Saturday, May 28, 2011

Once on this Island


Tonight Jemilla and I attended a musical called "Once On This Island" performed by the ICS middle school drama team. Originally inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid", it takes place on a Caribbean island.

Like "The Little Mermaid" or "Romeo and Juliet", it tells the story of forbidden love between people from two different worlds, in this case a peasant girl and a wealthy grand homme. The show focuses on the effects social class divisions have on love.

One day a terrible storm is unleashed upon the island. Little orphan Ti Moune is saved by seeking refuge in a tree above the flood's waters. She is found and subsequently adopted by peasants Mama and Tonton.

Years later, Ti Moune prays to God to reveal her purpose in life.

Shortly after, a wealthy young man named Daniel crashes his car during a storm.

Ti Moune meets Daniel and restores him to health and they fall in love. When "Death" comes calling to take Daniel's life, Ti Moune offers her life in exchange for Daniel's.

Daniel is reconciled with his wealthy family on the other side of the island, and Ti Moune goes to find him to supposedly marry him. During her travels, she is told that the earth will give her everything she needs on her journey to Daniel.

Ti Moune's parents reluctantly let her go.

At a ball, Ti Moune sees Daniel  and Andrea, a daughter of family friends.

She learns that Daniel is engaged to be married to Andrea. Ti Moune is very hurt.

The Grim Reaper returns and and reminds Ti Moune of her promise to exchange her life for Daniel's. He encourages her to kill Daniel, just as Daniel had killed their love.

Ti Moune approaches Daniel but decides not to kill him. She proves that love is stronger than death but eventually dies herself.

And then Ti Moune is changed into a tree.

Her legacy survives and brings together another peasant girl and a young grande homme.

The people of the island are all united in song about the young peasant girl who showed the strength of love.

Jemilla and I enjoyed our night out together. The students did a great job on the costumes and dancing. However, I left the musical in a general state of confusion about the plot. I also felt "Once on this Island" was a odd choice for a Christian school as it was an obviously pagan story someone had tried to adapt to remove references to multiple gods and reincarnation. And after seeing the musical poster, Jemilla expressed disappointed that there were no mermaids involved.

1 comment:

  1. I concur with your I was reading the storyline I was wondering why this story was chosen. I'm sure the cast looked and performed wonderfully, I do love live theatre.