Review of Once On This Island at Circle in the Square Theater
by Waverly, 9 and Mom, 49
Waverly here!  The only thing I knew about Once On This Island before I went to see it was that it’s my Drama Teacher Miss Kiki’s all-time favorite show – my mom and I ran into her at the subway and she told us that’s where she was going and that she could not wait!  At that time, we did not know yet if we were going to be able to review it, but since she loves it so much, and I love HER so much, I thought that this must be one awesome show and I crossed my fingers. Lucky for us we got to go see it two days later – and now I see why it is her favorite show!  It is a very unique show that you have to get tickets for – and you don’t need airplane tickets to get to this island!

The Mom here!  I also had no idea what to expect before going to see this. I only had a feeling it was going to be “something special.” And it definitely is.  From the second you walk in, you will know that this is a show unlike any other – you are literally transported to an island, and no detail is left out.  Sounds, colors, smells – welcome to the island!  You are really there.  You’ll see what I mean…

It’s Wave again! There even may be a couple of “real live” surprises for you when you enter and are waiting for the show.  Make sure you get there before it starts! It’s like the show starts before the show starts, if that makes sense. Like I said, you’ll see!  Just look where she is standing and that is a clue:

The story is about a little girl who lives on an island that has two kinds of people living on it, the peasants and the grand hommes.  One day the island has a big storm and the little girl survives.  A man and a woman find her and name her Ti Moune, which means, “Little Orphan,” and they take care of her.  There are Gods watching over the island: Asaka (Mother Earth), Agwe, God of Water, Papa Ge, God of Death, and Erzulie, Goddess of Love.  When Ti Moune grows up, she wonders why she didn’t die in that storm and the Gods send a boy (Daniel) from the other side of the island crashing into her life – literally – to help her know why she is alive and also to see if love is stronger than death.  

Brigadoon Rehearsal

Ti Moune falls in love with the boy and her love is so strong that she even goes by herself all the way to the other side of this island and finds her way into the hotel that Daniel’s family owns.  What happens from there? Is love stronger than death?  What do you think happens?  Note from The Mom: There is a really helpful guide to the play on the show’s official website; if you take your kid you may want to review the story beforehand so they can fully understand and enjoy the show:  OOTI.StudyGuide.pdf

There were so many fun and beautiful songs and dances in this show! It is very hard to pick just a few to write about.  My mom and I actually stopped writing our notes because we didn’t want to miss any of it.  Everything was so exciting and it honestly didn’t feel like we were at a show, it felt like we were living inside their world!  I think the Gods were so amazing – we loved the song “Mama Will Provide,” sung by Alex Newell, who was right by us the whole time!  Mom loved “The Human Heart,” sung by Lea Salonga.  Of course, Ti Moune (Hailey Kilgore) was awesome and beautiful! Ti Moune’s Dance was one of my favorite parts of the show.  Daniel (Isaac Powell) had a nice song where you could see that he really loved Ti Moune but had to do what his family expected him to do, called “Some Girls.” But honestly, all the songs and all the actors were amazing – I’m telling you, you HAVE to visit this island!  When we left, we took a picture of The Company names because every single one of them was important to the show and very talented:

Mom and I loved this show so much that we think it should be called “Twice On This Island” because you will want to see it again as soon as you leave!

Mom here again – Yes, you’ve definitely got to visit this island and see this show.  It’s happy, it’s sad. It’s beautiful, it’s surprising. It’s unique, it’s incredible.  Go find out why (and how) they tell this story!