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A movie worth a second take: ‘Once’ is transformed on stage

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Image courtesy of "Once The Musical"'s Facebook

Image courtesy of “Once The Musical”‘s Facebook

From April 8 through April 20, the Fabulous Fox Theater will host the new Broadway sensation “Once.” Premiering in 2011 at the off-Broadway New York Theater Workshop and taking Broadway by storm in 2012, the musical was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Musical. The show is currently touring the US and has opened productions in Ireland and Australia.

Image courtesy of "Once The Musical"'s Facebook

Image courtesy of “Once The Musical”‘s Facebook

The musical itself is based on the Irish musical film “Once” released in 2006. Written and directed by John Carney, the film made its transition into musical form by Enda Walsh’s adaptation and direction by John Tiffany. The plot follows a young Dublin musician identified as Guy. Guy is ready to give up on his dream of making music when his life is turned around after meeting a young woman, who is only identified as Girl. Girl takes an interest in his music and as their romantic relationship develops they discover a connection deeper than either realized.

The musical is unique in that it has no orchestra. The ensemble cast functions as the orchestra, as various actors play multiple instruments on stage. Though the show is music-filled, the musical also features a lot of silence. The show has been described as minimalist, simple, folksy and honest.

Alex Nee plays Andrej in the touring production. Andrej aspires to be a chef and live the “Dublin dream” but finds only harsh reality. Through a relationship of his own he learns to take the good with the bad. Over the course of the show, Nee plays guitar, electric bass, string bass and the hand drum. Nee is a big fan of the show; before joining the cast he had been a fan of the movie and he had seen the production with the original cast. Nee referred to the show as “a unique piece that has an exciting new take on musical theater that a lot of shows are emulating.”

As one of the last shows in the Fox’s Broadway series, you won’t want to miss “Once.”  This unique contemporary piece has been the subject of many theater conversations. Nee said, “People will see something they’ve never seen anywhere else. People will be surprised [and] it will change their perceptions of theater because it’s not an over-the-top production – it’s simple.”  Take a trip to Dublin this April and experience “Once” at the Fabulous Fox Theater.


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