After hearing so much Tony Award buzz and then local LA theater scene buzz about ONCE, the hubbs and I finally had a chance to see it this past Friday. And in all honesty, it was nothing short of spectacular, one of the best shows that I have seen in LA in a long time. It was totally different than any show I have seen before, great music, it felt raw and probably the best part was that I felt like I was seeing a Broadway caliber show in LA (that’s a major compliment coming from this theater snob!)
ONCE takes place in modern day Dublin and is a story about a Guy who gave up on his music and love and then he meets a Girl who changes everything and inspires him to dream again. This instantly engaging musical is performed by a talented cast of actor-musicians who sing, dance and play their hearts out on stage. This Musical won 8 Tony Awards including BEST MUSICAL, and features the amazing songs from the critically-acclaimed movie, including the Oscar-winning Falling Slowly. This inspired, uplifting show is witty, moving and shows how music has the power to connect us.
What did I love about ONCE? Everything!! It began before the show even started, when the audience was invited up onto the stage to sip a cocktail and watch the pre-show entertainment with the actual actors/musicians from the cast performing right in front of you. In all my theater-going years, I’ve never had an experience like this, it was so unique and special! Once the show starts and the Guy starts singing with his raspy rock-n-roll voice (played by the wickedly talented newcomer Stuart Ward) and then the Girl walks ominously down the theater aisle and we hear her amazing vibrant melodic voice (played by another new talent Dani de Waal), I was immediately captivated.
The staging of ONCE was so clever too, it makes you feel like you stepped right into bar and are witnessing this love story unfold right before your eyes. This show has a raw, unrehearsed quality that I absolutely loved. And all the talented actor musicians were truly fabulous. The story was relatable, engaging and beautifully brought to life by the talented cast and the music was exceptional, evidenced by the fact that it continues to play in my mind days after the show ended.
DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS STELLAR PERFORMANCE!! ONCE is now playing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood and will complete its Los Angeles engagement this Sunday, August 10, 2014. The best ticket prices can be found HERE (for about $49 per ticket.)
I hope you get to see this fabulous show before it closes; and remember to get there early for the extra special treat of enjoying a pre-show drink onstage and watching the cast musicians/actors perform right in front of your eyes. SOOOOO Cool!
Disclosure: The Pantages provided me with two tickets to see Once, however all opinions are my own and passion for live theater has been a life long .