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UCD Musical Society – Once The Musical

UCD Musical Society

Once is based on the 2006 award-winning film of the same name. Following an Academy Award for Best Music (Original Song) and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song, Enda Walsh transformed “Falling Slowly” and other songs into Once: The Musical. After making its debut on Broadway in 2012, it won 8 Tony Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. With music and lyrics written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the musical tells a story about a Dublin-based musician and a Czech immigrant with a broken vacuum cleaner.

In the original film, Glen Hansard plays Guy, a busker who sings heartfelt songs but has nearly decided to give up on his dream of becoming a songwriter. Girl, played by Marketa Irglova, approaches him and tells him he writes beautifully. The two form a friendship and begin to write songs together. Girl pushes Guy to record an album, pulling together a band along the way. Throughout the music, there are themes of heartbreak, pursuing your dreams, love, and hope.

After its debut, critics called Once “a gem of a show”, “a knockout”, and “the sweetest and most romantic show on Broadway.” The New York Times complimented the show as well, saying “Once uses song and dance in a way I’ve never experienced in an American musical.” Enda Walsh described his experience transforming the musical, “I think that the movie is beautiful. For me it also came at a really great time because my own sort of work has been getting darker and darker. I don’t know why, but it was a joy to spend some time on something so sweet – and so uncynical. It’s been extraordinary.”

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