Tony Award® winner Lea Salonga returns to Broadway in Once On This Island, the Broadway musical celebration from the Tony Award®-winning writers of Anastasia and Ragtime.
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 (Ms. Salonga), Asaka (Alex Newell, “Glee”), Papa Ge (Merle Dandridge, “Greenleaf”), and Agwe (Quentin Earl Darrington, Cats), 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 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.
Come and gather around for Once On This Island, a triumph of the timeless power of theatre to bring us together, move our hearts, and help us conquer life’s storms. You are why we tell the story.
MEET THE CAST
SLY DEMON OF DEATH
PLAYED BY MERLE DANDRIDGE
Merle is honored to return to the Broadway boards to tell one of her favorite stories: Love always wins. She currently stars in the Oprah Winfrey/Lionsgate produced television show “Greenleaf” as Grace Greenleaf, which is soon heading into its third season. She has previously been seen on Broadway in Spamalot (Lady of the Lake), Rent(Joanne), Aida (Aida), Tarzan (Kala) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Soul Girl, Disciple, Mary u/s). She has toured the U.S. and Europe 6 times, played The Hollywood Bowl and Royal Albert Hall and been featured in several regional theatre productions including multiple stints at The Geffen Playhouse and Pasadena Playhouse. Merle’s recurring television roles include Gwen Gaskin in NBC’s “Night Shift”, Vega in CW’s “Star-crossed and Rita Roosevelt in FX’s “Sons of Anarchy. Among her video game characters are her BAFTA-winning turn as Katherine Collins in EVERYBODY’S GONE TO THE RAPTURE, her award-winning portrayals as Marlene in THE LAST OF US and Alyx Vance in HALF LIFE 2, DOTA 2 and UNCHARTED 4. For Mark Ford.
GOD OF WATER
PLAYED BY QUENTIN EARL DARRINGTON
What a blessing to join the Once On This Island family! Broadway: Cats, Ragtime. Off-Broadway: The Secret Garden, Lincoln Center; A New Brain, NY City Center; Lost In the Stars, NY City Center; The Roar of the Greasepaint…, York Theatre Company. National Tours: Memphis, The Color Purple, The Lion King, Ragtime. Regional: Les Miserables, Drury Lane Theatre; Nicholas Nickleby, Orlando Shakes; Tarzan, the MUNY; Gee’s Bend, Cincinnati Playhouse; I Dream, Alliance Theatre; A Little Night Music, Sacramento Music Circus; Jacques Brel…, Straz PAC. Bert Williams, Paul Robeson, Louie Armstrong, and Sammy Davis Jr. is why… “we tell the story!”
MOTHER OF THE EARTH
PLAYED BY ALEX NEWELL
Alex is more than thrilled to be making his Broadway debut! Alex is best known for playing Wade “Unique” Adams, a transgender student on FOX’s “Glee.” Although the stage is where it all began, some of his favorite roles include; Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle), Cinderella (Fairy Godmother), Saturday Night Fever(Candy). Alex is also a recording artist with Atlantic Records where he’s released songs with Clean Bandit (“Stronger”), Blonde (“All Cried Out”) and The Knocks (“Collect my Love”). All available now along with his debut EP entitled Power, and new single “Keep It Moving.” Also Kill the Lights (Nile Rogers and DJ Cassidy) which was featured on HBO’s “Vinyl.” Website: TheAlexNewell.com Twitter and Instagram @TheAlexNewell.
GODDESS OF LOVE
PLAYED BY LEA SALONGA
Broadway: Kim in Miss Saigon (Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk and OCC Awards), Allegiance, Les Miserables, Flower Drum Song. International: Fun Home, Cats, Cinderella, God of Carnage. Film/TV: singing voices of Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Les Miserables for PBS (10th and 25th Anniversary concerts), “Hey, Mr. Producer.” As a concert artist Lea has toured globally, performing in some of the world’s most iconic concert venues and in 2017 broke the record for the most consecutive performances at Feinstein’s/54 Below with her acclaimed show Blurred Lines, also an album. www.leasalonga.com.