Home / Arts & Entertainment / Moonlight Stage Productions Opens 40th Anniversary Season with its Premiere Production of ‘Once On This Island’

Moonlight Stage Productions Opens 40th Anniversary Season with its Premiere Production of ‘Once On This Island’

June 16 – July 3, 2021

Actors Edred Utomi and Nathan Andrew Riley, on Hiatus from National Tours of Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Hamilton” Respectively, Return “Home” to Appear
In “Once On This Island”

Vista CA— When the curtain goes up June 16 for “Once On This Island,” the first musical of Moonlight Stage Productions’ summer season, the theatre will celebrate two major milestones. First, the Moonlight celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding in 1981 and its subsequent productions of 219 shows both at the Moonlight Amphitheatre and the AVO Playhouse. Its second milestone is its return to the stage following a near year-and-a-half nationwide shutdown of live events during the pandemic.

“One of the most poignant aspects of reopening the Moonlight for the summer will be seeing the amphitheatre come back to life,” said Producing Artistic Director Steven Glaudini. “The Moonlight is considered home to many, from our audience, actors, creative staff, technicians and musicians. To have had our home shuttered since 2019 has been a challenge that we are excited to finally overcome.”

“Everyone working to bring this season to life has a shared and heightened sense of anticipation,” said Managing Director Colleen Kollar Smith. “While every summer at the Moonlight is special, this one is uniquely so, with all the members of our Moonlight family returning after over a year of being shuttered. With our actors returning to the stage, our orchestra to the pit, and our audiences to their seats, we can’t wait until opening night.”

Winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, “Once on This Island” is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. The show is the groundbreaking musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” Revived on Broadway in 2017, the show has a musical score filled with Caribbean influences and comes from the creative team of writer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty.

“Once On This Island” is directed and choreographed by Paul David Bryant with Lyndon Pugeda as music director and conductor. The acting company includes, Kevin “Blax” Burroughs as Armand, Leo Ebanks as Tonton Julian, Brooke Henderson as Ti Moune, Patricia Jewel as Mama Euralie, Jodi Marks as Asaka, Jocline Mixson as Andrea, Nathan Andrew Riley as Agwe, Anise Ritchie as Erzulie, Ala Tiatia-Garaud as Daniel, Edred Utomi as Papa Ge and Maya Washington as Little Ti Moune. “Once On This Island” marks a homecoming for Riley and Utomi who are both on hiatus from appearing in the national tours of Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Hamilton” respectively.

The design team for “Once On This Island” includes Stephen Gifford (Scenic), Jennifer Edwards (Lighting), Jim Zadai (Sound) and Blake McCarty (Projections). Sets, costumes and properties are provided by 3-D Theatricals. Costumes are coordinated by Felicia Broschart and properties are coordinated by Gabrielle Tillinghast. The stage manager for the production is Stanley D. Cohen.

Subscriptions and single tickets to the 2021 summer season are on sale now online at moonlightstage.com, by phone at (760) 724-2110, and in-person at VisTix, 200 Civic Center Drive, Vista.

For more information, visit moonlightstage.com or call (760) 724-2110.

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