KAT 2nd Stage Once On This IslandBy Laura & Mike Clark • May 13th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
KAT 2nd Stage
Gaithersburg Arts Barn, Gaithersburg, MD
Through May 22nd
1:40 with one intermission
$18/$16 Gaithersburg Residents/$9 Children and Students
Reviewed May 8th, 2011
Once On This Island tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. When Daniel is returned to his people, the fantastical gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest to test the strength of her love against the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred and death.
This ensemble piece was thoughtful and well choreographed. The actors all seemed to take their parts seriously and embrace them. Everyone came across as a cohesive group that practiced well together to create the perfect mood and tone for the story.
Ti Moune played by Avia Fields possessed a quiet strength that came across as rich and moving. Fields was very expressive when showing her love towards her adoptive parents and later towards Daniel, her lover turned coward. Daniel (former ShowBizRadio reviewer Jose Pineda) seemed very believable in his portrayal of a man unwilling to give up his position for true love. His solo “Some Girls” was also heartfelt.
The four gods telling this story (Papa Ge (Dan Henderson), Erzulie (Kate Mays Reedy), Agwe (Sonie Mathew), and Asaka (Meghan W. Elkins)), also were characters in the story. Their makeup differentiated them from the people of the island. Daniel’s long-time fiancé Andrea Deveraux (Diana Rodriguez) was effective as she sneered at Ti Moune.
JR Russ’ dance movements were pretty together and added to the telling of the story, although at times the small stage was a bit crowded. Matt Wolfe’s simple set design of a single raised platform reminiscent of the shore of an island allowed for the audience’s imagination to fill in all the gaps as to the scenes and setting. Music director Arielle Bayer’s melodies and music recordings by Arielle Bayer and Patrick Hughes allowed you to go back and “see” a river or ocean with a gated mansion on one side and a simple hut on the other.
The costumes were also well designed by Bobby Maglaughlin and Michelina Abrahamzon. They were simple earth tones for the most part that blended into the story and made it all seem complete. Nothing was too bright or too dull.
Once On This Island ran one hour and thirty five minutes with one ten minute intermission (don’t eat outside!). The intermission itself was unneeded for this one-act story. KAT 2nd Stage apparently has joined an increasingly common trend to help concession sales by adding an intermission into short productions.
A well told tale about love and hate, fear and strength, hope and forgiveness.
Photos by Kelsey Phelps
- Ti Moune: Avia Fields
- Daniel Beauxhomme: Jose Pineda
- Pap Ge: Dan Henderson
- Erzulie: Katie Mays Reedy
- Agwe: Sonie Mathew
- Asaka: Meghan W. Elkins
- Mama Euralie: Dru Hardwood
- Tonton Julian: Yazid T. Gray
- Andrea Deveraux: Diana Rodriguez
- Armand: E.C. Melvin
- Gatekeeper: Mavonte Johnson
- Little Girl/ Young Ti Moune: Talia Brenner
- Leelu: Renee Browne
- Director: Heather Latiri
- Producer: Amanda Marie Imhof
- Choreographer: JR Russ
- Music director: Arielle Bayer
- Stage Manager: Amanda Marie Imhof
- Set Design: Matt Wolfe
- Light Design: Michael Wilke
- Sound Design: Patrick Hughes
- Music Recordings: Arielle Bayer and Patrick Hughes
- Costume Design: Bobby Maglaughlin, Michelina Abrahamzon
- Sound operation: Amanda Marie Imhof
- Light Operation: Carlton Cobb
- Master Carpenter: Doe Kim
- Set Construction: Doe Kim, Diana Rodriguez
- Dance Captain: Dru Hardwood
- Executive Producers: Heather Latiri, Donna Jean Garrett
Disclaimer: Kensington Arts Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/6766.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.