Friday, March 02, 2012


Even after a show runs for 2 months off-Broadway, you might expect it to take a little time to find its legs in the new space of a Broadway house. As of its third preview Once has found its wings. The cast is just as thrilling as it was at New York Theater Workshop, but they’ve made a small adjustment—well, not so small actually. Each has managed to retain the intimacy of their performances in a 200 seater while filling a space with five times the capacity.

There is no need to wait to see it. Disregard the opening date. This show has opened. And it is worth every penny.

I saw the show twice off-Broadway, from the first and third rows, and felt achingly close to the drama. From one of the worst seats in the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, I was orbiting around the bubble surrounding this unexpected love story, which made it feel all the more dangerous, waiting for the bubble to burst.

Steve Kazee has an effortless charm that seems to only be contained by the amount of space around him. Cristin Milioti is simply perfect. I could single out every other member of the cast for excellence. So, to be completely fair, David Abeles, Will Connolly, Elizabeth A. Davis, David Patrick Kelly, Anne L. Nathan, Lucas Papaelias, Ripley Sobo, Andy Taylor, McKayla Twiggs (who was off the night I saw it, so I can’t vouch for her), Erikka Walsh, Paul Whitty, and J. Michael Zygo are excellent.

I attended with a friend who was seeing the show for the ninth time and another seeing it for the first. They both had the same reaction: barely containable joy.

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová have created a score that is a beautiful as it is moving. Enda Walsh adds a book that is a master class in simplicity. Finally, John Tiffany directs with surgical precision and a glass blower’s artistry, creating a gorgeous show that is exactly what it should be.


Holly Caster said...

Damn, I didn't really care about seeing this, as I thought the movie was boring, but after reading your review I think I have to see it!

Aaron Riccio said...

I haven't written anything about it yet since I've only seen the NYTW production, but I thought it was a must-see musical there: something genuine and simply beautiful.

But, much as I hate to say this, if you hated the *movie*, you're not likely to like this any more: this is more intimate, sure, but it's still the same story/music....