“Once” will be seen twice

Over the past week, most of us at New York Guest have gone out to see Once, the new musical based on the academy award winning film from 2006. We’ve all enjoyed the show immensely so I thought I’d offer two different perspectives from two of our staff – one from Eileen, one of our travel consultants, and one from Richard, our CEO.

Eileen, Travel Consultant

As you probably can tell from my previous reviews, I am extremely skeptical when it comes to musicals.  When a colleague told me Once the musical was coming to Broadway, I wrote it off completely.  The 2006 film by John Carney hadn’t caught my eye, but who could forget the main song “Falling Slowly”?  When we were presented with the opportunity to go, I remained skeptical but went anyway.  The musical adaptation completely blew me away.  Everything from the music to the actors to the stage direction was fantastic.  I loved every minute of it and really encourage anyone visiting or living in New York to see it.

Based on the 2006 Irish movie, Once the musical is about the bonds of love and music between friends, families, and strangers wanting to morph into something more.  Once is set in the working class neighborhoods of Dublin hit hard during the economical recession.  The musical focuses primarily on the relationship between the Guy and Girl (whose characters are never named).  The guy is a talented singer/songwriter who fixes vacuums and sings on street corners for no one in particular.  Coming off the end of a bad relationship, the guy is doing his best to recover from the emotional blow.  The girl is a young Czech immigrant who pushes her way into the guy’s life.  She recognizes the the guy’s talent and is driven based on principle alone to help him full his dream: sign a record deal and play music professionally.

One of the great things about Once is how dynamic the musical is.  The actors participating in the play serve as supporting cast, orchestra, and stage hands.  The entire cast remains on stage during the majority of the musical, creating an incredibly intimate environment for the musical to enfold.  As the musical takes a dramatic turn, the supporting cast is present on stage as the support for both the main characters as well as the audience.

One of my favorite things about the musical was the musical interludes during the setup of the next scene.  The set is very minimal and does require the audience to use their imagination.  However the interludes of music, dancing, and general movement between each of the scenes kept the audience incredibly engaged. Where as the curtain usually falls or the lights dim during other musicals, the actors of Once keep the viewer entertained at all times.

I can’t recommend this new musical enough.  Once offers an incredibly different musical experience not usually found on Broadway.  If you should be fortunate to see this musical, I strongly recommend you head in right when the doors open.  The musical does its best to include the audience as much as possible, and I know I appreciated it.  One of my colleagues summed it best, “Once will be seen twice.”

Richard, CEO

Saw Once, the new Broadway musical, last night. It’s based on the very successful movie of the same name that came out in 2006. And it was wonderful – from every angle – casting, music, set, acting, engagement…

Everything about this musical is neat from the time you enter the theatre to the closing song. I just wished they had repeated the show stopping song again as an encore.

You come into the theatre to find most of the cast casually  roaming the stage, performing  a variety of songs – with a ton of enthusiasm.  At the same time, you can go onto the stage, head to the rear of the set and buy beer, wine and soda-and be part of the pre-show events.

The musical is about love lost and rediscovered. The main male character, an Irish musician and vacuum cleaner repairman, has been abandoned by his girlfriend and subsequently his love of music seems to have deserted him as well. Over the course of the show his belief in love, in himself and in music is reignited through the persistence and faith of young Czech immigrant who approaches him while he is singing on a street corner.

In addition to being quirky and fun, the musical is inspiring – the message I took away was “live your life believing in yourself and you’ll have a much better life.” The show was lively with energetic and excellent actors, unique music, and at least two show stopping tunes.

The set lends so much to the experience – it’s clean yet telling – and lets the actors roam freely from a bar to a work shop to a living room – all without anything really changing except the placement of a few chairs and tables.

The lead actors are wonderful – their characters never get names – in the program the male is listed as ‘Guy’ and the female as ‘Girl’. And it works. Very good supporting cast all around.

Best way to say what I thought? I‘d go back to see it again tonight.

Who would like it?

  • Anyone from 15 to 80 but not kids under 13-14.
  • Good for couples; young to middle aged and even seniors were smiling
  • Good for a date night or a girls’ night out

One of the better nights on Broadway in a long time. I highly recommend it.

You can buy tickets to Once on our website or save money and book as part of our fantastic package with the Ace Hotel. For more information e-mail us at info@newyorkguest.com!

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