The cast of Once On This Island (2014). Photography: Joanna Akyol.

Jan 21 – Feb 9, 2014

Produced in association with Obsidian Theatre Company

Set deep in the heart of the French Antilles, Once On This Island is a love story for all ages. When the dark skinned Ti Moune falls in love with Daniel, a lighter-skinned upper-class man, the gods send her on a journey which tests the power of love against the fear of death. With a joyful Caribbean infused score, dazzling choreography, and stunning theatrical staging, this Olivier award-winning musical will whisk you away on a journey you will not soon forget.

Awards & Recognition

  • 5 Dora Award nominations (2014): Outstanding Production, Outstanding Male (Daren A. Herbert), Outstanding Female (Arlene Duncan), Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Choreography


This event is part of TD’s Then and Now series, an inspiring and entertaining cultural showcase of one of Canada’s prominent communities. The lineup of events includes films, concerts, exhibitions, and performances by a host of Canadian and international artists. Visit for more information.

Production Sponsor

band-logo12 09 28 Then and Now Concept

Leading Lights

Don & Shirley Green



book and lyrics

Lynn Ahrens


Stephen Flaherty


Nigel Shawn Williams

music director

Lily Ling


Marc Kimelman


Charles Azulay, Jewelle Blackman, Arlene Duncan, Daren A. Herbert, Alana Hibbert, Kaya Joubert Johnson, Nichola Lawrence, Tom Pickett, Sabryn Rock, Chris Sams, Jivaro Smith

set design

Michael Gianfrancesco

lighting design

Bonnie Beecher

costume design

Alex Amini

sound design

Michael Laird

production manager

Adrien Whan

stage manager

Robert Harding

apprentice stage manager

Alice Barnett

assistant choreographer

Stephan Dickson



Charming! Warm-Hearted! Arlene Duncan is radiance itself… Alana Hibbert is pure joy!

— Globe and Mail

Flawless… I recommend this musical immensely!

— Xtra

Arlene Duncan shows again that she is a woman of electric presence!

- The Toronto Star

A rich tropical tapestry… brought tears to the eyes on more than one occasion.

— BroadwayWorld

A highly entertaining and thought provoking evening… Acting Up Stage continues to be one of the leading voices in Toronto’s vibrant theatre community.

— Charlesbois Post

**** (out of 5). Vibrant! Colorful, imaginative, and moving all at once. Jewelle Blackman gives one of her best-ever performances

— Stage Door

This is an incredible production featuring an immensely talented cast.

— Mooney on Theatre

**** (out of 5). Strong performances from a multi-talented cast. Leave the theatre joyous and heartbroken

— Theatromania

Passionate music and awesome choreography. Sheer joy!

— BlogUT

Everyone is likely to emerge from the theatre ready to dance down the street!

— The New York Times

Vivacious, exotic and scored to a Calypso-Reggae beat, Once On This Island is a Carribean cruise of a musical that offers audiences many sunny ports of call.

— LA Times

Once On This Island is a flavorful charmer suitable for the whole family.