The Musical Magic of the “Inspired and Uplifting” Once On This Island

The national tour comes to Folsom; special seating is available on stage

March 02, 2020

Folsom, CA — “What a delight it is to enter the world of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND!” raves The New York Times. Winner of the 2018 Tony® Award for best revival of a musical, Once On This Island is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Seating for ONCE ON THIS ISLAND will be available on stage for every performance. Inspired by the revival’s immersive set design on Broadway, this touring production will feature a unique set, welcoming audiences to be a part of the storytelling and magic of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND with this unusual opportunity to be seated onstage.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND  plays five shows Friday, March 20; 7:30 pm; Saturday, March 21; 2 & 7:30 pm; Sunday, March 22; 1 & 6:30 pm. Tickets are $48-$82; Premium $88; 10% Discount For Sunday Evening Single Ticket. Seating on stage is $25 with no additional fees; some restrictions apply. (See https://www.harriscenter.net/f-2003-onceonthisisland-stage for details.) Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday (please note new hours), and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. The Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

“Just what the world needs now—inspired and uplifting!” (Variety). The groundbreaking vision of two-time Tony Award nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live) conjures up “a place where magic is possible and beauty is apparent for all to see!” (The Huffington Post). With a score that bursts with life from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning songwriters of Anastasia and Ragtime, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is a timeless testament to theater’s unlimited possibilities.

Coming to Folsom in March 2020 on national tour, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The original Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End Production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The critically acclaimed 2017 Broadway Revival, which opened in December of that year, won the 2018 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival before closing January 6, 2019. 

Cast members from the 2017 Broadway revival of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND lead the touring company, including “American Idol” Alum Tamyra Gray as Papa Ge, Cassondra James as Erzulie, Tony Nominee Phillip Boykin as Tonton Julian, Courtnee Carter as Ti Moune and Tyler Hardwick as Daniel Beauxhomme. Completing the gods of the island are Jahmaul Bakare as Agwe and Kyle Ramar Freeman as Asaka.

“This company of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is truly an embarrassment of riches for me as a director. I cannot wait for audiences across the country to witness this group of incredible actors transport them to our island,” says Tony Award-Nominated director Michael Arden.

“At each performance, there will be onstage seating, creating a unique experience within the footprint of every theater we play,” says Arden. “Audiences will be invited to put their feet in the sand and surround our company, becoming part of the show. It’s our goal to give all audiences a unique perspective of the communal nature of what theater can be in hopes that ONCE ON THIS ISLAND’S story of love, hope and forgiveness might inspire young minds and hearts all across the United States to lead their lives with compassion and empathy.”

This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin, who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo; Scenic Design by Dane Laffrey, Costume Design by Clint Ramos, Sound Design by Peter Hylenski, Tour Sound Design by Shannon Slaton and Lighting Design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer.

  • Website: onceonthisisland.com
  • Facebook: facebook.com/OnceIslandBway
  • Twitter: twitter.com/OnceIslandBway
  • Instagram: instagram.com/OnceIslandBway

March at the Harris Center

Always a beehive of activity, the Harris Center will be especially busy in March. The Presents program begins with original work from The Actors’ Gang: an intensely physical production in which actors tell their ancestors’ stories in twelve different eras, all woven into a single narrative. The New Colossus unfolds March 3-4 for two performances. The national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Chicago returns for six shows March 5-8. The National Geographic Live! Series concludes its inaugural season with Brian Skerry’s lecture and multimedia presentation Ocean Soul March 9 (the show is virtually sold out). New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players — America’s preeminent professional G&S repertory ensemble — re-imagines The Mikado for three performances March 11-12. And there’s an Emerald Island double header:  St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland returns to Stage One March 15, and All-Ireland Champion Seamus Egan performs on March 17.

The Harris Center is proud to present the National Tour of Once On This Island (five performances; March 20-22). Folsom Lake College Speakers Series concludes with An Evening with Anne Lamott March 23; she’s “both utterly disarming and hysterically funny” (Chicago Tribune). Her lecture is sold-out. March 26 brings an evening of documentary theater: Seeds tells of the seven-year legal battle between a Saskatchewan farmer and one of the largest biotechnology corporations in the world. “They have stumbled upon magic” (Huffington Post). “They” are Tokyo-based enra, returning with new work and popular favorites March 29.

This Year Marks Nine Seasons of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom!

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences, presenting the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting 150,000 annually.

Event Summary


  • Friday, March 20; 7:30 pm; Saturday, March 21; 2 & 7:30 pm; Sunday, March 22; 1 & 6:30 pm
  • Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College
    10 College Parkway, Folsom, CA 95630
  • $48-$82; Premium $88; 10% Discount For Sunday Evening Single Ticket.
    Seating on stage is $25
  • Ticket Office 916-608-6888
  • Tue - Sat 12 PM - 6 PM and 2 hours before show times
  • www.HarrisCenter.net

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Related Links

Press Release (PDF)