Henry Akona | Director and Composer

Reviews: Cate’s Cradle: a calypso musical

“The new musical stage adaptation hews closely to the Vonnegut text and is a faithful, inventive, intelligent rendering of Vonnegut's classic ... Standout performances include [Timothy McCown Reynolds] as John, a rationalist pulled into an increasingly irrational world, and the engaging and vocally accomplished [Horace V.] Rogers as the charismatic Bokonon.”

Tribeca Trib

“[Vonnegut's] calypsos are the source for composer Henry Akona's lyrics but the music is all Akona and I really enjoyed it. It is played live by the actors on stage which makes for an impressive experience watching these folks step into a character and then pick up a guitar, trumpet, or xylophone and play ... Mr. Vonnegut would have been pleased with this adaptation. Vonnegut fans will be pleased as well. Definitely check this one out.”


“John Blaylock shines briefly as Ambassador Minton, delivering a quietly furious denunciation of patriotic holidays, and Michelle Rabbani invests Mona Aamons Monzano with sweet gravity.”

The Village Voice

“This ingenious production ... makes diverting use of a small camera focused on an intricate series of models (designed by Tanya Khordoc and Barry Weil) ... several actors stand out in featured parts, among them John Blaylock in dual roles as a laconic model-store owner and a cynical foreign-service attaché and Sandy York as a chirpy denizen of Indiana with big hair and replete with zeal for any Hoosier she encounters.”


“Even devotees of the book—which relates how a substance called ice nine destroys the planet—may be seduced ... And [Timothy McCown] Reynolds' low-key performance is excellent bait. His nonchalance says he's unconcerned if we listen. He’s just telling the truth, with or without our approval, and that makes him fascinating.”