Review: "Once" National Tour

Lisa Bailey

It’s been a week since I saw the National Tour of Once. The reason it took me this long to sit down and write my review is because how do I put into words all of the emotions this musical made me feel? I figure I might as well give it a shot and hopefully do it justice! To begin, Stuart Ward (Guy) and Dani de Waal (Girl) are electric. I think I could listen to Ward sing “Leave” all the time and still feel like it was the first time I heard the song. I knew from that moment the show had me hooked and it was going to be an incredible ride. 

Once is based on a 2006 movie of the same name with a typical story – guy meets girl and fall in love. However, both are broken with their own personal baggage and the timing isn’t right for them. With their shared interest in music they both find strength to fix their personal lives even at the expense of their feelings for each other. 

Once Facebook Page

Once Facebook Page

I can’t forget to mention how great the ensemble is. The talent in this cast is just phenomenal. There are 13 actors in the cast with no orchestra. The actors play the music onstage and the choreography with the instruments is fantastic. Once has a very minimal set – an Irish pub (where you can go onstage before the show begins to get a drink!) and the cast does a nice job in transitioning the scenes into whatever they may be (bankers office, bedroom, etc.). 

A very intimate, simple musical which was probably the quietest show I’ve ever been to. Even in my seats way back in the theatre, I could feel the love and pain between Guy and Girl and was sobbing my way out of the theatre. Thanks to this wonderful cast for making their way to Toledo, OH. I had been waiting a long time to see this production and I was not disappointed at all.

To find out more about this wonderful show and to see where it’s heading next, check out their website: