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Tony-Winning Musical 'Once' Is Bringing Its Tender Romance to Southeast Queensland This Winter

Based on the beloved movie of the same name, this Grammy- and Tony Award-winning musical is playing the Gold Coast's HOTA, Home of the Arts.
By Sarah Ward and Leah Lynch
June 01, 2023
By Sarah Ward and Leah Lynch
June 01, 2023

Sixteen years ago, film fans swooned over a story about love. They danced to a cinematic tune filled with gorgeous tunes, too. The movie: Once, the Dublin-set romance from writer/director John Carney (Sing Street), which picked up an Academy Award for Best Original Song and had viewers everywhere falling — quickly, not slowly — for its ample charms. That Oscar wasn't the only gong the feature won, and deservedly so.

Once didn't stop as a movie. In 2011, it hit the stage as well, as a Broadway production adapted by Irish playwright Enda Walsh. It too picked up accolades, including eight Tony Awards and a Grammy, all for once again relaying a guy-meets-girl story with otherworldly lyricism.

Unsurprisingly, the theatre version of Once has kept treading the boards over the past decade — and, thanks to Darlinghurst Theatre Company, the musical has been touring Australia of late. Across Saturday, June 17–Thursday, June 22, it's southeast Queensland's turn to welcome the production, playing at HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast.

Director Richard Carroll's rendition boasts Once's peerless musical score, of course, and the show's five-night run will mark its Queensland debut and exclusive Sunshine State stop.

A brief synopsis: Once opens in a charming and grungy Dublin pub. That's where we meet Guy, 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, a young Czech woman enchanted by his music, approaches him. We soon discover that Girl is also a musician. And, perhaps more importantly — for Once's narrative at least — Girl is the owner of a broken 'hoover'.

The rest of the show charts the transient but intense intimacy that Guy and Girl form through their shared love of creating music. To borrow a well-worn catchphrase used my many a reviewer: a show like this only comes around Once.

Once plays HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast from Saturday, June 17–Thursday, June 22. Head to the venue's website for further details and tickets.

Images: Robert Catto.

Published on June 01, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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