Haitian-inspired musical revival ‘Once on This Island’ comes to the Twin Cities

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The 2018 Tony-winning musical is at the Ordway through Feb. 9.

A musical inspired by the islands of the Caribbean is now playing at the Ordway in St. Paul.

“Once on This Island” is tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, who’s ready to risk it all for love. Based on the 1985 book, “My Love, My Love,” by Rosa Guy, it is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.

The show debuted on Broadway in 1990, and won a Tony Award in 2018 for Best Revival of a Musical. The revival was inspired by a trip to Haiti by the director and scenic designer, who witnessed the people of Haiti dealing with the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2018.

The show includes a few unique features: materials used in set design and costumes are recycled from everyday objects, inspired by the ways the Haitian people survived and thrived in the wake of natural disasters. Also unique for this show: some audience members are invited to sit on stage during the performance, where sand and water is set up in a circle, to help provide an immersive experience.

This is the first time time this touring production of “Once on This Island” has appeared in the Twin Cities. 

Performances continue at the Ordway through Sunday, Feb. 9. Ticket details can be found on the Ordway website, or by calling the box office at 651-224-4222.

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