As many Belmont students know, the life of an artist is no easy thing.
There are many challenges that come with pursuing any form of art, specifically figuring out how to express yourself in a way that other people will enjoy.
These struggles are highlighted beautifully in the hit musical “Once.”
One of Broadway’s most visually creative performances, “Once” began its week long run Tuesday night at Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
The show begins with an open bar onstage where audience members are encouraged to purchase their drinks as the actors sing and dance around them. This unique opening allows patrons to become part of the act and brilliantly sets up the bar atmosphere called for in the show.
Throughout the performance, the actors do not leave the stage for more than a couple minutes. Set and costume changes are handled seamlessly onstage, adding a little more comic effect to the heavy storyline.
The comedic gold doesn’t end there. Intense scenes are broken up with bawdy humor and not-so-subtle innuendos. “Once” holds nothing back in its depiction of the life of an Irish musician with several expletives and crude jokes scattered throughout the performance.
The humor breaks up the intensity of the plot beautifully but is carefully designed so as to not detract from the story. Each actor perfectly portrays the difficulties of long distance relationships, the struggle to be discovered and the hesitancy of forbidden love.
The music, lyrics and choreography fit together to create an incredible theatrical experience. All the songs were performed wonderfully, but the final reprise of “Falling Slowly” was by far the most impressive of the night.
Cast chemistry and talent was obvious from the first number and certainly paid off, providing an amazing viewing experience. The show received an enthusiastic standing ovation for its opening night.
“Once” will run every night until Sept. 21, with two shows on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are on sale and available through the TPAC website Belmont students are eligible for a discounted tickets by using the promo code Belmont.
Photo: © Joan Marcus