In last week’s post, I made a few cracks about how I wouldn’t be doing anything over Spring Break besides eating, sleeping, and watching Netflix. I may have exaggerated – amazingly enough, I have gotten out of bed every day this break (so far), and have been surprisingly productive. The best part of my break to date, though, was my trip to New York City with my mom.
We took the bus into the city, then waited on line for an hour at TKTS. For those of you who don’t know, TKTS is in the middle of Times Square, and serves as a great resource for thrifty theatre-goers; it offers discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Last year over break, my mom and I saw the revival of Evita in previews. This year, we were determined to see the Tony Award Winner for Best Musical Once, so we got to TKTS as early as we could.
The story with me, my mom, and Once is that we almost saw it last year, and decided at the last minute to see another show. Since then, Once has won eight Tonys and secured countless, glowing reviews; we have kicked ourselves every day for what we thought was our missed opportunity.
Fortunately, we secured our two tickets without trouble (cue me nearly jumping out of my Converse), and had several hours to kill before the 2:00 matinee. Pre-show adventures consisted of checking out the Hershey Store, MAC, the Disney Store, Starbucks, Café Metro, and scouring all four floors of the massive Forever 21 (three out of the four of which are completely underground – crazy!). Plus… trying not to get hit by a cab. After all this, we finally made our way toward the theatre.
Once is currently playing in Jacobs Theatre (formerly the Royale, for the Broadway-buffs out there), which is small but cozy in a way that only truly intimate theatres can be. From the onset, this show was unlike any other: the cast was on stage and performing as the audience was getting seated. The story follows a young Irish man (always just referred to as Guy, even in the program) in his hometown of Dublin, who is vowing to give up his guitar and music forever before he meets Girl. She is Czech, forward, and extremely passionate about her opinions and ideas. Once occurs over the span of less than a week, and explores how these two people, and those around them, encourage each other, make music, and live life.
It’s an understatement to say that I can understand why Once won the Tony for Best Musical: it is innovative in its musicianship (all the cast members are instrumentalists as well as actors and singers, and play their instruments on stage the entire show) and in its book (I laughed and cried within the same five minutes). I’m infinitely grateful that, a year later, I got to see it, and I’m doubly as glad I saw it with my mom.