Theatergoers fall in love with sold-out musical 'Once'

Review: Production of award-winning musical 'Once' at The OnCenter Crouse Hinds Theater reminds audiences to celebrate creative passions and fall in love.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a play that made me feel so much at the same time. Once was like riding a roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end.

The touring production of the Broadway musical that won eight 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, was performed at the The OnCenter Crouse Hinds Theater from Oct. 18 - 20. Also the winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, Once was sold-out for its limited run in Syracuse at the 2,117-seat theater.

Photo: Joan Marcus
The touring production of "Once" performs an ensemble number.

Once opens with an Irish guy who has just given up on love and a career in music. Work at his unglamorous job repairing vacuums is interrupted one day when he meets a Czech girl, who is equally interested in music. During that first encounter, she takes interest in his songs and they form a connection.

The two main characters happen to be heartbroken from previous relationships. But brought together by their similar passions, they start working together and see new possibilities in music and in love.

The talented cast showed impressive control and range over their voices as well as their musical instruments, which are played live throughout the show.

The immersive experience of seeing the show started upon entering the theater. Audience members could engage with a pre-show performance, where cast members jammed out onstage and had the opportunity to purchase drinks right from the bar that was part of the production’s set.

That stage bar was also open during intermission. During the performance, the set, designed in a semicircle, was stationary. Moving basic elements, such as chairs and tables, helped transport characters to different rooms.

But beyond the fun of seeing the show, Once is a beautiful story, one of that makes you reflect on your own life and dreams. The show reminds us to give into our creative passions, and that love will always prevail.

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