Filipina singer and stage actress, Lea Salonga, has been confirmed as part of the cast of Lynn Ahrens’ and Stephen Flaherty’s “Once on This Island” Broadway musical.
The 46-year-old actress is going to take on the role of Erzulie, the beautiful Goddess of Love in the story. She will be joined by Alex Newell (“Glee”), who will play the role of Asaka, Mother of the Earth, according to Play Bill. Other cast mates that have been confirmed include Merle Dandrige (“Greenleaf”) as Papa Ge, the Demon of Death, and Quentin Earl Darrington (“Cats”) as Agwe, the God of Water.
“In casting the Gods that inhabit our island, it became imperative for me to break expectations and stretch beyond the bounds in which Gods are traditionally represented,” director Michael Arden said in a press statement. “It felt important that young people watching our production see themselves reflected back from the stage at them,” he continued, further explaining that the Gods in Ahrens and Flaherty’s “Once on This Island” are simply Gods that are not bound by gender, race, age, sexuality or anything about being human.
“I’m so very pleased to be collaborating with these four artists exploring the important and timely themes of this musical through their unique and incredible abilities,” Arden added in the statement.
Salonga, along with the new confirmed cast mates, are going to be joined by Phillip Boykin (“Sunday in the Park with George”) as Tonton Julian, Alysha Deslorieux as Andrea, Kenita R. Miller (“The Color Purple”) as Mama Euralie and Isaac Powell as Daniel.
No official word yet on who will play the lead role of Ti Moune. But report has it that the announcement is being expected to be made at a later date.
Broadway preview for “Once on This Island” will begin much earlier on Nov. 9. It will be followed by its opening night on Dec. 3 at the Circle in the Square Theater.