Arts & Entertainment

“Once” enraptures over and over again

By: Jon Hogue ~Guest Writer~

Most love stories are typical: guy meets girl, guy and girl fall in love and then they both live happily ever after.
In a make-believe world love always works out, but everyone knows real life does not follow
this storyline. Love can sometimes bring people together only to have them realize they are better off apart.

A person’s struggle can be lonely, but also help create deep bonds with people they never knew were there to help. All of these real life situations and more are beautifully displayed in the smash hit, “Once.”

“Once” is based on the 2007 hit film of the same name. Since its Broadway debut in 2012, “Once” has become a staple for theater-goers and won numerous awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical. Cincinnati theater-goers can treat thmselves this month to see the show here in the Queen City.

Once Aronoff - broadway dot com

Start Ward (left) and Dani de Waal (right) portray the ambiguous Guy and Girl respectively in the musical “Once.”

The story begins with the lead characters — known simply as “Guy” and “Girl”— meeting during an impromptu musical performance. Girl, with her bubbly demeanor, is inspired by Guy’s lyrics of unfulfilled love. Guy at first ignores her optimism because he is hurt by his girlfriend’s move to the United States and new relationship she has formed with another
man.

As the storyline continues, audience members are introduced to a series of quirky, yet incredibly talented cast members: the karate chopping bar owner, the zestful and serious Czech mother and the guitar-playing banker that add substance to the plot. In the end,
Guy and Girl do fall in love, but are unable to be with each other because life’s circumstances do not allow them to be together.

It is hard to pinpoint a standout number because every scene had moments where the cast
shone. From the popular duet “Falling Slowly” to the flawless group number “Gold,” the show’s musicality flawlessly displayed the talents of each actor to convey every emotion present in the songs.

For lovers of traditional musicals, the concept of “Once” is different from most theatrical productions. The actors themselves are the orchestra and use a small set space for much of the performance. An additional plus for the theater goer is that before the show and during intermission, audience members can purchase beverages on the set and listen to live music from the actors while they relax.

While there may be some getting used to parts of “Once’s” format, you can still fall in love with cast and how simply their talent tells this raw love story. If you have the opportunity to do so, go see “Once.” The show will be in Cincinnati from Nov. 11-26. Fall in love with the story and be prepared for a performance you will not forget.

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