REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Once On This Island” Opened with a ShowScore of 89

Show-Score | Dec 4, 2017
“Once On This Island,” with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and directed by Michael Arden opened on December  3, 2017 in New York City. “Once On This Island,” with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and directed by Michael Arden opened on December 3, 2017 in New York City.


20 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 83.

Jeese Green 
The New York Times 
ShowScore: 90
"A ravishing revival...A pastiche Caribbean score whose words are restrained and delicately rhymed but whose music is relentlessly grabby and emotional...Arden has aced every theatrical trick he’s torn from the ancient handbook, freshening the show, and the tricks, in the process...The hallmark ingenuity, warmth, and intensity bordering on excess that characterize Arden’s style is recapitulated everywhere within the production, from the frankly stupendous singing to the electric choreography."
Charles Isherwood 
Broadway News 
ShowScore: 90 
"An absolutely incandescent revival...The delights of this fable-like show, with a rapturous, rhythmically bewitching score by Flaherty and Ahrens, will hold you entranced...The complicated tale, which relies perhaps a little too much on narration, nevertheless comes across with piercing emotional clarity in the buoyant staging...No matter where you look, the theater seems busy with active life...Kilgore glows with big-hearted life...The supporting cast is virtually flawless."
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 80
"An uplifting revival...The ungainly in-the-round stage of Broadway’s Circle in the Square is put to imaginative use...Ahrens and Flaherty, a well-matched team, produced more than twenty songs for this musical. Besides being perfectly lovely, they also advance the narrative in ways rarely seen...A sequence of dramatic songs – from 'Waiting for Life to Begin' through the heartbreaking 'Forever Yours' – take Ti Moune on the journey of love.

“Once On This Island” was also reviewed by Joseph Cervelli of Theater Time, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Mark Shenton of The Stage (UK), Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Naveen Kumar of Towleroad, Roma Torre of NY1, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Adam Feldman of Time Out New York, Hayley Levitt of Theatermania, Breanne L. Heldman of Entertainment Weekly, Christian Lewis of The Huffington Post, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, and Matt Windman of AM New York.


The show was also reviewed by 136 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 90.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great singing, Great staging, Enchanting, Delightful, Entertaining

Jeff S, ShowScore: 79
See it if…"You want to see a near-perfect score performed by a terrific cast." 
Don't see it if…"You don't want your experience to be marred by an overblown, over-directed, gimmicky concept."
Dina, ShowScore: 90 
See it if…"You love fairy tales reimagined, great storytelling and singing. This is a completely reimagined production that honors the original." 
Don't see it if…"You prefer traditional musicals, or don't like theater in the round."
Thomas 12, ShowScore: 95
See it if…"You want to be transported into the world of this story and see a well thought out and beautiful revival. Incredible cast and direction.
Don't see it if…"You hate immersive staging and find the idea of 90 minute musicals is not your cup of tea. If you aren’t looking to shed a few tears beware."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.