I thought I would post about my initial experience with ONCE when I saw it in the West End over a year and a half ago now with a dear friend. From the moment I walked in the house, ticket in hand (only 25 pounds!), I was immersed into the world of the play. Before the show even started, the cast got onstage, playing traditional Irish songs and interacting with us. We were even invited onstage to get a drink since the show is set in a pub (I bought an Irish beer of course). When the lights dimmed, I didn’t blink until curtain call, when I was sobbing of course).
What’s most striking about the show, besides its beautiful narrative, is the music and execution thereof. It is incredible that all of the actors do not only tell a wonderful story each night, but they also play (and dance with!) their instruments and play them seamlessly! During one of the songs in the show, the lead male character (“Guy”) accidentally broke a string on his guitar. Oh, the magic of live theatre.
Seeing it at the Pantages when I was home in August wasn’t as magical as the experience that I had with the show in London (but how could it be?!). It was still WONDERFUL and it was interesting to see it in a bigger venue. Being a 1920s-40s song and tap gal myself, I still am incredulous that I consider it to be one of my favorite musicals…but it is a timeless story with real-life characters and beautiful music – what’s not to love? I am looking forward to hearing Dallas’ response to the show.