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  1. Photograph: Joan Marcus
    Photograph: Joan Marcus
  2. Photograph: Joan Marcus
    Photograph: Joan Marcus
  3. Photograph: Joan Marcus
    Photograph: Joan MarcusOnce at New York Theatre Workshop
  4. Photograph: Joan Marcus
    Photograph: Joan Marcus

Once on Broadway: Tickets, reviews and video

Delicate, sweet and sad, the indie-rock anti-romance Once is New York theater's unexpected musical hit.


Once on Broadway tickets

Buy Once tickets at Telecharge

Once on Broadway show information

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Book by Enda Walsh. Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard. Music and Lyrics by Markéta Irglová. Dir. John Tiffany. With Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti. 2hrs 20mins. One intermission.

Who would have guessed that a shoegazing indie flick set in Dublin would form the basis of a Broadway hit musical? But that’s what happened with the extraordinary Once, winner of the 2012 Tony Award for best new musical (and seven other Tonys). Originally released in 2005, Once is the story of guitar-strumming street musician Guy (Glen Hansard) and the Czech immigrant Girl (Markéta Irglová), who feels drawn to Guy’s heartbreak-filled songs. Girl becomes a muse to Guy, accompanying him on piano and goading him to record a demo. Will they fall in love—or at least hook up? Don’t expect your usual rock romance. The original movie is understated and shaggy, with a handful of soulful, angsty tunes and foggy, grey Dublin for a clammy background. What book writer Enda Walsh and director John Tiffany have done is open up the story, adding comical supporting characters and wrapping it all up in a freshly theatrical and unpretentious package. Hansard and Irglová wrote extra tunes to fill out the score, which is the most radio-ready Broadway has heard in years. The original cast of Once is also a big part of its success: As Guy, Tony-winner Steve Kazee combines hunky good lucks and boyish vulnerability. Cristin Milioti finds the pain beneath Girl’s chilly quirk. And both have gorgeous, achy pop voices. For a couple looking for a night of New York theater, it’s a great date show. And for the show’s serial attendees, Once is never enough.—David Cote

Did you see Once? Tell us what you thought

Read our full review of Once and see detailed showtimes

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre: Information and map

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
242 W 45th St
Midtown West
New York

Cross street
between Broadway and Eighth Ave



Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority; N, Q, R, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St–Times Sq
How to get to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre

Once on Broadway review

Sometimes, you fall hard on the first date. Maybe the second. But the worst is when you want to love a person badly, but each time you connect, you leave more doubtful and dissatisfied. That’s my unenviable position in regard to Once, the often glorious and inspiring, but also twee and attenuated musical that moved to Broadway after a run downtown at New York Theatre Workshop. The moody, romantic piece is based on the 2006 indie film, and in the transfer from screen to stage, it has gained about 40 minutes, a few extra tunes and a great deal of gratuitous quirk. Many are besottedly serenading Once, but I just can’t.

To be sure, there’s no shortage of talent on the Bernard B. Jacobs stage, where audience members can gather for an informal preshow jam with the cheery, instrument-playing ensemble. The jolly village vibe continues throughout: John Tiffany stages the action in a unit pub set, with cast members watching from the sidelines. It’s a neat concept, but it undercuts the material’s poignant themes of social disconnection and stasis. Still, as the unconsummated lovers, Irish busker Guy and Czech immigrant Girl, Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti have terrific chemistry. They sing the score’s plangent folk ballads (by the film’s original actor-composers, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová) with heartbreaking openness.

But for all that, book writer Enda Walsh’s belabored humor, based mostly on lazily sketched supporting characters, begins to grate. And the last half hour’s mopey pacing turns what was wistful understatement into maudlin manipulativeness. There’s simply not enough narrative or emotional content to support a two-act structure. Ironically, if I had spent less time with this fascinating creature, then it might have actually swept me away.—David Cote

