Behind the thick velvet curtain, the stage swirled with lively dance and song. I was confused, we were ten minutes early and people weren't in their seats, yet there were violins and drums and there was infectious merriment. "Pre-show," my friend Fred explained.
The moment we stepped into the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre we were drawn into the world of the play.
It was as if we'd stepped into a pub in Dublin, only with auditorium seating.
We couldn't resist purchasing some wine (I know beer would have been more fitting, but I just don't like it) before taking our seats.
Served in a keepsake sippy cup the alcohol at "Once" was free flowing. We were able to sip from our seats and enjoy the pre-show entertainment, which blended seamlessly into the actual entertainment as the "Once" Broadway cast, brought the brilliant sounds of Dublin to the New York stage.
At its heart, this is a love story, expressed in melodic song and rousing dance. It's the story of an Irish musician and his Czech muse. As the piece progresses, we're reminded how complicated, uplifting and bittersweet love can be.
A combination of foot stomping ensemble pieces and acoustic solos and duets, "Once," is entrancing. You can't help but tap your feet. You'll want to get up and dance. I don't remember having this much fun at a show since I saw "Fela" a few years back.
On Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre until January 4th, "Once" is a night well spent on the "Great White Way!"