The Village Tattler
January 28, 2018
Once more, Engeman Theater in Northport captivates audiences with its latest production of Once in which the cast also serves as the orchestra and a bar is set at center stage. I was truly blown away by the exquisiteness of the music and talent in this very special and unique production. Once runs through March 4, 2018, and if I am able I will see it more than once. It is a must-see theater experience, and when Engeman touts its productions as Broadway on Main Street, they really aren’t kidding; it’s evident with Once. As a ticket holder, you are invited for a drink up at the bar on the stage pre-show or during intermission, which has a delightful way of making you feel like you are part of the production.
Just like the 2007 movie by John Carney, music and lyrics for the musical are by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, including the Academy-Award winning song “Falling Slowly.” The book for the musical was written by Enda Walsh.
The incredible cast (several of whom also performed in Once on Broadway/National Tour) is directed and choreographed by Trey Compton. He has worked at Engeman as the Associate Director of Gypsy, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Twelve Angry Men, The Music Man, Evita, The Producers, West Side Story as well as Off-Broadway productions of YANK! and White’s Lies.
This production of Once, which I had the delight of experiencing on opening night, had the audience enthralled from the very first note on the violin. Winner of 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Once is truly original theater—an atypical and complex love story. It feels more like seeing a live strings concert in a pub (that cozy, personal experience) than traditional musical theater. In the story, the main guy and the main girl connect through music but are bound to other partners. Somehow, despite being from very different worlds, they come together and remind everyone not to give up on your dreams, and that even when life is very complicated, there is still hope.
The cast of Once features Barry Debois as the Guy (National Tour: Once; NYC: The Shape of Things, The Wedding Singer, The Seed of Abraham, Pilgrims of the Night, Deployed; Regional: Midtown Arts Center, Media Theatre, The Armory Theatre, Players Guild Theatre, Cassidy Theatre, Kathleen Howland Theatre, Rivertree Players, Carnation City Theatre) Andrea Goss plays the Girl . Her credits include Broadway: Indecent, Cabaret, Once, Rent; National Tours: Cabaret (Sally Bowles); Regional: Baltimore Center Stage, TUTS, Alliance, McCarter, CTG/Kansas City Rep, North Shore, MUNY, Syracuse Stage; Film: “Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway.”
The amazing ensemble, who play their own instruments on stage, features: Billy Cohen, Annabelle Deaner, Elisabeth Evans, Ryan Halsaver, John Thomas Hays, Stephen Mcintyre, Rachel Mulcahy, Ryan Michael Owens, Terry Palasz, Bristol Pomeroy, Sam Saint Ours, Sophia Lily Tamburo, Douglas Waterbury-Tieman and Lauren Wright.