See Once showtimes

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @DavidCote

Buy Once tickets at Telecharge

Listen to Once songs on Spotify


Once opening night cast & crew

Steve Kazee as Guy
Cristin Milioti as Girl
David Abeles as Eamon
Will Connolly as Andrej
Elizabeth A. Davis as Réza
David Patrick Kelly as Da
Anne L. Nathan as Baruška
Lucas Papaelias as Švec
Ripley Sobo as Ivanka [alternate]
Andy Taylor as Bank Manager
McKayla Twiggs as Ivanka [alternate]
Erikka Walsh as Ex-Girlfriend
Paul Whitty as Billy
J. Michael Zygo as Emcee
John Tiffany - Director
Enda Walsh - Book
Glen Hansard - Music and Lyrics
Markéta Irglová - Music and Lyrics
Steven Hoggett - Movement
Bob Crowley - Scenic Design
Bob Crowley - Costume Design
Natasha Katz - Lighting Design
Clive Goodwin - Sound Design
Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart, Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf, The Shubert Organization, Robert Cole, New York Theatre Workshop - Producers

Once awards

2012 Tony Awards

  • Best Musical
  • Best Book of a Musical - Enda Walsh
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical - Steve Kazee
  • Best Direction of a Musical - John Tiffany
  • Best Orchestrations - Martin Lowe
  • Best Scenic Design - Bob Crowley
  • Best Lighting Design - Natasha Katz
  • Best Sound Design - Clive Goodwin

2012 Drama Desk Awards
  • Outstanding Musical
  • Outstanding Director of a Musical - John Tiffany
  • Outstanding Lyrics - Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
  • Outstanding Orchestrations - Martin Lowe

2013 Grammy Awards
  • Best Musical Theater Album - Original Broadway Cast

Restaurants near Once

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

While tourists bumble into Sbarro looking for a New York slice, pizza aficionados have been busy colonizing this pedigreed newcomer—a collaboration between Kesté’s talented Roberto Caporuscio and his decorated Naples mentor, Antonio Starita. Start with tasty bites like the frittatine (a deep-fried spaghetti cake oozing prosciutto cotto and béchamel sauce), before digging into the stellar wood-fired pies, which range from standards such as the Margherita to more creative constructions like the Rachetta, a racket-shaped pizza with a “handle” made of ricotta-stuffed dough. The main event, however, should be the habit-forming Montanara Starita, which gets a quick dip in the deep fryer before hitting the oven to develop its puffy, golden crust. Topped with tomato sauce, basil and intensely smoky buffalo mozzarella, it’s a worthy new addition to the pantheon of classic New York pies.

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

With butcher-block tables, inventive Korean-inspired small plates and a Michelin star to boot, this diminutive eatery is of the rare breed that would likely be just as packed downtown as it is on West 52nd Street. Chef Hooni Kim (Daniel, Masa) brings his haute French training to bear on the food of his homeland, splitting the menu between traditional dishes and modernist riffs. His flavors are bright and fresh, with a great balance of sweet, spicy and funky elements. The classics seem, for the most part, like upgrades on their source material—scallion pancakes are exceptionally fat and crispy, while chili-slicked buckwheat noodles are paired with a beer-friendly salad of spicy vegetables and chewy, briny whelks. The updated stuff is equally appealing. Sliders may be passé, but you won’t want to miss Kim’s addictive bulgogi beef variety, served on pillowy grilled buns with spicy pickles and scallion salsa.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 3 of 4

Esca is the area’s slickest and most creative choice. Part of the Mario Batali–Joe Bastianich empire, the menu takes a whirl through Southern Italian seaside cooking (spaghetti with lobster). Start with the signature raw antipasti, called crudi, then move on to excellent, shareable pastas such as superfresh grilled fish, lavish Sicilian-style seafood stew, or succulent square-cut maccheroni alla chitarra with sea urchin and crab.

  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Upper West Side
  • price 1 of 4

Perennial burger mecca Shake Shack continues to be one of the most coveted postmuseum pit stops for its nostalgic beef patties, crinkle fries and frozen custard. Thankfully, the usually long queue moves fairly fast.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

Like a traditional Japanese ramen-ya, this narrow, below-street-level noodle joint is designed for quick meals. Most seats are along a counter, behind which the chefs crisp pork slices with a propane torch and tend to bubbling stockpots. The specialty here is paitan ramen, a creamy soup that’s a chicken-based variation on Hakata, Japan’s famous tonkotsu (pork) broth. The most basic version, the Totto chicken, is a flavorful, opaque soup bobbing with thin, straight noodles and slow-cooked pork ridged with satiny fat. The real winner, however, is the miso ramen, enriched with a scoop of nutty fermented soybean paste and wavy egg noodles. Ramen is generally a feast unto itself, but you can bulk up a meal with sides like char siu mayo don—a mound of rice heaped with more unctuous pork, yuzu-accented mayonnaise and raw sliced scallions.

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