"Once" on Broadway

Back in the day, I was a big fan of the movie "The Commitments."   I too was a struggling musician in a dysfunctional band so it was funny to see it portrayed on the big screen.  When I saw a few years ago that the geeky, curly haired guitarist from that movie had made another movie featuring himself as a street musician, I said this should be good.  "Once" the movie had it's moments and interesting take on boy-meets-girl, but I felt like all the songs started sounding the same after a while; whiny and annoying.

Fast forward to present time and you have "Once" the musical playing on Broadway.  After watching the movie I did not expect to like this as much as I did.  There were some changes that I think made this much more entertaining as a live show than a movie.  First, to me the additional music really helped to break up the more "emotional"(whiny) songs.  Yes they kept the main theme which was a big hit and is that much more powerful live.  But also in-between you have these very lively full company songs that make you want to get up and dance along with them.  You feel like you are celebrating life with them. 

The story seemed a more fleshed out with some fun and interesting characters; I think due to playwright Enda Walsh's involvement.  The company as a whole was very entertaining and talented, all were quadruple threats acting, singing, playing instruments and dancing.  The two leads were great castings.  Guy (Steve Kazee) and Girl (Cristin Milioti) both had great voices and musicianship.  Mr. Kazee's portrayal was heartfelt and displayed nice moments of confusion, frustration and innocence.

I did think the characterization of the Czech girl was a bit over the top at times (Eastern Europeans are not that serious all the time).  Other than that minor point I think this could have a nice long run on Broadway.  If you get a chance see it and enjoy a great night out. 

In The Know:
  • Get to the theater early to see the company warming up on stage
  • Ever want to be ON a Broadway stage?  At intermission you can go to the bar on stage and order a drink