A ‘Once’ in a Lifetime Experience

Once is no ordinary Broadway musical. The Tony Award-winning hit first started as an Irish indie film. Then the song from the movie, “Falling Slowly”, won a 2007 Academy Award for best original song along with a Grammy nomination for the soundtrack. Next, Once made waves in Broadway by using actors who could play their own instruments on stage to highlight the already incredible score. It went on to win eight Tony Awards, including best musical. Not bad for a small budget film, right?

The plot is more than just a “guy meets girl” story. It follows a struggling Dublin street musician after he meets a young woman who encourages him to pursue his musical talents, and their relationship grows in unique and touching ways.

We caught up with actor Bristol Pomeroy, who plays Da, the main character’s father, in the musical to see what we can expect from Once hitting the Lincoln Center stage.

Two instrumentalists laughing on stage.

When comparing the production to the film, Pomeroy says “some characters are taken from the film and developed more for the stage so those who have seen the movie can expect a completely new experience. Also, there is a great deal more music in the play than there was in the film. “I never get tired of the music Pomeroy says. “It’s really beautiful music.”

The musical is also different because the audience is invited to purchase drinks from a bar onstage while the actors perform Irish and Czechoslovakian folk songs. Pomeroy says the musical is “like you’re in a pub having beers, having a great time.”

Actors play their own instruments on stage.
The actors of Once play their own instruments on stage.

The bar is also open during intermission, truly allowing fans to immerse themselves in the world of the play.

What also makes the show unlike any other Broadway shows is that every night of the show is a little different — the cast shuffles between 25 different pre-show selections for a fresh start each evening.

“It’s been so well-received, it’s a really fun play says Pomeroy. “It’s very heart-warming and very sad at the same time.”

Once will be playing at the Lincoln Center January 12-14.

Get a taste of the fabulous music from Once on our Spotify playlist.