Once On This Island – Musical – Review – Village Theatre

@showsiveseen "Once on This #Island" #musical at Village Theatre by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty. Starring @Syd & Jeffery Wallace. Neat rotating stage. Delightful choreography. Good thunderous hook. Perfect tropical antidote to this cold/cloudy PNW summer. It's #theLittleMermaid in the #Caribbean! Performing till 7/14 in Everett. #showsiveseen #theatre ♬ Waiting for Life – Hailey Kilgore & Once On This Island Storytellers

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Once on This Island musical at Village Theatre. Neat rotating stage. Delightful choreography. Good thunderous hook. Perfect tropical antidote to this cold/cloudy PNW summer. It’s The Little Mermaid in the Caribbean! Performing till 7/14 in Everett.

Recommendation
See it!


Synopsis from the Theatre: Once on this Caribbean Island, Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl, decided to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, she sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. Can she prove that love is more powerful than death? With a Calypso-flavored score from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning songwriters of Anastasia and Ragtime, Once on This Island is a captivating adaptation of the beloved fairy tale The Little Mermaid. Relish in this breathtaking and imaginative dance-filled musical, which overflows with love, grief, faith, and hope.

Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 5/17/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for my preview posts on my website and social media if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Fortunately, the Everett run ends 7/14.

Type: Musical

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: Several

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several

Static (Stationary) Set? No, there was a rotating stage.

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: No

Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes

Equity Actors: 6

Total Number of Actors: 12

Perceived Pace of the Show: Medium speed

Was there an intermission? No

Length (Including Any Intermission): 90 minutes

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? No, I’ve seen this at Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Ludus Performing Arts.

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? Yes, but only professional productions like this one.

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Rotating Stage: The rotating stage effectively depicted water, growing up, a car, and scene transitions. Each of the 3 stage layers could rotate independently and oppositely from the other layers. This allowed for complex-looking stage effects and transitions. However, the rotating sound was sometimes distracting, and some rotating effects felt overused.
  • Voices: My favorites were Erzulie’s (Kataka Corn) high belt at the end of “Pray” and Asaka’s (Kelsey Scott) solos in “Mama Will Provide.” Yusef D. Seevers’ rich voice (as Papa Ge) reminded me of when he played Sweeny Todd at 5th Avenue Theatre.
  • Upper Class: I love a good on-stage portrayal of the I’m-better-than-you aristocracy like in My Fair Lady’s “Ascott Gavotte.” In Once on this Island, the patricians deliciously clutched their pearls and gasped in bewilderment when Ti Moune (Sydbey Quildon) danced barefoot.
  • Gossipers: It was hilarious how they gagged when Daniel (Jeffery Wallace) told Ti Moune “You’re my Charm” after she gave him a charm. Major ick!
  • Costume: The gown that Kelsey Scott(?) wore during the wedding scene was exquisite.
  • Choreography: I’m not sure if this would qualify as choreography, but the ensemble uniquely performed a good clap beat during “Rain.”

Rant(s)

  • Antifeminism: I know traditional love stories are usually antifeminist, but I was particularly disgusted when Ti Moune said “[The gods] saved my life for a reason. And now, I think I know why!” The reason was to recklessly put this lighter-skinned blue-blooded stranger man’s needs above your own in hopes that he’ll fall in love with you?! Gurl, please. The Once on this Island story was based on The Little Mermaid, which basically told women to shut up, give away their most valued gift, and change their body for the male gaze. I think the antifeminist message in Once on this Island is worse … but I won’t spoil the story. Ladies, “a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle!”

Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)

  • Daniel: Jeffery Wallace previously played Daniel in the Tacoma Musical Playhouse production before Village Theatre. We love that for him! 🙂
  • Miniatures: The miniature buildings were too small and intricate for the audience to appreciate. I kept worrying that the cast would accidentally run into the delicate structure. That being said, I’m sure the buildings looked amazing up close.

Theatre Company: Village Theatre

Venue: Village Theatre

Venue Physical Address:

  • Issaquah: 303 Front Street North, Issaquah, WA 98027
  • Everett: 2710 Wetmore Avenue, Everett, WA 98201

Price: $53–$115

Tickets: https://villagetheatre.org/shows/once-on-this-island/

Ticket Affordability Options: See the theatre’s official pages about discounts and pay-what-you-can performances.

Dates:

  • Issaquah: May 14 to June 16, 2024
  • Everett: June 22 to July 14, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking:

  • Issaquah: Free street parking and certain free parking lots. Lot parking availability is very difficult to find though. I’ve basically given up on that. I usually end up parking on Rainier Boulevard North. As a last resort, you can always find parking at the library but it’s a little far. Remember, there’s a bottom floor parking lot under the library’s main parking lot that mostly only locals know about.
  • Everett: Free street parking and some paid parking lots/garages.

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Pictures: See pictures below and in video above by Auston James.

