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From left, Zoe Fiddes, student volunteer, with cast members Shannon Watson and Hannah Vromans.

Once on This Island Jr. promises toes will be tapping

Take the Little Mermaid story. Add upbeat Caribbean-flavoured tunes and lively choreography. Take 45 talented and energetic young singers and dancers, and you have a hit musical that will please everyone in the family.

“Once on This Island Jr. earned eight Tony nominations for its Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score,” said Krista Cranston, director of this wildly imaginative Broadway Junior Show. “I guarantee you will leave the theatre humming its catchy tunes.

It’s 70 minutes of a magical, musical love story that will touch your heart, mind and soul.”

Once on This Island Jr. features almost non-stop song and dance, and a story within a story with more than a touch of Romeo and Juliet. On a stormy night, thunder booms, and a small girl cries out in fear. Her villagers comfort her by telling her a story of a peasant girl living on one side of the island who falls in love with a rich young man living on the other side of the island.

Cranston is rightly proud of her hard-working, wildly imaginative young actors.

“There are some very neat effects in this production,” she said. “The kids form many of the set pieces using their own bodies. Whether it’s a tree, a car, a city, or even a rainstorm, the kids have been very creative in how they tell this story.”

Once on This Island Jr. opens its weekend run on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. with shows on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.

“ We hope that many families new to Theatre Ancaster will want to attend,” said Cranston. “It’s not a well- known show, but it’s quite wonderful. It receives the full Theatre Ancaster production treatment with main stage Theatre Ancaster personnel heading up lighting, sound, costumes, set and props for the production, but at its heart, it’s all about the kids and their energy and talent.”

Once on This Island Jr. takes place in the Theatre Auditorium at Ancaster High School, 374 Jerseyville Rd. W. at Meadowbrook. Adult tickets $10. Children under 12, $5. Tickets can be ordered by calling 905-304-TUNE (8863), Ext 2, ahead of time or may be purchased at the door.

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