(Today is a Saturday and thus a NaBloPoMo free-write.)
I absolutely ADORE the theater world, and I’m a bit of a Broadway/theater junkie. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen quite a few shows on the great white way, and I’ve seen many other shows in local community theater productions. I find the theater world to be breath-taking, and, although I love all theater productions, musicals are my absolute favorite. There’s something so beautiful and compelling about hearing a story through music. Today, I had the privilege of seeing the Tony award winning musical Once, a beautiful story that tells a love story through music in Dublin, Ireland.
My family and I went to see the play to celebrate my Grandma’s birthday, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The name of the play sounded familiar, and, after seeing a commercial for the play on tv, I remembered why: I’d actually seen the movie last year. I had rented it from the redbox machine when it first came out, and I loved the movie, until the ending. Then I blocked it out of my memory because the ending left me feeling very upset. (I’m not spoiling it for you, don’t worry.)
The film was beautiful, but the ending really frustrated me.
In the theater today, I wanted to cry. Everything about the play was beautiful and unique. One of my favorite features of the theater was the fact that the stage was actually a bar, and theater-goers could buy drinks ON STAGE before the show and during intermission. I thought that was a really cool way to form a connection with the audience, and it really added to the feel of the play.
The play itself only had one set, but the lighting, props, and sound effects worked with the imaginations of the audience to create another world. As someone who used to work sound effects and lighting in school plays, I really appreciated the thought put into the details of the setting of the play.
The music was beautiful and stunning. All of the actors and actresses played instruments at some point, ranging from guitars and pianos to accordions and melodicas (a piano/ woodwind combo). The singing was powerful, strong, and simply stunning, and each song told a new tale. I have a HUGE respect for anyone with musical talent, and I find even more respect for Broadway actors and actresses. The Once cast blew me away– they were able to sing, dance, and play instruments simultaneously. It was mind blowing.
Each song, even the few sung in Czech, were brimming with such raw emotions and feelings. I felt as if I was present in Dublin and observing a story unfold in my favorite pub. Most importantly, the songs revived my heart and emotions. I’ve been a bit skeptical of love and relationships in the past year as I’ve occasionally dabbled in the dating world, and, as cheesy as it sounds, Once made me want to open my heart and mind to love again. There’s something wonderful about a musical that makes you feel warmth, love, coldness, skepticism, innocence, hope, despair, and familiarity all at once. In the car ride home, my family was discussing what the title of Once could mean, and I really do believe the play makes you experience so many things at once that it’s a once in a lifetime moment and feeling.
If you are able to, I highly suggest seeing Once. It’s easily become one of my favorite musicals, and I suspect I’ll be singing along to the cast recording for weeks.
“Falling Slowly” being recorded in the studio
“I wrote this song for all of us here ’cause to live you have to love.” “Gold”