are offered at the Sunday matinee performance of each Broadway series and Broadway special engagement. For more information about accessible services, call 615-782-6577.

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