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Norm Lewis and Tamyra Gray to Join the Cast of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Norm Lewis and Tamyra Gray to Join the Cast of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

The producers of Broadway's newest hit, Once On This Island, announced today that Broadway veterans Norm Lewis and Tamyra Gray will step into the roles of Agwe and Papa Ge, respectively, on January 8. Merle Dandridge exits for a contractual leave to shoot her television series "Greenleaf." Quentin Earl Darrington will also be on a contractual leave.

Mr. Lewis most recently appeared as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre. Tony nominated for his role in Porgy and Bess, Lewis made history as the first African-American to play the title role in The Phantom of the Opera. He can be seen recurring in VH1's "Daytime Divas" and ABC's "Scandal."

Ms. Gray made her Broadway debut in Bombay Dreams, and her triumphant return to Broadway as "Mimi" in Rent. She is best known for her powerhouse performances on "American Idol," becoming one of the top five finalists on the first season. She also co-wrote the American Idol season three single "I Believe" which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for Fantasia Barrino.

The new Broadway production of Once On This Island, produced by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold, opened on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50thStreet) to rave reviews.

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

The current cast is Lea Salonga (Erzulie), Alex Newell (Asaka), Merle Dandridge (Papa Ge), and Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe) who are joined by newcomer, Hailey Kilgore (TiMoune) with 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), Loren Lott (Storyteller), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel),T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl).

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).

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, The Harbert Family, Reilly Hickey, 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 (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.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge. Group tickets are available at www.YourBroadwayGenius.com or by calling 855-329-2932.

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.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski




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