As I sat tight on the bus from the ferry dock to the city center of Dublin, I spotted a poster on the side of a building for the musical “Once.” Based on a movie of the same name, written by two Irish-Dubliner musicians, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, I’d seen Once one time off-Broadway and, I think, three times on Broadway. Needless to say, I was a fan. This isn’t your typical musical love story and the score is so, so beautiful.
After I saw that poster, I immediately started Googling on my poor almost-dead iPhone “Once + Dublin + theatre,” or something like that, and I found my way right to the site. It was around 6 at night already, so I dumped my luggage at my hotel and quickly walked down the River Liffey to the Olympia Theatre in the heart of Dublin. I asked the box office for an open seat that I’d seen available on the website and the manager said they had a better seat but it was a little partial view. It ended up being in the third row and was only considered partial view because the stage was kind of high.
Whatever! I didn’t care. I was about to see a professional production of Once, a musical that I loved about Dubliners IN FUCKING DUBLIN. I quickly grabbed something to eat (I think it was a taco salad – very Irish, ha-ha) and made my way back to the theatre, purchased a program (they don’t have Playbills across the pond), and I was practically jumping in my seat.
Borrowing from the Broadway production, the bar that is part of the set is used as an actual bar before the show and at intermission so I walked up and took a couple of photos of the beautiful Olympia Theatre’s interior.
Guy and Girl were played by Brian Gilligan and Niamh Perry, respectively, and they were fantastic. Their performances paralleled that of Cristin Milioti and Steve Kazee from the Broadway production. I couldn’t have asked for better performances. The rest of the ensemble cast was fantastic as well but I’m not going to write out all of their names (you can check them out here on the website).
It was worth every penny I spent (maybe 50 Euro?) and every step I walked very, very quickly to the theatre after dumping my bags at my hotel. Could there have been a more perfect way to spend my first night in Dublin? I think not. Unfortunately, the production closed on August 26th but I’m sure there’ll be another production again soon in Ireland somewhere.