Beachy Keen

Feel like an islander without leaving the desert

There are people, one supposes, who wait all year to see Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Once on This Island, that cool-as-an-ocean-breeze tuner that turns up each summer like sunburns and triple-digit temperatures. This time out, the duo’s tropical love story -- a multiple Tony nominee and the 1991 Olivier Award winner for Best Musical -- is told by Mesa Encore Theatre. A cast of locals will -- hey, jambo jambo! -- sing and dance their way through this island fable of romance between a peasant girl and a rich boy she saves from death.

The production, filled with calypso and reggae rhythms and bursting with archetypal island characters plays at Mesa Arts Center’s Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse.

June 4-5, 7 p.m.; Sun., June 6, 2 p.m.; June 10-12, 7 p.m.; Sun., June 13, 2 p.m., 2010
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