I don’t know if it is the aging process I am going through or the move of the current production of “Once” to the Cadillac Palace Theatre, but, I found this production to be even lovelier than the first time around. It is pretty much the same cast, once again on the road with a few changes here and there.
Based on the film (of the same name), with a book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (they also did the film) ,this, is a story about individuals who are drawn together because their love of music. Despite all that has taken place in their sad lives, it is the music that allows them to keep going. They say that opportunity comes “Once” in a lifetime, that true love comes “once” in a lifetime, that a real friendship only comes around “once” and many other expressions that use the word “once”.In this beautiful story, two people, from different worlds- Guy, played to perfection by Alex Nee (on 6/5-6/7 , Ryan Link will take on the role) an Irishman, the Girl (a solid performance by the very lovely Dani de Waal), a Czech immigrant living in Dublin meet and form a very solid relationship. It is about love, but a different type of love. These are some of the original road cast we saw last time around, which means they have done many performances, yet the chemistry is as if this was the “first time”.
She has a daughter, and a husband. Guy, has recently had his heart broken as his girlfriend moved to the states. Each is a sort of guiding light to the other, what one might call an “angel” to lead the other back to reaching for the dreams that they once had. How do they do this? Through their music. Although we feel that this is heading towards a romance, we find that it is far more than a romance ,and what they create for themselves and each other is something very special.
This is a very strong cast, all playing their own instruments on the stage and while there are some harder to understand lyrics due to the heavy accents (brogues, you might say), the music is beautiful and at the same time helps deliver the story to us. Songs like “Leave”, “If You Want Me”,” Say It To Me Now”, “When Your Mind is Made Up” and the wonderful and meaningful “Falling Slowly”. There are dance numbers, and lots of movement although with the exception of The Girl’s daughter (Sarah McKinley Austin) the cast maintains position on the stage, sitting on either side and from time to time, moving a piece of scenery, which by the way keeps the flow of action moving smoothly.
John Tiffany’s smooth direction is complimented by the movement direction of Steven Hoggett- these actors, large and small are as graceful as you might ever see on a stage where the performers are also playing musical instruments. Evan Harrington is a perfect example of a large man being light on his feet- his style and grace are amazing. This entire production is one that will bring a smile to your face and a warm feeling to your heart. As I said earlier, talent- music- dance- two plus hours of sheer elegance.
“Once” will only be here thru the week, leaving Sunday with performances as follows:
Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets range in price from $30-$95 and are available at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, by calling the Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at 800-775-2000 or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com (where you can also pre-pay discounted parking)
The Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at 151 West Randolph Street, between LaSalle and Wells.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Once”
make sure you read this productions reviews, although, it is pretty close to the original, I found this one even better.