Michelle Williams to Depart ONCE ON THIS ISLAND; Lea Salonga Returns Dec 27
BroadwayWorld has learned that Michelle Williams has been advised by her doctors to take a leave of absence from performing. As a result, the singer/actress will not continue in the Tony Award winning Broadway production of Once On This Island. She joined the cast on November 30 in the role of the goddess Erzulie and was warmly welcomed back to Broadway and into the show.
Her understudy Cassondra James will assume the role from now until December 26. Lea Salonga, who originated the role in this production will play Erzulie from December 27 through its final performance on January 6.
Everyone at Once On This Island wishes Michelle the very best.
A National Tour of Once On This Island will launch in fall 2019, with cities, dates, and casting to be announced at a later date. The Broadway production runs now through January 6th, 2019.
Cassondra James (Erzulie), Tamyra Gray (Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe),Alex Newell (Asaka), are joined by newcomer and Tony Nominee, Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune) with Juliet Benn (Little Girl), Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian) Courtnee Carter(Storyteller), CicilyDaniels (Storyteller), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell(Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Allan K. Washington(Storyteller), Aurelia Williams(Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl), and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).
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.
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).
Once On This Island is produced by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold. Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Sandi Moran, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Diego Kolankowsky, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian, Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix, Una Jackman, Jeff Wise, Witzend Productions, Jeff Grove, Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris, Michelle Riley, Marie Stevenson, Silva Theatrical Group, Jesse McKendry, Dr. Mojgan Fajiram, Conor Bagley, Brendan C. Tetro, Invisible Wall Productions, SilverWalport Productions, Tyler Mount, UshkowitzLatimer Productions, Reilly Hickey, The Harbert Family, Keith Cromwell, Red Mountain Theatre Company, 42nd.Club, The Yonnone Family and Island Productions. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.
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.
Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden 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.
The new Broadway production of Once On This Island won the 2018 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival and received seven additional nominations. The production was also nominated seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations.
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.