Last night I got a chance to check out Once at PPAC and it was tremendous! Once is the celebrated musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. It tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together. Brought to the stage by an award-winning team of visionary artists and featuring an ensemble cast of gifted actor/musicians, Once is a musical celebration of life and love: thrilling in its originality, daring in its honesty… and unforgettable in every way.
|Sam Cieri and Mackenzie Lesser-Roy shine in the lead roles of Guy and Girl|
I place the film version of Once amongst my top three favorite films, so I was nervous how the show would live up to my expectations. I have to say, the show is a lot different than the film, but that’s what makes it special. Perhaps the biggest change is that there is a much larger ensemble cast that stay onstage the entire show. The film only features the characters of guy (played by Sam Cieri here) and Girl (Mackenzie Lesser-Roy) but the musical offers a colorful assortment of characters who add their own stories to Guy and Girl’s as well as musical accompaniment. These additional characters in this production add a lot of laugh out loud comedy that is not in the movie which adds a unique touch to a familiar story (just try not to laugh at the karate chopping store owner!) The show also has amazing choreography that adds so much dimension to the emotional aspect of the show. In particular, the choreography to “If You Want Me” was so moving. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the innovative and fresh feel of a favorite film.
|Amazing musicians round out the ensemble|
The show is playing through tomorrow and tickets are still available. Tickets for Once are available now and can be purchased at the PPAC Box Office (located at 220 Weybosset Street in downtown Providence), online at www.ppacri.org and by phone at (401) 421-ARTS (2787). Tickets start at only $36. Box Office Hours are Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and two hours prior to curtain times on performance days. Make sure to get there early to have a drink at the on stage bar while the cast warms up. Tickets to the show would make an AMAZING early Christmas gift, so don’t miss this “ONCE” in a lifetime opportunity and get your tickets now.