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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Once: The Musical

The smash-hit musical makes its New Zealand debut with a star-studded local cast.
By Leah Lynch
June 13, 2019
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Once: The Musical

The smash-hit musical makes its New Zealand debut with a star-studded local cast.
By Leah Lynch
June 13, 2019
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Smash-hit musical Once has garnered an impressive array of awards. First, as an indie film by John Carney, and later, as a Broadway production adapted by Enda Walsh — its quirky telling of guy-meets-girl, along with its otherworldly lyricism, has seen Once captivate audiences worldwide.

Thanks to the sustained efforts of Kiwi director Jesse Peach, this winter will mark the New Zealand debut of the stage production. Peach's rendition will boast a star-studded local cast and feature the show's peerless musical score: one that is unique in having gained an Academy, a Grammy, an Olivier, and a Tony. Once will run for a limited season at Auckland's ASB Waterfront Theatre.

A brief synopsis: Once opens in a charming and grungy Dublin pub. There, we meet guy (multi-instrumentalist Adam Ogle), who plays gigs at this sort of locale while pining over his unfaithful ex-girlfriend (a backstory wonderfully evoked in the song 'Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy'). guy is packing up his guitar when girl (singer-songwriter Lisa Crawley), a young Czech immigrant enchanted by his music, approaches him. We soon discover that girl is also a musician. And, perhaps more importantly, for Once's narrative purposes at least, girl is the owner of a broken 'hoover'.

The rest of the show charts the transient but intense intimacy guy and girl form through their shared love of creating music. You will find your heart aching along with them. And you will wish that life was easier for them — that the roadblocks in their paths were fewer.

To borrow the reviewer's now well-worn catchphrase: a show like this only comes around Once.

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