Tonight's Coterie Theatre performance of the colorful, calypso-pop musical Once on This Island is, technically speaking, a world premiere, but the inspired-bys and based-upons with this show pile up real quick. Based on Rosa Guy's novel My Love, My Love, itself a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," this one-act musical fairy tale is a streamlined, Coterie-style update of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's off-Broadway hit of the early '90s. That means it should be quick, lively fun that's still nutritious — something akin to the inspired trim-and-tuck the Coterie crew helped Ahrens and Flaherty give their Seussical a couple of years back. For 30 years, the Coterie has brought grown-up quality to young-adult entertainment. If you enjoy the show tonight, or any of the top-shelf theater this crew has given the city, they'd certainly appreciate you ponying up $150 Saturday for their annual benefit gala, Coterie Under the Stars. Tonight's premiere begins at 7 at the Coterie Theatre at Crown Center (2450 Grand, 816-474-6552). Saturday's benefit kicks off with drinks at 6:30 and continues with dinner at 8:15 and dancing and performances until midnight. For tickets, call 816-474-6785, ext. 235.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 24. Continues through Aug. 3, 2008