Theatre Review

"Once" Broadway Cast brings the Brilliant Sounds of Dublin to the New York Stage


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.

Pre-show???? Genius!


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!"








Take a Trip to Bountiful!

The shadows on the wall indicate the passage of time. Lying awake, the full moon overhead, you’re anxious. You are compelled to go, to run into the quiet street. The dull ache in the center of your chest, the pulling, the heaviness begins to flutter- “Bountiful…” the whispered word tumbles from your lips before floating into the night sky like a prayer.

On a muggy evening, earlier this week, I made my way through the buzz of electric excitement that is Times Square to the intimate Stephen Sondheim Theatre to see The Trip to Bountiful.

Expertly directed by Michael Wilson, The Trip to Bountiful features an esteemed cast of actors. Cicely Tyson, who won the Best Actress Tony Award for her role as Carrie Watts, gives one of the most profound and memorable performances on the stage this year. Every subtle nuance of Carrie’s struggle was captured effortlessly. Vanessa Williams, as Jessie Mae Watts was seamlessly demanding, cantankerous and endearing. She was an antagonistic character you couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming empathy towards. Cuba Gooding Jr., played the role of Ludie Watts radiating a profound internal sadness.


Aesthetic perfection was achieved with the set, at times gloriously backlit in optimistic specks of amber and cerulean, at others, a reflection of a still star spangled midnight sky. The costuming - stockings, slips, beautifully patterned dresses with matching coats, pearl necklaces and bracelets, rolled hair, gloves, clutches and hats, was authentic and stirred in me a nostalgia for an era I was born decades too late to have experienced.


This brings us back to Bountiful, a place Carrie has clung to, a light in the darkness. Home often isn’t necessarily where we live. It isn’t always the place we hang our hats and lay our heads. Home is more profound than that, more powerful. Home is the place our fondest memories were made, the foundation that built the defining stories of our lives. Home is the place we aspire to go, when everything else has failed us.


The Trip to Bountiful runs through September 1st, 2013 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre at 124 W 43rd Street.




I will present one lucky reader with two tickets to The Trip to Bountiful. Here’s how to enter:


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The winner will be selected and announced on Friday, July 12th.

* I’d like to thank the Britto Agency for the tickets and for sponsoring the giveaway!

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