As the lights dimmed one little girl ran down the aisle and appeared center stage as she began to cry. The lights went black before the turned on full light as the cast danced across the stage singing “We Dance”.
On Friday, March 30th at 7 p.m., Woodland’s school musical, Once on this Island, premiered for the community.
Director and Producer, Sean Lewis, was in charge of the musical for the first time. Susan Cinoman was in charge of the set design and Jennifer Mazzeo choreographed all the dances. Kevin Pelkey was the carpenter, Kim Edwon was in charge of lighting, senior Elyse Gillot was in charge of sound and junior Hailey Williams was the stage manager.
Lewis said, “It has been a complete joy and pleasure for me to work with all the students.”
The story of Once on this Island originated as a Broadway play that won many awards. It tells the story of a poor peasant girl, Ti Moune, played by Katherine Steinbacher, who falls in love with a higher class boy named Daniel, played by senior Daniel Lyons, after saving his life from a car crash. In the story the four gods of love, earth, water and death control the lives of the people. The gods are played by Kasey Smith (junior), Catherine Pelkey (sophomore), Eric Gomez (junior), and Robert Wiener (freshman).
The story tells the journey Ti Moune (Steinbacher) goes on in order to find true love. The story’s Caribbean roots shine through in the play as the move from the upbeat numbers like “Mama Will Provide” to the slow ballads like “Forever Yours”.
As the musical played on the actors/actresses were accompanied by Woodland’s musicians: Anthony Milano (clarinet), Don Ferretti (saxophone), Nick Barra (keyboard), Pat Mulholland (guitar), Samantha Schwind (bass), and Rex Sturdevant (percussion). Overall, the band added a nice touch to the performance and enhanced the experience for the audience.
Junior, Rebecca Grabowski played Mama Euralie, Ti Moune’s mother, and was seen throughout the play with her husband Ton Ton Julian, played by senior Zachary Belenchia. Both actors gave a lot in their acting and stole the show with their performances.
Kiley Soulier, freshman, brought a lot to her role of Andrea as well as Charles Bethin who played Armand.
Beginning and ending the show Iaslyn Lewis and Olwynne Lewis played the younger version of Ti Moune that helped bring the performance to full circle.
Overall the performances were strong and the story was told well through the dancing and the singing of the students.