Island-themed musical hits Hampton stage

November 30, 2018

“Once on This Island, Jr.” is the fall musical to be presented Nov. 15 through 17 by the Hampton Middle School Theater Department at the middle school auditorium.

Show times will be 7 p.m. all three days, with an additional 1 p.m. show Saturday. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $7 for students when reserved in advance online through the district website. Cost is $7 for adults and $6 for students for general admission.

This musical is a sing-through, which means there are no scene changes with almost nonstop music and dancing, said middle school teacher and director Greg Shumaker.

The musical is a theatrical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid,” according to a write-up on the show at the HTSD website. The story involves Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel Beauxhomme, a wealthy boy from the other side of her island.

Shumaker said it’s a classic story about rich and poor and a relationship.

He said this show’s exciting because it’s different than ones they’ve done in past years. Last year, the school presented “Shrek.”

“This is all about the music. It has lots of upbeat songs and is lots of fun. We’re happy with it,” Shumaker said.

The show has a Caribbean theme to it, so Hawaiian-type shirts are involved.

It was open casting, so students from sixth, seventh and eighth grades were able to audition for roles. Along with the cast, crew and pit of middle school musicians, there are approximately 95 students involved in the production, Shumaker said.

The lead of Ti Moune is played by seventh-grader Kathleen Milon.

Since this is her first lead role, she is excited.

“It’s awesome. It’s such an honor. I’m having so much fun,” she said.

Kathleen, of Allison Park, is particularly enjoying singing. She is a cantor at her church so she’s not shy when it comes to singing on stage. She was in “Shrek” last year and once she told her friends how much fun it was most of them wanted to be in this year’s production. Besides, she met some “crazy, awesome” new friends at last year.

One of the gods is played by Carissa Williams, also in seventh grade. She plays Asaka, mother of earth.

She loves the sing-through aspect of the show and has experience from acting camps. She also was in “Shrek” last year, playing the donkey.

Carissa said it’s a great show for families. She loves doing theater at school and said they try not to leave anyone out.

“We’re coming together in performing this beautiful and amazing show,” she said. ’I will never forget the experience here.”

Proceeds from tickets go to help underwrite the costs of the show, Shumaker said.

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