Simone Alene, Marlette Buchanan, and Jesse Jonathan Smith Sr. in Once on This Island at Village Theatre. Photo by Auston James (2024).
Sydney Quildon and the company of Once on This Island at Village Theatre. Photo by Auston James (2024).
Simone Alene, Sydney Quildon, and Jeffery Wallace in Once on This Island at Village Theatre. Photo by Auston James (2024).
Marlette Buchanan, Sydney Quildon, Kelsey Scott, and Jeffery Wallace in Once on This Island at Village Theatre. Photo by Auston James (2024).
Kelsey Scott and the company of Once on This Island at Village Theatre. Photo by Auston James (2024).
The company of Village Theatre’s Once on This Island. Photo by Auston James (2024).

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Together Again, Again! – Review – Cabaret Drag Show – Seattle Rep

@showsiveseen "Together Again, Again" #cabaret #drag show at @Seattle Rep. An aged @Jinkx Monsoon & #majorScales bury the hatchet & reunite one last time decades into the future after an alien apocalypse! Closes this weekend. #lgbt #gay #dragShow #showsiveseen #theatre #camp #campy #pride Review: showsiveseen.com/8701 Photos: Nate Watters Stage Manager: @Shay Trusty ♬ Creep – Jinkx Monsoon

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Together Again, Again cabaret drag show at Seattle Rep. An aged Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales bury the hatchet & reunite one last time several decades into the future after an alien apocalypse! Closes this weekend. #lgbt #gay #dragShow #camp #campy #pride

Recommendation
See it if you enjoy drag or cabaret.


Synopsis from the Theatre: They’re getting too old for this skit. The year is 2065. The sun has exploded, a dystopian nightmare has been realized, and the world has been taken over by aliens. Aging stars Jinkx Monsoon (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Major Scales aren’t on the best of terms, but decide to put their falling-out behind them for a final reunion extravaganza. From the creators of 2014’s crowd favorite The Vaudevillians, experience the comedy, music, and saucy stylings of two of the Pacific Northwest’s standout entertainers.

Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 6/5/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for my preview posts on my website and social media if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Buy your tickets now since the show run ends this weekend.

Type: Musical

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: One or two scenes

Several or Few Settings/Locations: One – a stage

Static (Stationary) Set? Yes

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: Yes, there were several references to celebrities and other drag queens. You’d probably enjoy this show more if you follow RuPaul’s Drag Race TV show.

Defined Plot/Storyline: No

Live Band/Orchestra: Major Scales played the piano and there was some background recording.

Equity Actors: 0

Total Number of Actors: 2

Perceived Pace of the Show: Medium speed

Length (Including Any Intermission): 100 minutes

Was there an intermission? No

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? No

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Singing: I find it refreshing when drag queens don’t lip sync and actually sing well. As a musical show lover, they won me over with an opening “Hello Jinkx-y!” (inspired by Hello Dolly!) and a cute “(You’re) Timeless To Me” rendition (from Hairspray).

Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)

  • Drag Resemblance: Jinkx Monsoon’s aged portrayal reminded me of Adele, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, and Bette Midler’s Winifred Sanderson witch from the Hocus Pocus movie.

Theatre Company: Seattle Rep

Venue: Bagley Wright Theater at Seattle Rep

Venue Physical Address: 155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

Price: Starts at $50

Tickets: https://www.seattlerep.org/plays/202324-season/together-again-again/

Ticket Affordability Options: See the theatre’s official pages about discounts and pay-what-you-can performances

Dates: May 31 to June 23, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: There are paid lots and paid street parking. I usually park on Mercer to the West of 1st Ave. There’s usually also plentiful street parking around Safeway. If there’s an event in Seattle Center or Climate Pledge Arena, street parking is usually limited and much more expensive.

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Pictures: See pictures below and in video above by Nate Watters.

Major Scales and Jinkx Monsoon in Together Again, Again! (2024). Photo by Nate Watters.
Major Scales and Jinkx Monsoon in Together Again, Again! (2024). Photo by Nate Watters.
Jinkx Monsoon in Together Again, Again! (2024). Photo by Nate Watters
Major Scales in Together Again, Again! (2024). Photo by Nate Watters.
Jinkx Monsoon in Together Again, Again! (2024). Photo by Nate Watters
Jinkx Monsoon in Together Again, Again! (2024). Photo by Nate Watters
Jinkx Monsoon in Together Again, Again! (2024). Photo by Nate Watters

Preview Post – 53% Of – Play – Sound Theatre Company

Happy opening night to Sound Theatre Company’s “53% Of” play production at Seattle Center Theatre. Performing until 6/30. Stay tuned for my full review! #Liberals #Conservatives #whitePeople #whiteGuilt #caucasians

Tickets: https://soundtheatrecompany.org/2024-season/53-of/

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Preview Post – Spring Awakening – Musical – The 5th Avenue Theatre

Happy opening night to the 5th Avenue Theatre’s “Spring Awakening” coming-of-age rock musical production. Performing until 6/30. Stay tuned for my full review! #sex #teenagers #teens #horny #puberty #hormones #emo #angst

Tickets: https://www.5thavenue.org/shows/2023-2024/spring-awakening/

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Preview Post – Clyde’s – Play – ArtsWest & The Hansberry Project

Happy opening weekend to Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s play at ArtsWest with The Hansberry Project. Performing until 6/30. Stay tuned for my full review! #sandwich #hungry #food #felons #criminals #excons #restaurant #kitchen

Tickets: https://www.artswest.org/events/clydes/

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