Critics rave over Broadway version of 'Once'


NEW YORK – The fairytale success of Irish film Once just hit new musical heights.The Broadway version of the tale about an Irish busker and Czech immigrant who share their passion for music and a blossoming yet impossible love with a soaring soundtrack captured by an Oscar-winning song, Falling Slowly, has hit the Great White Way to teary, standing ovations and rave reviews.

Critics yesterday called the intimate musical a “gem of a show”, “a knockout”, “gorgeously crafted and “the sweetest and most romantic show on Broadway” with talk already of a world tour and likely Tony Award nominations.

“Once uses song and dance in a way I’ve never experienced in an American musical,” said the New York Times, complimenting its soulful songs about the power of music and performances by the main stars, Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti.

Before the musical’s premiere on Sunday night, the success of the film that starred songwriters Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova playing a version of themselves, seemed difficult to top. Shot in three weeks on a shoestring budget, it ended up raking in $20 million worldwide.

Several new songs have been added by Irglova and Hansard, who have kept a low profile with the musical, having spent years promoting and touring the film. Reviewers said the show was a textbook example of how to adapt screen to stage with a compelling story by Irish playwright Enda Walsh, heartfelt performances, subliminal choreography, a stylised set and unusual sound quality, without relying on the tricks of an outlandish Broadway spectacle. – (Reuters)