Skepticism was understandable when it was announced that the musical drama Once was being adapted for the stage. The much loved independent film had achieved an international following by depicting the art of musical collaboration with an emotional intimacy rarely seen in spectacle-heavy Broadway productions. Centered on the relationship between a heartsick Irish street busker and a lonely Czech immigrant, Once managed to convey the complexities of attraction and the healing powers of song by setting the narrative to a captivating soundtrack penned by the two leads, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. To the relief of the film's fans and the gratification of theatergoers, the stage adaptation by Enda Walsh wisely retained the original compositions as the beating heart of the production, honoring the source material's wistful mix of resignation and resiliency. Forsaking pageantry, Once puts the emphasis squarely on the characters by utilizing a minimalist set design and having the cast double as the orchestra. This creative commitment to capturing the tone of the film was rewarded with a spectrum of accolades, including the 2012 Tony for Best Musical. Marking its inaugural national tour, the John Tiffany-directed production premieres at the Orpheum Theatre with Stuart Ward and Dani De Waal in the leading roles. Rejecting the excesses of Broadway bombast, Once seeks a connection in the understated poignancy of two vulnerable voices united in song. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Starts: April 1. Continues through April 6, 2014
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