The cast and crew of Once On This Island are having so much fun that we just had to share some their infectious joy with you today. And what better way to do so than with a behind the scenes look at rehearsals?
Jivaro Smith, Daren A. Herbert, Kaya Joubert Johnson, Sabryn Rock and Nichola Lawrence all “Pray” to the Gods
Sabryn Rock gives us her spin on masquerade while telling us “The Sad Tell of the Beauxhommes”
Our fearless photographer, Rob Harding, is also our stage manager! This is what he gets to see before everyone arrives and after everyone leaves for the day (sans fish-eye, of course)
Jewelle Blackman as the driven heroine, Ti Moune, here embraces her inner tree
The Gods of Water (Jivaro Smith), Earth (Nichola Lawrence) and Death (Daren A. Herbert) surround Chris Sams as the love-torn Daniel
I love Grease. I played Danny Zuko in my school production, I always watch it when I see it on TV, and I get a joy out of seeing it on stage no matter how good or bad it is.
A HUGE hit at Summerworks 2010, we were so lucky to bring Ride The Cyclone back in the Fall of 2011(in association with Theatre Passe Muraille) for more Toronto audiences to experience. With its signature blend of macabre humour, dazzling staging and innovative musical pastiche, this little show that could took indie theatre on a loop-de-loop many of us will never forget. Today, we’ve got Sarah Jane Pelzer sharing her memories of the show; you’ll remember her as Jane Doe, that creepy beheaded girl with the curly blond wig and black contact lenses.
Funny, but the first thing I notice is that this is from a version of the show where I didn’t wear a wig. I curled my own hair back then and it took me close to a couple hours every day.
The hallmark of this piece for me has always been that the creators aren’t afraid to make changes and grow. So far there have been about seven versions of the show in total, ranging from 90 min- 3 hours long, from a cast of eight, to six, to a touring company of 14, from helping to make our own costumes to a budget of half a million bucks. Even when we felt like what we had was perfect, they weren’t afraid to re-do it and try for something bigger and better.
This picture reminds me that the people involved in the show will always be like family. We worked together on this project for over four years! Maybe the most inspiring thing is that we still work together. Many of us find ourselves in Toronto now and we sing together all the time.
While you were putting gifts under the Christmas tree and ringing in the New Year, we’ve been busy beavers getting ready to open Once On This Island! A love story for all ages, this Ahrens and Flaherty musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a dark skinned peasant woman who must navigate the forces of love and death when she falls in love with the lighter skinned, upper-class man Daniel.
Jivaro Smith plays Agwe, the God of Water, and summoner of the great flood which instigates the events of Once On This Island. Though Jivaro has seen many musicals, it seems that the most lasting ones are those which he has performed in, including The Lion King and that other Ahrens and Flaherty stunner, Ragtime.
What musical’s score will you always remember?
The Lion King because the music and the lyrics and meanings of the songs are so inspirational and have such a lasting impression and carry a great message.