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ALL THAT MATTERS IS LOVE 6 | FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017 BIG ISLAND ENTERTAINMENT SCENE | WEST HAWAII TODAY APAC presents heartfelt musical ‘Once on this Island Jr.’ Love conquers all, especially in the theatrical one-act musical “Once on this Island Jr.,” based on the 1985 novel “My Love, My Love.” Fusing elements of “Romeo and Juliet” with “The Little Mermaid,” the story follows the tale of a young peasant girl on a tropical island who finds love in a world of prejudice. The original Broadway production opened in 1990 and won the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 1995. The Aloha Performing Arts Company presents the junior version of the musical opening tonight, June 23, and running two weekends through Sunday, July 2, at Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu. “The adult version was produced in the early ‘90s and it was a Broadway hit,” said director Tiffany Kutsunai. “A peasant girl falls in love with a rich boy who is going to inherit a hotel. That’s what life is like on this Caribbean island — the rich people own hotels and the poor people work in them to keep the visitors fed and what not. The cast is made up of local actors ages 5 to 18, and they’re doing an awesome job.” The story is lauded for its poignancy and Caribbeaninspired musical score. Filled with song and dance, the inspirational production tells the story of Ti Moune, a poor island girl who rescues and then falls in love with a wealthy boy named Daniel. The negative forces of bigotry and prejudice within her community test her love, however, the power of her love erodes the barriers of social class so prevalent on the island. “This is a great show for the whole family because it has a cast made up entirely of young kids,” said Kutsunai. “The whole basis of the play is that love can conquer all — even death. It’s also about BY KAREN ROSE SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY Ti Moune (Kira Kane), center, walks through the waves. The peasants dance for the gods. Continued on page 11 ➠


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