June 17, 2012

Falling Slowly

I don't recall a time when I came out of the theatre after seeing a show wanting to see it again and yet this has been my experience having seen Once on Broadway on June 3, 2012.  Having loved the 2006 movie from which it is based, it's such a pleasure to see it uniquely staged at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre.

With music by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once is the story of a Guy and Girl, one Irishman while the other one a Czech, finding each other through music.  It is a love story with the actors playing a dual role as musicians and brilliantly directed by John Tiffany.  Designer Bob Crawley set this intimate musical in a pub setting surrounded by numerous antique mirrors giving the audience a 360 degree view of the stage.  I relished that feature particularly when Cristin Milioti (Girl) plays her piano and you get to see her fingers tinker on the keyboard.  The musical is full of longing and that pervading emotion is enhanced with movement choreography by Steven Hoggett.  Every flick of the wrist, bend of the neck or turn of the head in tune to the haunting music suggests yearning that permeates from the stage and flows into the audience.  It is enthralling and reminds me of another play about longing called Brief Encounter.

Steve Kazee is heartbreaking as the disheartened Guy while Cristin Milioti is a feisty and earnest (well, sometimes too earnest) Girl.  Both possess incredibly beautiful voices.  Mr. Kazee has a great command of the Irish accent and sings with raw passion.  I was particularly surprised with Ms. Milioti's voice.  I guess because you don't hear her singing a lot of solos where she pours out her emotions in a song.  Not only does she have a smooth velvety voice but there is also an ache to her singing that I didn't expect that would come out from her petite body.  The ensemble is equally as talented playing their roles while playing their instruments without sheet music.  Also, the use of Irish music for the intermission and in the transition scenes kept you engaged. 

Once just won 8 Tony Awards on June 10th and understandably so, with it's beautiful music, creative staging, enchanting movement and passion filled acting.  Make sure you don't miss it!

Here are some photos I took that afternoon:

David Patrick Kelly as Da

Steve Kazee as Guy

David Abeles as Eamon

Elizabeth A. Davis as Reza

Anne L. Nathan as Baruska

Erikka Walsh as the Ex-girlfriend

Lucas Papaelias as Svec


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