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Once on this Island Jr. hopes to entertain audience Saturday

ROUSES POINT - If you can't bring Rouses Point to the theatre, bring the theatre to Rouses Point.

The Adirondack Regional Theatre will host a performance of "Once on this Island Jr." this Saturday, July 11, at the Rouses Point Civic Center on Lake Street.

Director and producer Thomas F. Lavin said the performing arts organization has been working on the upcoming production since auditions began in April and the cast of 40 was chosen.

"We had a lot of talent and it was difficult to narrow the cast due to the tremendous amount of young local talent we had to choose from," said Lavin. "I am excited to work with this fantastically gifted cast and creative team of North Country artists."

Once on this Island Jr. is a variation of the original "Once on this Island," written by Lynn Ahrens, who is known for such works as "Seussical, the Musical" and the Tony Award-winning "Ragtime." The labeling of the production as Once on this Island Jr., explained Lavin, is the original production was rewritten for a younger audience and a younger group of performers.

"Traditionally, when Music Theatre International produces a "Jr." version, all the original songs remain and the story line is intact, too," said Lavin. "The change affects the length of the show not the meaning."

Once on this Island Jr. centers on the life of Ti Moune, a peasant girl played by Alicia Rockefeller, who falls in love with Daniel Beauxhomme, a character played by Ian Tavano. The play, explained Lavin, deals with the social issues of prejudice, class division, love and growth. The story takes place in one of the islands of the French Antilles, with the production being filled with Carribean rhythms and ballads.

"It is the kind of story that delivers a message but does it by moving your feet and touching your heart," said Lavin. "Some people may not even look beyond the colors and music and still have a great time."

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