Once, the Musical Based on the Hit Irish Film, Will Star Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in NYC
By Kenneth Jones
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti will play the Guy and the Girl, respectively, when Once, the new stage musical based on the hit indie film of the same name, gets its world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop.
Previews under the direction of John Tiffany (Black Watch) begin Nov. 15 prior to a Dec. 6 opening. The East Village not-for-profit where Rent began would seem to be a perfect venue for the story of a scrappy Irish busker who encounters a Czech immigrant who shares the same passion for music and self-expression.
The 2007 film featured musician-actors Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (who won the Academy Award in 2008 for Best Original Song for the film's signature number "Falling Slowly"), who wrote additional music and lyrics for the new stage property, which has a libretto by Enda Walsh (The Walworth Farce, Penelope and The New Electric Ballroom). The film was written and directed by John Carney.
In addition to Kazee (known for Broadway's To Be or Not To Be, 110 in the Shade) and Milioti (NYTW's Little Foxes and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Broadway's Coram Boy), the cast of Once features David Abeles, Claire Candela, Will Connolly, Elizabeth A. Davis, David Patrick Kelly, Anne L. Nathan, Lucas Papaelias, Andy Taylor, Erikka Walsh, Paul Whitty and J. Michael Zygo.
Here's how NYTW characterizes the work: "On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician (Guy) and a Czech immigrant (Girl) are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by the emotionally charged music that has made Once an international sensation."
The creative team includes movement director Steven Hoggett (Peter and the Starcatcher, Black Watch); musical supervisor Martin Lowe (Mamma Mia!); set and costume designer Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia); lighting designer Natasha Katz (Aida, The Coast of Utopia); sound designer Clive Goodwin.
The independent Irish film "Once" was made for $150,000; shot in 17 days; and grossed $20 million worldwide.
Hansard and Irglová won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music, and the film's soundtrack was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
As previously reported, a Broadway debut of fall 2011 was previously announced by producers John N. Hart, Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Fred Zollo, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. The producers are opting for a more modest launch at NYTW, with an eye toward a future commercial move to be determined.
Once was developed in a spring workshop presentation at American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA. The Off-Broadway company includes many of those players.
Hansard, the frontman for the Irish alternative rock band The Frames, and Czech singer-songwriter Irglová went on a world tour after the "Once" soundtrack album went gold in early 2008. With some members of The Frames, they released a follow up album, "Strict Joy," under the name the Swell Season, in the fall of 2009. They now tour with that group.
The regular performance schedule for Once will be Tuesday through Wednesday at 7 PM; Thursday-Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 3 PM and 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM and 7 PM. There will be additional performances on November 21 at 7 PM and Dec. 19 at 7 PM. There will also be a special student matinee on Dec. 14 at 1 PM.
NYTW also has $25 student tickets available for all performances. Student tickets may be purchased in advance from the NYTW Box Office with valid student identification. The NYTW Box office is open 1-6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.
Once runs Nov. 15-Jan. 1, 2012. Tickets start at $75 and go on sale to the general public on Oct. 7. Tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketcentral.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or by phoning Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200. For more information, visit www.nytw.org.
New York Theatre Workshop is at 79 E. 4th Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village.
NYTW Members and SmartPass Holders can order their tickets now at nytw.org or by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200. Memberships and SmartPasses are still currently available. Remaining seats will go on sale to the general public on Oct. 7.
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