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Once on This Island: Spring Musical 2017

Devyn Forcina

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Come witness FHS’ latest musical,  Once on This Island, at FHS on April 7th and 8th.

Each night, the show will begin at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $10 at the door.

This show is unlike others we have been before. Many may not have heard of it, which is one reason all should be enticed to attend.

“Come see it if you want to get on your feet”, senior Dan McCarthy remarks, “It is an island experience right out of all this snow!”

Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet,  Once on This Island tells the story of a girl named Ti Moune (Caroline Fabian); a peasant living in the Jewel of the Antilles, who falls in love with a grand homme named Daniel (Griffin Fenton). The island is ruled by the gods- Asaka, goddess of Earth (Maddie Dieterle), Agwe, god of water (Dan McCarthy), Erzulie, goddess of love (Alexa Katsaros) and Papa Ge, the demon of death (Dan Schratz).

Ti Moune was saved from a storm on her island by the Gods as a young girl. Now, grown up, she prays to them to discover her purpose. The Gods laugh at her, organizing a journey which will bring the two worlds of the island- the rich grand hommes and the peasants, like Ti Moune, together.

This story is new and different, but with themes we have seen before: culture, dreams, and the course of life.

“I think its honestly a relatable show for high school students”, says Caroline Fabian, who plays Ti Moun, “I can personally relate to my character as she is trying to find herself on this journey… to find where she belongs..It’s a lot like what students are facing right now, when they think about what’s ahead for them.”

One special aspect of this show is the heavy role of the ensemble. They act as characters, objects, and narrators throughout the show. Their distnict and powerful voices merge as a collective voice, to accompany and accentuate the story of Ti Moune and the Gods. Both the ensemble and leads are incredibly charismatic.

While watching the show, the choreography is incredibly accessible and creates a tangible production. Although I personally had never seen the musical before, I automatically got a sense of the show from the opening number, entitled “One Small Girl”. This number was refreshing and vibrant.

“Something different about this show is the fact that it’s one of the first non-Disney or fairytale stories we have done in awhile.” Maddie Dieterle explains.

And this is true- the story is more relatable, even with the supernatural presence of the gods- the end is a tearjerker, but leaves the audience quite inspired.

“I’m just so thankful to Mrs. Lonati for choosing this to be our final show. It’s a good show and it gives me more experience; wanting to pursue musicals in college”, Dan McCarthy adds regarding this being his final show.

It is evident, watching the cast interact both onstage and off, that the musicals are special to each member.

Even seventh graders Prem Pendkar and Caelyn Towne, who play young Daniel and young Ti Moun, are seamelessly intergrated into the cast. Both tell me they admire the high schoolers in the show and can’t wait to be a part of the activity when they reach high school.

Mrs. Lonati concluded my experience at the musical by encouraging all to come, especially those who are unfamiliar with the show. Try something different, and join the cast of Once on This Island on April 7th and 8th.

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