Just in time to shake off winter, Roosevelt School takes you to the Caribbean with the captivating and energetic musical Once on this Island. With lyrics by Lynn Ahren and music by Stephen Flaherty, this musical fable is based on Rosa Guy's 1985 novel, My Love, My Love.
The story is set on a small island in the French Antilles during a raging storm where the inhabitants tell of a tale depicting star-crossed lovers (played by Julia Singer and Matthew Meixner). Confronted with issues such as class distinction and societal expectations, the islanders must deal with a wealthy ruling class while guided by their belief in powerful gods, which include Asaka "Mother of the Earth" (Elizabeth Rosenberg), Agwe "God of Water" (Christian Vozza), Erzullie "Goddess of Love" (Olivia Bergman), and Papa Ge "Daemon of Death" (Anthony Butera). Song and dance prevails with a variety of musical numbers that incorporate the entire cast.
Director Annie Brzozowski chose this play because "it is an excellent expression of empathy and compassion." Although the themes of the story are serious and universal, the approach is light-hearted and performed musically, similar to an operetta. Brzozowski credits her award-winning choreographer, Nicole Le-Fleur Amadeo, with keeping the cast in high-stepping form.
With a cast and crew of over 60 members, the show is rounded out with the talents of Musical Directors Karen Romero and Sabino Lasco. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at http://ris.booktix.com/, or at the door at Roosevelt Intermediate School located at 301 Clark Street in Westfield. Ticket price is $10.00. Performances are Friday March 4, 7:30 p.m., Saturday March 5, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday March 6, at 2:00 p.m. This show is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).