By Russell Florence, Jr.
Sinclair Community College produces a terrifically cohesive, emotionally engaging production of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Caribbean-flavored, ensemble-driven musical Once On This Island. The heartwarming and heartbreaking Island, skillfully directed with a universal concept by David Brush and featuring Rodney Veal’s colorful choreography, is affectionately led by perky Aziza Macklin (an actress who sings) as peasant girl Ti Moune, whose unswerving love for the wealthy Daniel (an admirable Joseph Stamper) evolves into a testament to the power of faith while advancing the relevance of communal storytelling. In addition to outstanding technical design from Terry Stump, Kathleen Hotmer and Gina Neuerer, ensemble standouts include Tabitha Carroll (Mama Euralie), Corinne Derusha (Asaka) and the elegant Risa Hillsman (Erzulie) who is beautifully costumed in a flowing gown. Performances are Thur. at 7 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m. in Blair Hall Theatre, Building 2, at Sinclair, 444 W. Third St. Tickets are $10-$15 (additional $5 for Thursday performance). Call (937) 512-2808. (Photo by Patti Celek)