Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a guy and a girl,  a broken Hoover vacuum and a broken heart.

Circumstances converge and the despairing Irish musician (Ken Allen Neely) and full-of-life Czech immigrant (Katherine Fried) form a special kind of alchemy. With nothing but their love of music in common, they share a five-day friendship cum impossible romance. The result of their whirlwind collaboration is a demo CD and memories of their rare, serendipitous encounter. Thank God for broken Hoovers.

This collaboration was brought to life by Virginia Rep with direction and choreography by Artistic Director Nathaniel Shaw. And it is nothing short of magical.

Once is a Tony Award winning musical based on the movie written and directed by John Carney. The score is based on music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Neely and Fried are exceptional in their roles. And so are the ensemble musicians. The choreography is terrific throughout and even the choreographed set changes are beautiful and moving.

Photo by Jay Paul

This "jukebox" musical is seamlessly told. The interplay between the ensemble and the score as they bring to life Hansard and Irglova's emotional, gut-wrenching melodies and lyrics is a joy to watch. With gorgeous costumes, and a creative set, VA Rep's Once is a home run on all counts, from beginning to end.

Photo by Jay Paul 

We are accustomed to, even long for our heroes and heroines to live happily ever after. But life is so much more complicated and nuanced. And though the guy and girl's fated meeting is a brief blip in time, the results of this one-in-a-million chance encounter remain in our hearts.

Once is a not-to-be missed crowd-pleasing show that will leave you breathless and reminiscing on our own once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Once continues at November Theatre's Arenstein Stage through March 3, 2019. Click on this link for tickets.

No comments:

Post a Comment