On Tuesday afternoon, I saw tickets pop up on TDF for a few nights last week for Once and after seeing the way the rush lines were, I knew this was probably my best chance to see the show for under $140 (or you know, getting up at 4am on a Saturday – no, thank you!). I bought a ticket for Thursday night and quietly anticipated the night to come. I loved Once at New York Theatre Workshop three months ago but had no idea if they’d be able to translate it well to a Broadway house. Well… luckily, it did and it’s still brilliant.
From what I remember, the show is the same as what you would’ve seen downtown as is the gorgeous score, and the brilliant cast. The set looks exactly the same, and you can still venture onstage before the show starts and at intermission to buy a $13 glass of wine! While the price of the wine might not be smile-inducing, the standing on the stage certainly is. (And yes, you can go up without any intention of buying a drink.)
Once tells the story about a week between two strangers in which one (a character called Girl) changes the others’ (called Guy) life, for the better. It’s far from a love story, as the ‘girl’ is trying to reconcile things with her distant husband but there’s definitely an instant connection between these two after the ‘guy’ lets himself be taken along on her ride. There are bits of comic relief interspersed too provided by Girl’s zany Czech family and flatmates.
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti, as Guy and Girl, are both from the original downtown cast and are both inexplicably beautiful and touching in their roles. Other standouts in the cast are David Patrick Kelly (as Guy’s calm and supportive ‘Da’), Elizabeth A. Davis, Will Connolly, David Abeles, and Andy Taylor (the banker who moonlights as a musician). The entire cast is inundated with expect musicians as well, since they provide the orchestrations themselves (and unlike any of Doyle’s productions, it works and feels natural).
It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, having the courage to go after your dreams, and also letting yourself go when you know you should. Everyone can relate to some aspect of this show and it will most likely make you shed a tear at the end (as myself and many of my fellow theatre goers were).
If there was one show that was worth of a 5am call time to stand in line for tickets, this would be it and you would not be disappointed.