Seeing shows on Broadway on random week nights, picking up last minute tickets, Broadway week, TKTS in Time Square, ticket lottery and seeing shows before they even open were all luxuries and benefits of living in Manhattan. Benefits that I miss SO much. Thankfully, Nashville has its own bit of Broadway (and no, not the one downtown). I’m talking about Broadway season. From September through May there are 8 Broadway shows coming to town at the fantastic Tennessee Performing Arts Center and I am stoked about this years line up!
Did you notice Book of Mormon is coming! (Good luck getting your tickets for that one. Seriously. Good luck. It’s awesome and you should all be trying to see it.)
Last night I got to experience the first show of the season, Once. I’ve seen Once, once, on Broadway, the year that it opened with the original cast. With that being said, I want you to know that the traveling cast is amazing. I was so impressed with the talent of the 13 actors on stage. It’s such an impressive musical. There is no orchestra. The cast plays string instruments and a piano on stage while acting, or sitting to the side. They sing, play, act and even dance (a bit). There is one set, no costume changes, few props and not even names for the main characters. The simplicity of the show is what makes it so intimate and impressive. How do they keep us captivated for 3 hours with such a simple show?
Talent. Phenomenal songs. And a tragic love story. That’s how.
I fell in love with this musical long before actually seeing it (or the movie). I heard the music first and was addicted. I have a “Once” Pandora station, which is fabulous BTW, and I can’t get enough of the soundtrack. There’s something so romantic and cozy about watching the actors play string instruments on stage and sing with such raw passion. There’s no computerized music or crazy effects, just pure talent.
The story takes place in Dublin (yay for cute guys with Irish accents). There is a busker who writes crazy good music, but wants to quit playing and singing because he girlfriend left him for NYC. Then there’s a hilariously blunt Czech girl who also happens to be a crazy talented musician who coincidentally finds the busker and decides to encourage him to keep singing and also get his girl back. The story follows these two as they play and sing together, encourage one another, fall for one another, discover a few secrets about each other and well…. I don’t want to ruin the end for you! It’s a beautiful story with really likable characters.
One of the coolest aspects about this particular play is that the set, which is a bar, runs like a real bar before the show begins and during intermission. You can actually walk on stage, order drinks, sit in a chair and walk around. What other Broadway show allows you to get that close to the set? They actually begin performing before the show begins, if that makes sense. It gives the impression that you are just at the local bar watching local musicians and a love story sort of unfolds before your eyes. It’s beautiful. Just trust me and go see it.
If you aren’t in the Nashville area than be sure to check out the tour schedule!