Playbill Once Program BookOnce Schedule
04/01/2014 - 04/06/2014 Minneapolis, MNRead More
04/08/2014 - 04/20/2014 St. Louis, MO
04/22/2014 - 04/27/2014 Des Moines, IA
04/29/2014 - 05/4/2014 Tempe, AZ
05/06/2014 - 05/18/2014 Denver, CO
05/20/2014 - 05/25/2014 Las Vegas, NV
05/27/2014 - 06/08/2014 Seattle, WA
06/10/2014 - 06/15/2014 Portland, OR
06/17/2014 - 07/13/2014 San Francisco, CA
07/15/2014 - 08/10/2014 Los Angeles, CA
08/12/2014 - 08/17/2014 San Diego, CA
08/19/2014 - 08/31/2014 Costa Mesa, CA
09/09/2014 - 09/14/2014 Baltimore, MD
09/30/2014 - 10/5/2014 Charlotte, NC
10/21/2014 - 10/26/2014 Ottawa, ON
10/28/2014 - 11/02/2014 Memphis, TN
11/11/2014 - 11/23/2014 Cincinnati, OH
12/17/2014 - 12/28/2014 Dallas, TX
01/06/2015 - 01/11/2015 Tulsa, OK
01/13/2015 - 01/18/2015 Oklahoma City, OK
01/20/2015 - 01/25/2015 Louisville, KY
01/27/2015 - 02/01/2015 Appleton, WI
02/03/2015 - 02/15/2015 Detroit, MI
02/24/2015 - 03/01/2015 Austin, TX
03/03/2015 - 03/08/2015 San Antonio, TX
03/10/2015 - 03/15/2015 Houston, TX
03/17/2015 - 03/22/2015 New Orleans, LA
04/07/2015 - 04/12/2015 Salt Lake City, UT
04/29/2015 - 05/3/2015 Fayetteville, AR
05/05/2015 - 05/10/2015 Toledo, OH
05/26/2015 - 05/31/2015 Hartford, CT
06/09/2015 - 06/14/2015 Columbus, OH
06/16/2015 - 06/21/2015 Kansas City, MO
The touring version of the stage musical adaptation of the 2006 indie film of the same name, is currently playing in Minneapolis through this Sunday, at the Orpheum Theatre.
The plot is simple: set in Dublin, guy meets girl and both make beautiful music together... but it’s much more than that. The centerpiece of the stage version (as well as the film) are the genius songs, done by Frames lead singer Glen Hansard and his Swell Season co-creator (and former girlfriend), Markéta Irglová.
The stage version uses twelve cast members/musicians, that are on stage at all times, serving as both supporting characters and backing band, and the main set is made to look like a classic Irish bar.
Three key reasons to arrive early for this show: 1) the bar stage is “open for business” and the public is able to go up on stage with the crew and order a drink (available at intermission as well); 2) the band warms up early, playing 4-5 songs loosely before the stated show time; and 3) there is a “seating hold” as long as 45 min., meaning if you arrive after the play actually starts, you may be in the lobby a while, before you can enter.
The main characters, as in the movie, remain nameless, but still are fleshed out enough we feel for their highs and lows: Guy- he, a struggling Dublin busking guitarist and vacuum repairman for his father, still reeling from a previous relationship, and is generally lost. Girl – she, a Czech immigrant, living with her family, is a piano player positive in her outlook, and able to see the talent in the Guy, that he himself cannot see.
The staging, transitions, and lighting are all well done throughout and the touring leads, Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal, are pitch perfect in voice and believable in imparting the story. Both give only a slight imitation of Hansard and Irglová as seen in the movie, with de Waal’s voice more projecting and confident in her solos, than Irglová ever was.
The central song of the musical is ‘Falling Slowly”, which is performed early in the first act, as well as reprised at the end. It won the Best Song Oscar for the film, and the musical has won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, as well as 8 Tony Awards. Thankfully, the songs are authentic in their versions and not “Broadway’d up” unnecessarily, as they easily stand on their own, in their original form.
Those that know the story from the film (and in part, from real life) will be enchanted all over again, and those coming to the tale for the first time, will be swept up in the rich songs, and heartfelt story. 'Once' is one to see while you can.
"Once" the Musical
photo courtesy of YouTube