Beachy Keen

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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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela