Dinner theater this weekend in Westfield

WESTFIELD – Westfield High School will present its annual dinner theatre on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the district auditorium. The theatre production “Once On This Island” is based on “My Love, My Love,” a book by Rosa Guy, which is a version of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen.

Instead of a young mermaid, the heroine is poor orphan girl, TiMoune, who believes her purpose in life is to save an injured young man from the wealthy class on their tropical island home. The Island is ruled by four gods who devise a plan to see which is stronger: love or death. The ending, although different from the animated cartoon, is more like the original tale written by Andersen.

The music was written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who are also known for their music in the film “Pocahontas” and the musicals “Suessical” and “Rocky.” They have set the story to beautiful tropical music featuring calypso, samba, reggae and other Caribbean styles.

Featured in the show are Ashley Poletto as the god of the earth, Trevor North as the god of water, Emma Fermier as the god of love, Chris Cockram as the god of death, Lucy Knappenberger as the orphan TiMoune and Chris Kelley as Daniel, the young man whom she tries to save.

Those attending are guaranteed to leave the theatre remembering the melodies and feeling inspired by the storyline.

Tickets are available by either calling Westfield School or purchasing them at the door.

Directed by Kent Knappenberger, “Once on this Island” is produced through special arrangement with Music Theatre International, New York, N.Y.