The musical Once officially opened on Broadway on March 18, 2012. Within two years, productions had sprung up in the West End, Dublin, and Melbourne. Also happening within that time frame, a national touring company launched a robust tour of the United States. It makes sense that Once is literally taking over the world (at least the world of musical theatre). The original Broadway production wowed critics, enchanted theatre goers, and captured eight Tony Awards including Best Musical (it was nominated for eleven).
Once is based on the very successful 2006 film of the same name. That flick utilized the songs of Glen Hansard and Marketa IrglovÃ¡ including their smash hit “Falling Slowly” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Once the stage musical uses many of the songs heard in the movie. Additional material was written by Martin Lowe, Andy Taylor, Enda Walsh, and Fergus O’Farrell.
Those with Once tickets should be prepared for some serious minimalism. If you like lush set design this is not the musical for you (although Bob Crowely did win a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design for his work on Once). A bar sits in the middle of the stage with folding chairs lining stage left and stage right. The cast doubles as the orchestra. So when they’re not acting they’re sitting in chairs and playing music—the actors never leave the stage. The bar in the middle of the stage is used to serves drinks before the show and during intermission.
Once is a love story about a very musical guy and a very musical girl (“guy” and “girl” is how they’re referred to in the show). The girl inspires the guy to pursue his ex-girlfriend in New York and a career in music. The guy, on the other hand, fixes the girl’s vacuum. In the original Broadway cast, guy and girl were played by Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti. Kazee has appeared in a number of network television shows and Milioti is the “mother” on the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”