Alana Hibbert’s Triple Threat

As you all get ready for Christmas, we’re getting ready for rehearsals to start on Once On This IslandA love story for all ages, this Ahrens and Flaherty musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a dark skinned peasant woman who must navigate the forces of love and death when she falls in love with the lighter skinned, upper-class man Daniel. Alana Hibbert, who might remember from our productions of Caroline, or Change and Parade, or who you might have had the great fortune of seeing as Sarah in Shaw’s production of Ragtime, returns to our stage as Erzulie, the goddess of love. Here’s what’s on the top of Alana’s showtune must have list:

What musical’s score will you always remember?

I was driving home the other day, listening to the CBC and a recording of West Side Story Highlights played by an orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein came on the radio.  I hadn’t heard the score in a while and was once again struck by how every theme in that show is so intricate and nuanced, yet so completely hummable and memorable.  The score encapsulates every detail of the story and immediately places me in the world of the play.  It’s crazy to think that this score actually came out of somebody’s brain.

What musical’s book will you always remember?

The book of Into the Woods—particularly the first act—has left a lasting impression on me.  The way James Lapine takes all of these well-known characters, turns them on their head and weaves them together into something else entirely, makes for an engaging story.  It’s so much fun to follow each character on their journey throughout the play. Coupled with Sondheim’s clever music and lyrics, this musical occupies a place high on my list of favorites.

What musical’s choreography will you always remember?

I’ve seen some cool choreography over the years, but recently, one example in particular comes to mind.  I had the pleasure of working on a one-act musical last season at the Shaw Festival called Trouble in Tahiti, which was choreographed by Linda Garneau.  I found her choreography incredibly musical and her use of accents and rhythm was so unique.  My favorite number was the “Handball Tournament” which she choreographed for the men using a few benches and some towels.  Very innovative. 

You’re on a desert island and can only bring one cast recording. Which one do you choose?

I would probably bring anything that stars Audra MacDonald:  Porgy and Bess, Ragtime, Marie Christine—that woman has a voice from God.  Or I would bring the original cast recording of Dreamgirls.  Jennifer Holiday kills it.

What is your guiltiest pleasure musical?

My guiltiest pleasure musical is The Wiz.  I kind of love how 70s it is with these big Quincy Jones orchestrations and that crazy, huge  “Brand New Day” sequence where they all take off their clothes and start dancing for their lives!

What movie or book would you love to see musicalized?

I always thought the book George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl would make a great musical.  It’s one of my all-time favorite books and I think you could do some cool stuff on stage using that story.  Now that they’ve made Matilda into a musical, maybe there’s hope!

What is your dream role that you’ll never get to play?

Little Orphan Annie.  I think I missed my window. 

Posted in Local News, Once On This Island, Triple Threat