The Tony-winning Best Revival of 2018, Once On This Island, will soon be joined by a member of the popular band Destiny’s Child. Michelle T. Williams, will make her return to Broadway in the production playing the Goddess Erzulie starting November 30, 2018 and stay with the show through Sunday, June 2, 2019.
“I am totally overjoyed to return to Broadway and excited to join the cast of Once On This Island,” exclaimed Michelle Williams. “Taking on the role of Erzulie, the Goddess of Love, speaks to my heart. The musical is such a moving, inclusive, spiritual journey that is needed in these times. It feels just right to represent love.”
Williams made her Broadway debut in the title role of the hit musical, Aida. Since then, she went on to appear in The Color Purple playing blues singer Shug Avery. She then starred as ‘Roxie Hart’ in the Broadway and West End productions of Chicago, the stage play of What My Husband Doesn’t Know, and the national tour of the musical Fela! A Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, entrepreneur, designer, television host, Williams has also recorded four critically-acclaimed albums as a solo artist – Heart to Yours, Do You Know, Unexpected, and Journey to Freedom whose video for “Say Yes” has been viewed over 50 Million times. She is an ambassador for the Office on Women’s Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she promotes awareness for maintaining optimum physical and mental health through nutrition, exercise, and proper medical care.
Directed by Michael Arden and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, the current cast of Once On This Island features Darlesia Cearcy (Erzulie), Rodrick Covington (Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe), Alex Newell (Asaka), are joined by newcomer and Tony Nominee, Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune) with Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian) Courtnee Carter (Storyteller), Cicily Daniels (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl), and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).
Once On This Island originally opened on Broadway in 1990 where it ran for 469 performances. The musical features a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Anastasia, Ragtime) with a book by Ahrens. That production was directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.