Once On This Island – Musical – Tacoma Musical Playhouse

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Once On This Island musical at Tacoma Musical Playhouse w/ the 1st live band since the 2019! Novel tribal-like choreography. Excellent Mother. Refreshing diverse tropical vibes desperately needed in the cloudy PNW winter.

Synopsis from the Theatre: From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Seussical, Ragtime), comes the Olivier Award-winning Once on This Island. This highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, garnered eight Tony nominations for its Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score.

Reviewed Performance: 1/13/23 Opening Night


World Premiere: No

Awards: Olivier Award

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes – This was the first live band at TMP since the beginning of the pandemic. It significantly improved the caliber of the production compared to the shows that utilized an accompaniment recording.

Recommendation: See it if you like tropical genres like Tarzan or The Jungle Book

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: No, I previously saw this from Ludus Performing Arts

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: Yes, if it was an Equity production

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4.5 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: Zero

Length: 2 hours

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Voices: LaNita Hudson Walters was my favorite performer from this production especially with her distinct voice. She portrayed Mama Euralie, a gristly old Caribbean peasant woman. Honorable mention to Chanel Finnie (Asaka godess of Earth) and Jadyn Muralt (Ti Moune the main character) as well.


  • Death Explanation: The script doesn’t adequately explain a how a significant death occurred. I won’t say more to avoid spoiling the plot for readers who haven’t seen the musical yet.

Other Thought(s)

  • Scenic Design: Great hotel facade especially with the closing front gates. It was a little weird though seeing the hotel behind the peasant scenes. The hotel facade should only appear during the townsfolk scenes. The peasants needed their own more primitive backdrop. But I regonize the constraints of community theatre budget.
  • Blind Love: Can I just say that love makes you do stupid things? As a pragmatic person who has never fallen in love, I’m appalled at the nonsensical decisions in this story for the sake of love.

Theatre Company: Tacoma Musical Playhouse

Venue: Tacoma Musical Playhouse

Venue Physical Address: 7116 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406

Price: Cheap

Dates: January 13 to February 5, 2023

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Free parking is available in the Park-and-Ride lot directly across Sixth Avenue from the theater.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video.

@showsiveseen “Once On This #Island#musical at @tacomamusicalplayhouse w/ the 1st live band since the 2019! Novel tribal-like choreography. Excellent Mother (@lanitahudson). Refreshing diverse #tropical vibes desperately needed in the cloudy PNW winter. Review: showsiveseen.com/3179 #theatre ♬ Mama Will Provide – Kecia Lewis-Evans & Once on This Island Ensemble
Jeffery Wallace II (Daniel) and Jadyn Muralt (Ti Moune) In the back on the left is Chanel Finnie as Asaka and on the right is Loucas T. Curry as Papa Ge
Clover Curry (Little Girl) with the full company behind her
Full company of Once on this Island
LaNita Hudson Walters (Mama Euralie), Jadyn Muralt (Ti Moune) and Jeffery Wallace II (Daniel)
Jeffery Wallace II (Daniel), Clover Curry (Little Girl) and Jadyn Muralt (Ti Moune)
Full company of Once on this Island
Jadyn Muralt as Ti Moune singing “Waiting For Life” Darryin Cunningham, LaNita Hudson Walters, Anton johnson Jr. behind her from left to right. 

In The Heights – Musical – Tacoma Musical Playhouse

“In the Heights” #musical w/ dad at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. So many well-casted roles! The Usnavi understudy sounded like Lin-Manuel Miranda. Great stage set too – similar to the original. #InTheHeights
@showsiveseen “In the Heights” #musical w/ dad at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. So many well-casted roles! The Usnavi understudy sounded just like #LinManuelMiranda. Great stage set too … very similar to the original. #InTheHeights ♬ YO NO SOY (I’M NOT THE ONE) – Wennely Quezada