Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Once **

(Please click on the title to see the complete review).
Clearly the producers of this musical based on the popular 2006 Irish movie knew what they were doing when they moved it uptown from the New York Theatre Workshop. As I looked around, I guessed that the audience probably had a median age in the low 30's. Not only were they young -- they were enthusiastic, greeting every song with raucous applause and every line of dialogue with peals of laughter. A festive mood is established by the musicians playing lively Irish music onstage before the play. The onstage bar service, which was repeated at intermission, didn't hurt either. The cast of musician-actors, led by Steve Kazee as Guy and Cristin Milioti as Girl, is extremely talented. The cozy bar setting by Bob Crowley is most inviting. It seems almost ungracious of me to admit that I didn't much care for the show. The dividing line between charming and trite was crossed too often for my taste. But so what? I applaud the producers for attracting a young, involved audience to Broadway. Unless you are a major fan of the film or of Irish music, you may want to skip it. Send your grandchildren instead. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova wrote the songs, Enda Walsh wrote the book and John Tiffany directed. Running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes including intermission.

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