There has been a lot of talk about the musical Once winning loads of Tony Awards, but exactly is going down on Broadway?
What’s the craic with Once winning so many musical awards? Is it not a movie?
It is a movie, but it’s now a musical too. The movie was released back in 2006 and it featured Glen Hansard of The Frames fame. It follows the budding relationship of two musicians in Dublin (named in the film as only ‘Guy’ and ‘Girl’) and it features a score of great music, including the hit tune ‘Falling Slowly’.
It’s a fairly popular tune, once you don’t work in Walton’s music store on Georges Street, that is. Mainly because in the movie the two main characters go into the shop and play ‘Falling Slowly’ using the store's instruments, and now every Tom, Dick and Harry tries to emulate the movie, much to the annoyance of the staff – or so we’re told.
So what’s the story with it being a musical?
Well the movie was turned into a musical that stays somewhat true to the original script on a few different levels. However, there are a few changes in it to make the musical its own show – the introduction of two completely new songs is an example. It first premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop on December 6, 2011. However, the musical then opened on Broadway only two months later at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on February 28, 2012 after a host of positive reviews.
I see… so what did it win at these Tony Awards?
Well, let's start off with what the musical was nominated for. In total, the musical was nominated for 11 awards, which is pretty impressive. The show got the nod for ‘Best Musical’, ‘Best Book of a Musical’, ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical’, ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical’, ‘Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical’, ‘Best Direction of a Musical’, ‘Best Choreography’, ‘Best Orchestrations’, ‘Best Scenic Design’, ‘Best Lighting Design’ and finally ‘Best Sound Design’.
Of the 11 awards it was nominated for, it won an extremely impressive eight. Last night at the Tony Awards ceremony, Once won ‘Best Musical’, ‘Best Book of a Musical’, ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical’, ‘Best Direction of a Musical’, ‘Best Orchestrations’, ‘Best Scenic Design’, ‘Best Lighting Design’ and finally ‘Best Sound Design’.
So how does Ballymun lad Glen Hansard feel about his movie being turned into an airy-fairy musical?
Well, as you can imagine he was a bit wary at first. However, in an interview with TheDailyBeast.com, Glen said: “I wanted to distance myself from it because I was afraid of what it could be. I’d gone to see a couple of Broadway shows. I was deeply cynical about the whole idea of what Broadway is…so I was very, very wary of that. But I must admit, I walked out of the show on opening night, and it was really a handing over. These guys nailed it. And it’s theirs now.”
According to Glen himself, he’s seen the show 10 or 12 times at this stage, so it’s safe to assume he’s now a bit of a fan.
Will Glen make a mint from this now?
Well we’re not too sure how involved he was with the musical aspect of Once, but we’re sure the recent accumulation of accolades will do wonders for DVD sales. So either way, we can’t see Glen drinking tap water anytime soon.