Saturday 24 March 2018

Former Once loves Glen and Marketa reunited to conquer Broadway

IRISH production Once is being tipped for a prestigious Tony award after the musical opened to rave reviews on Broadway.

The spotlight is now on the low-budget Irish movie that claimed an Oscar for its score, written by Ballymun's Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Critics expect it to be a smash on the stage after it drew "hectic" standing ovations at the Jacobs Theatre premiere last night.

Producers have been praised for paring back a simplistic musical amidst the bright lights of Broadway.

"The show wins its standing ovations the old-fashioned way: with a love story, great songs, compelling characters and inventive stagecraft," the New York Post says in its review. "At this point in Broadway history, this feels downright revolutionary."


Lead actors Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti who played Hansard and Irglova's characters were clearly emotional and were moved to tears by the audience's reaction.

The production was adapted from the film by Enda Walsh of Misterman fame and director John Tiffany, who was behind acclaimed Scottish production Black Watch.

The original production started out at the New York Theatre Workshop and the action has been set entirely in a semi-circular pub.

And in this version too, the audience can go on stage and buy drinks before the show and during the intermission, the ensemble throws a live jam.

Michael Collins actor Alan Rickman and Glee singer Kristin Chenoweth were among the stars to grace the red carpet last night.

The show provided the backdrop to Hansard and Irglova's burgeoning relationship

Czech-born Irglova (24) are no longer in a relationship and she has gone on to marry someone else.

And former Frames frontman Hansard (41) said that the stage production will be a significant marker for him.

"After tonight, I'm letting it go, I have closure," he said.

His mother and family were at the show in New York to toast Hansard's greatest success story since The Commitments.

The theatre reviewer at Forbes said that the Falling Slowly is a "knockout" and "stars are made in this show".

The LA Times said that the blend of "exotic and familiar" instruments helps establish "the lovely ebb and flow between speech and song".

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