Recapping the School Trip to “Once on This Island”

Ashley Garrett

Our school field trip to Broadway started as all great days do, with an extra half hour of sleep.  The day only went up from there. Everybody looked amazing, and we were blessed with a break from all of the recent rain.  Though some grades were separated, we all were able to enjoy lunch at a walking distance from the theater. We were even able to walk through the always-exciting Times Square, which is my absolute favorite place to people-watch.

I went into this “Once on This Island” knowing nothing about the performance.  I had never heard of it, and I did not look it up because I did not want to form any preconceptions.  After purchasing some overpriced (but much-needed) candy, I was ready to enjoy the show. When I walked into the theater, I was pleasantly surprised by the layout.  I had never seen a round theater, but I immediately liked the welcoming feeling that it promoted. I was starting to get more excited, but my enthusiasm peaked when I saw Alex Newell on the stage.  For those of you who have never heard of Alex, he played Unique in Glee, so I was starstruck to say the least. (As usual, Alex nailed all of his performances).

Throughout the performance, I was not always able to follow the plot line, but luckily the actors gave brief summaries every once in a while.  Even though I was confused during parts of the play, I was always able to appreciate the amazing singing and dancing that the actors performed.  The fact that they were able to perform such quick-paced dance moves in complete unison astonishes me. I was also more than impressed with every actor’s individual capabilities.  The play was performed by a very small cast, so each actor had the opportunity to show off their vocal ranges and unbelievable dance moves. As someone who has never been very talented in the theater department, I have an appreciation for their pure talent and dedication to the performance.

After the show, I had the opportunity to talk to Miss Roper about the play.  She explained to me and some other students that “Once on This Island” is kind of like a hybrid of “The Little Mermaid” and “Romeo and Juliet.”  Ti Moune’s relationship with Daniel parallels “The Little Mermaid” when Ti Moune saves Daniel from death, and later volunteers to give up her life for him.  Ti Moune and Daniel are also like Romeo and Juliet, because their love is looked down upon due to the difference in their social status. Once I was able to draw these parallels, I became even more impressed with the show and the actors.

Overall, I would give this field trip a 10/10; but my love for NYC may make me a little biased.  Hopefully you all also enjoyed the trip and will attend again next year.


(left to right) Ellie Gates, Graceanna Gargano, Casey Santoriello

Photo credit: Ashley Garrett