The Rocky Hill Town Theatre will put on a performance Friday night of a Tony award-winning play that is “loosely based” on a Disney love story that teaches the audience about the social justice through song and dance.
"Once on This Island" is a musical fable set on a Caribbean island in which a young peasant girl falls in love with a rich city boy who she saves from death. The story is about a “forbidden love between people from "two different worlds,” told as a “play within a play,” according to Director Liz Daigle.
“I think you feel for that girl (Ti Moune),” she said about one of the main characters in the play.
Ti Moune is played by Middletown resident Brittany Fitzpatrick who recently played one of the dynamites in “Hair Spray” at the Warner Theatre in Torrington. When asked why people should attend the play, the first-time actor with Rocky Hill Town Theatre, which performed last year, has one word, "amazing."
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"Because I am amazing and the play itself is amazing,” she said. “The cast is also amazing.”
The musical offers the 20 actors, who range in age from 12 to their late 50s, plenty of lines and interaction on stage with “a lot of singing and dancing,” Daigle said
“It is good for the cast,” she said. “There is so much for the cast to do.”
One of the cast members is Jessica Serra who plays Daniel's promised wife Andrea Deveraux. Daniel is the wealthy man who is saved by Ti Moune.
“She has a mean streak,” said Serra, who is also in her first show with the Rocky Hill Town Theatre. “It is always fun to play the mean character.”
Serra said it is always “challenging” working with another group of actors, but is inspired with how the talented cast.
“It is a wonderful story,” said Serra who is acting for the first time since college. “It is colorful and interesting. It is a good love story.”
Many cast members said the story is “loosely based” on the Disney classic “The Little Mermaid.” Even though the play is family-friendly, it is not often performed with adult actors.
"The show is not done often with adult actors," said Kelly Bourque, who plays Erzulie, the Goddess of Love. "When the opportunity came up, I jumped at it."
She added the costumes and music for the fable are "crazy" and audience members will notice a lot of costume changes while they are tapping their feet.
"You will leave humming the songs from this play,” said Bourque, who is returning to Rocky Hill Town Theatre for the first time since she performed in "Parade" in 2003.
The play should last about an hour and 20 minutes and there will be a brief intermission where light refreshments will be available for purchase, Daigle said.
“It is a fast paced play,” she said. “You will get involved.”
The performances of "Once on This Island" are July 13, 14 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. as well as July 22 at 2 p.m. All performances are inside the gymnasium.
The price of admission is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors as well as students. Tickets can be purchased at the following link.