Once – The Musical plays to packed houses eight times a week and tickets for this popular show sell out fastest for weekend performances. Tickets for the show’s three matinees each week also are popular, sometimes selling out months in advance, but these performances offer better availability and ticket prices.
, an Irish indie film made on a shoestring budget, ended up on many critics' best-of lists in 2006. Its signature love song, "Falling Slowly," won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, the then relatively obscure musicians who also starred in the movie. Six years later, this simply staged musical adaptation is another instance of David slaying Goliath, with an impressive eight Tony awards, including Best Musical, to its credit. The production, now at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, retains all the favorites from the film soundtrack (including “Lies” and “If You’re Mind’s Made Up”) as well as two new songs written specifically for the stage.
Once – The Musical
notably breaks with Broadway musical tradition in that over a dozen cast members act onstage as well as perform all the show's live music. In fact, upon entering the theater, ticket-holders are welcomed by a floor-stomping hootenanny onstage, where the cast beckons everyone to join in on the fun. The minimalist production takes place on a stationary set – a pub, naturally – using lighting and props to suggest changes in location and mood.
When the show proper begins, the audience is introduced to "Guy" (Steve Kazee, in the role that earned him a Best Actor Tony), a depressed Irish musician nursing a broken heart, and "Girl" (Cristin Milioti, who got a Tony nomination for her performance), a precocious Czech piano player in a complicated relationship. The two meet in a Dublin bar where Guy sings his songs. Bemused by his hangdog heartache and melancholy songwriting, Girl presses Guy to collaborate. He agrees, and the mismatched pair goes about forming a ramshackle band out of acquaintances from the local pub and nearby apartment complex before heading to the recording studio. As Guy and Girl literally start to make beautiful music together, their quiet chemistry forces them to question what – and who – they really want.
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