Smile #132 – Once


This Saturday afternoon, Bubble and I headed uptown for another play.  One that won the Tony Awards for Best Musical, Once.  Adapted from the indie film directed by John Carney, Once tells the unconventional and charming love story of an Irish guy and a Czech girl.

Having seen the film and falling absolutely in love with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, I was eager to see the musical production!

Dimly lit wall decorated with antique mirrors, it felt like we were transported to a real Irish pub.  While the audience filled up the theater, the cast were jamming on stage.  A mix of instruments played harmonically until the theater lights dimmed and we were all anxiously waiting for this love story to unfold.  Bubble and I settled in our way-too-good-totally-didn’t-pay-enough-for seats at Belk Theater.  Being only a few rows from the stage, it was a VIP Broadway experience! 🙂

Alone in the street of Dublin, an Irish guy played the guitar.  First softly expressing his longing for his ex-girlfriend.  Then louder and louder he sang and harder and harder he played the notes to reveal his frustration and passion.  Just as the Irish guy felt most defeated and ready to walk away from his guitar, in came the Czech girl and her optimistic attitude.  Little did he know that she will revitalize his passion for music and completely change his attitude.

“Do you enjoy being Irish” asked the Czech girl
“Are you serious?” the Irish guy retorted
“I’m always serious.  I’m Czech.” the girl replied.

Her blunt and direct manner added humor to this story and the audience loved her for it.

She began playing the featured song, Falling Slowly in a fast tempo, which aggravated him enough to join her at the piano.  Together they play the most beautifully composed melody.  Casually they began singing to the raw lyrics.  The song is the essence of the movie.  Purely powerful and dramatic!

The two bonded over their shared love of music.  She saw that Irish guy is a bit “stuck” but perhaps she is a bit “stuck” as well.  She now lives in Dublin with her mother and daughter in a shared apartment after her husband had left.  Over the course of one week, their chemistry grew stronger and more intense.  Their unexpected friendship blossomed into a sensational but complicated romance.  The story is bittersweet and romantic, it is absolutely captivating!

The Irish guy portrayed the lost broken soul fittingly.  The Czech girl rocked her accents well.  In fact, the entire cast were very impressive!  Every character wore multiple hats from musicians to actors to supporting character.  They danced, they sang, they played instruments; their upbeat vibe made the play alive!  🙂

Photo Source – Once Musical

Unlike typical love story ending with happily ever after, Once provided an alternative ending that captured everyone’s heart.  Even for Bubble, who was slightly hesitant about seeing this play; but afterward, he rated it highly.  🙂

I absolutely loved the performance.  🙂 What is even better is how the theater director put a different twist on this musical.  The stage was shared with new characters with new mini storylines.  It wasn’t like the movie reenacted in live performance, it was like the story being told with a different personality.  🙂  Once remains as one of my favorite romantic movies/musicals of all times.  🙂


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