By MIKE CHAIKEN
A serious message and a plot twist… and great music and dancing.
Put it all together and, according to several members of Bristol Central High School’s Footlights, you have a great student stage production that audiences won’t want to miss.
Bristol Central High School Footlights will present the musical “Once On This Island” March 22 to 24 in the school auditorium.
“Once On This Island” is an adaptation of the fairy tale “The Little Mermaid.” It’s about a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. When Daniel goes home, the gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest to test her love against prejudice, hatred and death.
Rachelle Washington, who plays the Goddess of Water, said she likes the fact the musical tackles the theme of class. She said she likes how the show depicts how love can reach across the divide of class.
Karina Stanecki, who plays a storyteller in the show, said she likes the story because of its theme of “love is eternal.” Overall, she also appreciates that “It’s not the classic cheesy corny musical… This is an actual story, with singing, acting… We get so into it…. It’s different from anything we’ve done before.”
K.C. Britt, who plays Ti Moune likes “Once On This Island” because “it’s sweet.” Yet, she said, “You’re not expecting what’s going to happen…”
“(It) doesn’t have your typical happy ending,” said Ishbell Hernandez, who plays another storyteller.
“It’s definitely different,” said Jasmine Clemons, who plays another storyteller and who has also choreographed the show. “It’s a lot of fun to do.”
As for the music of “Once On This Island,” Karina said, “It’s more like an opera…” She explained the music and lyrics carry the storyline.
“Every song has a meaning,” said Ishbell.
“It’s a Caribbean feel,” said Jasmine. “The music gets you to groove in your seat.”
Audience will enjoy “Once On This Island,” said Jasmine, because “the music is phenomenal. The dancing is great… The ensemble is energetic.”
“I literally have never been so excited about a show before. I literally talk about it constantly in class…,” said Karia. “It’s just awesome.”
Ishbell said, “It’s so energetic. It looks so good. I’m so excited to do everything in front of everyone… Its going to be really cool for people to watch.”
“We’ve worked so hard on it…,” said Rachel.
“The show is amazing, period,” said K.C. “There’s great choreography, great singers, great director… great everything.”
“Once On This Island” will be performed at Bristol Central High School on Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m.