Once Upon This Island - All Rhythm and Color

  • All Rhythm and COLOR

    The Sayville Middle School Musical's Once Upon This Island was a charming and colorful performance about a legendary island girl,Ti Moune, and the transforming power of her love.

    Amid the Caribbean rhythms of lively music and energetic dancing, the island dwellers retell the story to keep at bay the wrath of the island gods Erzulie (Love), Asaka (Earth), Agwe (Water), and Pape Ge (Death).

    In this redemptive tale of true love, orphaned young Ti Moune is found stuck in a tree after a terrible hurricane by kindly old peasants who then raise her.

    Always a spirited child, Ti Moune grows up longing for a grander life like that of the handsome aristocrat Daniel who drives by in his white car. She prays to the island gods for help. They grant her wish to settle a dispute about which force is stronger, Love or Death. When Daniel is critically injured in a car crash, Ti Moune rescues him and falls in love, despite the class differences between them.

    Her love is so strong that she pledges her soul to Papa Ge in an exchange for Daniel’s recovery. In the end, Ti Moune makes an enduring sacrifice which proves Love conquers Death—the stuff of great legends.

    Among the musical numbers We Dance, One Small Girl, Waiting for Life And The Gods Heard Her Prayer, Rain, Discovering Daniel, Pray, Forever Yours, Some Say, The Human Heart, A Part of Us and Why We Tell Story, the principals, played by students Meghan Gunther, Samantha Schenkel, Theo Ebarb, Natasha Capp, Liam Hofmeiser, Kyle Murray, Valerie Murray, Matt Iovino, Melina Guida, Marissa Casazza, Elizabeth Larkin, and Shannon Lynch, performed their musical parts with rhythmic gusto. The supporting chorus and leaping dancers gave a vivaciousness to the production, while the backdrop painted by master artist Cora Sparwasser absolutely transformed the stage.

    Once again the Middle School made magic with the musical production and delivered the heartwarming retelling with spirit. Thanks to Director Jeff Hoffman and Musical Director Betsy Cohen (assisted by many behind-the-scenes faculty, along with parent and student volunteers), the Middle School production of Once Upon This Island was not only worth retelling, it was legendary.