Last night Marc and I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of ONCE, the theatrical adaptation of the much-loved and award-winning film. Knowing this stage production had received 11 nominations and 8 wins during the 2012 Tony Awards, my expectations were high… and I wasn’t disappointed.

To begin with, I loved the creative way the show began. Instead of simply dimming the lights and formally opening the first scene, about 30 audience members were allowed on stage to sip wine and beer beginning about 30 minutes before show time. One by one, the musicians/performers began to mingle about with their instruments, eventually settling in for what felt like an impromptu jam session. The audience members on stage are eventually ushered to their seats and the scene simply rolls right into the performance.
What follows is a 2-hour show (with a 15-minute intermission) based on the story of two musicians, simply named Guy and Girl, who meet just as he has lost hope in his dream of making it big. She gives him the encouragement and the inspiration he needs to continue forward, and not only do they make incredible music together, but they fall in love along the way.

Besides a solid, compelling story line, the show is bolstered by a toe-tapping score that’s brought to life by an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments on stage. At the show’s close, I wasn’t surprised at all to see the audience roar with applause and leap to their feet for a standing ovation.

ONCE will remain at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre until February 2 for a total of seven more performances. Tickets, which range from $52 – $95, are still available here.

Those booking for the January 29th (tonight) performance can use the promo code DUBLIN to receive a $10 off discount per ticket.

A love story but also a very entertaining musical piece, ONCE is a production I truly can’t recommend enough. Marc and I both absolutely loved it.