Paper Mill Playhouse just announced full casting for the Millburn, New Jersey, theater's production of Once On This Island (book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty). More than 20 years after its premiere, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens are re-inventing their first musical with Tony-nominated director Thomas Kail (In the Heights, Lombardi, Magic/Bird), choreographer Bradley Rapier (So You Think You Can Dance, Jesus Christ Superstar) and new orchestrations by music director Lynne Shankel (Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Altar Boyz). Once On This Island begins performances on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, and runs through Sunday, June 24, 2012. Once On This Island is proudly sponsored by Bank of America. The official press opening is scheduled for Sunday, June 3, 2012.
Once On This Island will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Single tickets are on sale from $25. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 25% discount on tickets and should call 973-315-1680.
Paper Mill Playhouse will present an all-star team of Broadway talent to tell the moving story of Once On This Island. As previously announced, American Idol finalist Syesha Mercado has been cast as Ti Moune. Broadway veteran Darius de Haas will portray Agwe. De Haas was seen on Broadway in Rent (Collins/Angel/Benny), Dreamgirls (C.C. White), Kiss of the Spider Woman, Encore's Broadway Bash and Carousel (Mr. Snow) at Lincoln Center. Kevin R. Free will play Tonton Julian. Free was named a Person of the Year in 2010 by NYTheatre.com for noteworthy contributions to New York Theater. In NYC, Free was featured in From My Hometown, The Conjure Man Dies and Taking a Chance on Love. Adam Jacobs will play Daniel. Jacobs is currently featured in Disney's The Lion King on Broadway. Jacobs played Marius in the recent Broadway revival of Les Misérables and starred in the title role of the world premiere of Disney's Aladdin.
Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse where the critics raved about her performance as Sarah in Ragtime. Miller appeared on Broadway in The Color Purple (Celie) and Xanadu, Encores' Merrily We Roll Along and the title role in Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center. Alan Mingo, Jr. will make his Paper Mill Playhouse debut in the role of Papa Ge. Mingo starred on Broadway in Rent (Tom Collins) and Disney's The Little Mermaid (Sebastian) along with a myriad of television credits. Courtney Reed (Andrea) recently starred as Jasmine in the world premiere of Disney's Aladdin. Reed was featured in Broadway's Mamma Mia and In the Heights. Broadway powerhouse Saycon Sengbloh will portray Erzulie. Sengbloh starred on Broadway in Fela! (Sandra Isidore), Hair, The Color Purple, Elphaba in Wicked and the title role in Disney's Aida. Jerold E. Solomon (Armand/Daniel's Father) was last seen at Paper Mill Playhouse in the critically acclaimed musical The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee. Solomon appeared in Lincoln Center's hit revival of South Pacific along with many television and film credits. AureLia Williams will play Asaka. Williams has appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Guthrie, Theatre Under The Stars, The Lyric, Gateway Playhouse and dozens of other professional theaters. Her film and television credits include The Big Gay Musical, The Sopranos and Da Ali G Show on HBO. Eleven-year-old Courtney Harris will be featured as Little Ti Moune.