Valentine’s Day may be over, but a unique love story is set to unfold on the Creative Arts Center stage this evening.
The Tony Award-winning musical, "Once" will debut in Morgantown at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B Clay Concert Theatre. The musical is visiting the West Virginia University campus during its 2016 national tour across the country. "Once" is the winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical, the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and was named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, the Lucille Lortel Awards, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League.
The musical is based off of the 2007 Academy Award winning film, rejoicing the bond between music and love. The story unfolds as an Irish street musician meets a Czech immigrant and the two fall in love over the Irish man’s music. He was close to giving up his dreams as a musician until his newfound romance gives him new muse and inspiration to take his music to the next level. The authentic emotion and complex passion between the two makes the story of their love gut-wrenching and unforgettable, differing from the average love story.
"Once" features original music performed by the actors and actresses themselves. The WVU Arts and Entertainment Marketing and Advertising Manager, Kristie Stewart-Gale, believes this aspect makes the musical stand out from regular performances.
"This musical is unique because every actor is on stage during the performance. The actors are the musicians and they are playing the score," Stewart-Gale said. "This is unlike your typical musical where the musicians are in the orchestra pit."
The musical is set in an Irish pub, and the music can be described as Irish folk music. The story of "Once" was first produced as the Oscar-winning independent Irish film and only cost $150,000 to make. The film was shot in 17 days and soon after became an international phenomenon, grossing $20 million internationally. The film won several awards including an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly," The musical itself ran on Broadway for more than 1,000 performances while being produced
The cast features actors Sam Cieri and Mackenzie Lesser-Roy as "Guy" and "Girl" and a congregated cast of nationally acclaimed performers from Broadway and Off-Broadway. The music and lyrics are written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova and directed by the Scottish director John Tiffany.
Stewart-Gale believes this show, a part of the Toyota University Arts Series, would give students a relaxing evening off the grid from daily life.
"For $23, students can take a break from the stress of class," Stewart Gale said. "They can enjoy some great music with friends and be inspired by the story being portrayed by actors who, at one time, were college student themselves."
Tickets range from $44-60 depending on the seating location. WVU student tickets are marked down to $23. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at (304)-293-SHOW, or at the box offices located at the Mountainlair and the Creative Arts Center. The student discount is only available at campus box offices.