**Disclaimer** I’m a little in love with Glen Hansard, and the movie Once. I saw him perform with the Frames and with the Swell Season and I love Once the movie…. Therefore this is my completely biased opinion of the Musical Once.
Having seen it, on its last run out in Toronto in December 2013, how excited was I to learn that the show will return on Feb. 10, 2015 for an open-ended engagement at the Ed Mirvish Theatre with an all-Canadian cast.
Set in contemporary Dublin, it tells the story of Guy, an Irish musician who is about to abandon his art because of a broken heart. Fortunately, he meets Girl, a Czech immigrant who hears his music, becomes smitten by it and does everything in her power to make him return to writing and singing.
Once is a really special musical, it is true to the original story but the stage version allows you to connect more with the characters, this is especially true of the side characters whose back stories you want to invest in.
The show has a unique of set up, there is no orchestra per say, but rather the band is on stage, and they all interact with one another. The setting is a synthesis of every Irish pub and even welcomes the audience onstage to share a drink before the show and at intermission.
The secret weapon of Once is the power of the music, a prime example is the heart-stopping a cappella rendition of “Gold” performed by the entire company in the middle of Act II. The score by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova is impeccable the music draws you in and the lyrics keep the audience captivated. By the final Act when guy and girl sing the show’s hit song “falling slowly” you will realize how completely enamoured you are.
I left the theatre with tears in my eyes and I wasn’t the only one. If that doesn’t convince you have a watch
Totally recommended, if you have been let us know what you thought?