NY1 Theater Review: "Once"
Updated: 03/21/2012 12:01 AM
By: Roma Torre
From the screen to the stage, the 2006 indie film "Once" has made it to Broadway via a production at The New York Theatre Workshop last fall. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
"Once" has done it again. The unlikely Irish indie film favorite which was successfully adapted to the small New York Theatre Workshop stage off-Broadway last year has survived the great leap to Broadway and proves itself an unabashedly original contender among the season’s best new works.
It’s virtually the identical production from Off-Broadway. But it’s managed to grow deeper and more substantive. What struck some as crossing the line into precious territory has stepped back somewhat, reining in the self-conscious quirkiness and registering now as a full-bodied musical. Granted, the boy-meets-girl storyline is awfully thin but even that is less of a factor given the creative team’s wonderfully stylized touches.
Enda Walsh’s deliriously offbeat book has the perfect collaborator in director John Tiffany. His unique vision for the show features movement by Steven Hoggett who set motion to emotion in poetic fashion and a physical production that lends itself to endless invention.
It’s the music though that sold this project. Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s transporting score featuring their Oscar-winning tune "Falling Slowly" sends even more chills under Martin Lowe’s expert supervision.
The ensemble, so ideally cast, is better than ever. Master musicians with flawless dialects, no matter the size of the role, each multi-talented actor manages to stake out a memorable character. Best of all are Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti giving impeccably nuanced expression to this most tender of love stories.
While I’m sure there are some who’ll be resistant to the charms of "Once," given its undeniable virtues, many more will find it hard not to fall under its enchanting spell and not all that slowly either.
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