ONCE Review

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Wendell Scott
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Love should be treasured. It’s like a piece of music that lingers in the back of your mind, and can change your very essence in a moment.

(Photo Courtesy: Joan Marcus)

(Photo Courtesy: Joan Marcus)

Once made sure to accentuate that fact through its frighteningly relatable story of two strangers using the power of music to recover and learn from love. Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, Once delivers on the Fox Theatre stage.

A true cornerstone of the entire piece would be the music, of course. The lyrical emotion that oozed out of each song was truly astounding to hear. I found myself thinking of past love and loss each time someone sang. I quickly retreated from those thoughts and returned to my happy place in Row S of the Fox though. But that’s what Once does. It takes you back. You relive the emotion that you feel when you go through the ups and downs of love. You imagine the tears streaming down your face from either happiness or heartbreak. You feel so much when you see this musical.

 

While the music did make this show incredible, the performances of the actors were what made everything truly believable. This story is so real. These characters are you and me. To say that you will “relate” to the emotions and actions of them, is truly an understatement. Appropriately named “Guy” (Stuart Ward) and “Girl” (Dani De Waal), it’s almost as if the premise of the production is to insert and find yourself in their story. That…might…be totally wrong, but hey, it’s my theory.

Before the show and during intermission, I was also fascinated by the immediate breaking of the fourth wall. The audience was able to come on stage, grab a drink at the bar (where some of the scenes were set in the production) while the actors sang folksy songs among them. Amazing.

I felt the reality of this piece, and it resonated with me. It was a remarkable experience that I will not soon forget. As a matter of fact, I’ve already purchased the soundtrack. You should too. It’s worth it.

Once is playing until Sunday, March 9th at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. For ticket information, check out their website.

Wendell Scott

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