Musical (1990)


Musique: Stephen Flaherty
Paroles: Lynn Ahrens
Livret: Lynn Ahrens
Production à la création:

Story: During a terrible thunderstorm the following story is told in an effort to calm a frightened young girl: Once on this island in the time of black slaves and Creole aristocrats, the orphan Ti Moune fell in love with the well-born mulatto landowner Daniel as she nursed him following a car accident. However, they could never marry: his skin colour was creamy coffee, hers was black jet. Ti Moune made a pact with the local gods - her life for Daniel’s. He survived to marry another, and she died of grief, but the gods turned her into a palm tree and she was able to provide shelter for Daniel’s home for all his life.

One stormy night, thunder booms, making a small girl cry in fear. To comfort her, the villagers tell her the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with a grande homme, Daniel Beauxhomme – a story of life, pain, love, grief, faith, and hope. In this story, four gods (Asaka, Mother of the Earth; Agwé, god of Water; Erzulie, goddess of Love; and Papa Ge, Demon of Death) rule an island, the Jewel of the Antilles (Haiti), where poor peasants worship them (Prologue/"We Dance). The peasants, "black as night", live on one side of the island, and the grandes hommes, lighter-skinned descendants of the original French planters and their slaves, live on the other. One day, Agwe unleashes a terrible storm upon the island, which in turn causes a disastrous flood, wiping out many villages. However, the gods save the life of little Ti Moune, an orphan, by placing her in a tree, above the flood's waves. She is found and subsequently adopted by the peasants Mama Euralie and Tonton Julian (One Small Girl).
Years afterwards, Ti Moune, grown up, prays to the gods to know her purpose, and to let her be like the fast-driving strangers on the roads near her village - the grandes hommes (Waiting for Life). Hearing her plea, the gods laugh a