Theater News

Lea Salonga to Rejoin Once on This Island After Michelle T. Williams Suddenly Departs

Williams has been advised by doctors to take a break from performing.

Lea Salonga and the company of Once on This Island.
Lea Salonga and the company of Once on This Island.
(© Joan Marcus)

Michelle T. Williams of Destiny's Child has departed the Broadway production of Once on This Island after being "advised by her doctors to take a leave of absence from performing," according to a statement from the production.

Understudy Cassondra James will assume the role from now until December 26, at which point original cast member Lea Salonga will return to the role of Erzulie to finish out the run.

Once on This Island features a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1990, is based on the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy, and the revival production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin, joined by AnnMarie Milazzo. Michael Arden's production, which won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, runs at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

The company also includes Tamyra Gray (Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe), Alex Newell (Asaka), Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune), Juliet Benn (Little Girl), Courtnee Carter (Storyteller), Cicily Daniels (Storyteller), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Boise Holmes (Tonton Julian), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Allan K. Washington (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl), and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).

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Once on This Island

Closed: January 6, 2019