The upcoming revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's 1990 musical "Once on This Island" has found its four gods. And one of them is a Broadway legend.
Lea Salonga, the Filipino actress and singer who won a Tony in 1991 for her breakthrough role in "Miss Saigon," is returning to the Rialto this fall in the musical — which will begin performances Nov. 9 prior to a Dec. 3 opening at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
The 46-year-old star, who also famously provided the singing voice of Jasmine in the 1992 animated film "Aladdin," will play Erzulie — one of the four Caribbean island gods testing the love between a peasant girl and the wealthy man she saves from a car crash. Salonga was previously on Broadway in 2015's "Allegiance."
Joining Salonga in as island gods Asaka, Papa Ge and Agwe respectively will be "Glee" star Alex Newell, "Greenleaf" star Merle Dandridge, and Quentin Earl Darrington, of the recent revival of "Ragtime" and "Cats."
Salonga, Newell, Dandridge and Darrington join the previously announced Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), David Jennings (Armand), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), and Isaac Powell (Daniel).
Casting for additional roles will be announced in the future, including that of Ti Moune —the female ingenue at the center of the tale. Producers had previously said they'd be holding an international casting calls for her role, with auditions held in the spring throughout Haiti, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Atlanta, and New York.
Directed by Michael Arden ("Spring Awakening"), the production will feature new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin (with AnnMarie Milazzo) and choreography by Camille A. Brown.
"Once on This Island" premiered at Playwright’s Horizons in 1990 before transferring to Broadway in October of that year. The original production closed in Dec. 1991 after 469 performances.
A London production opened in the West End in 1994, where it won the 1995 Olivier Award for Best New Musical. it won the 1995 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
For tickets and information, visit www.onceonthisisland.com.