Syracuse Stage Closes 50th Season With ONCE

The Tony Award-winning Best Musical will run May 1- 19.

By: Apr. 23, 2024
Syracuse Stage Closes 50th Season With ONCE
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Syracuse Stage concludes its 50th Anniversary Season with “Once,” the irresistible Tony-award winning musical based on John Carney's beloved 2007 Oscar-winning film. First seen on Broadway in 2012, “Once” is directed by Syracuse Stage associate artistic director Melissa Crespo and will run May 1 – 19 in the Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.

On the bustling streets of Dublin, Guy (Joe Boover) – a brokenhearted, down-on-his-luck musician – is ready to call it quits when he meets Girl (Ana Marcu, Syracuse University Department of Drama ‘16), a winsome émigré from the Czech Republic with a tangled history of her own. As they grow closer, the pair discover a kindred spirit that re-ignites their mutual passion for music even as their personal lives pull them towards wildly different futures.

“I have always wanted to direct ‘Once,' especially because it is a show that will resonate so powerfully in our Syracuse community, and I am particularly proud of the ensemble of actor/musicians in this production,” said Crespo.

Bringing the magical, musical Dublin of “Once” to life in the Archbold theatre are set designer Rodrigo Escalante, co-costume designers Jerry Johnson and Carmen Martinez, lighting designer Matthew Webb, music director Pearl Rhein, choreographer Fatima Sowe, Syracuse Stage resident sound designer Jacqueline Herter and dialect coach Holly Thuma, along with an ensemble of 13 actor-musicians providing their own accompaniment live onstage.

“We were slated to produce ‘Once' in 2019 but the pandemic changed our plans,” said artistic director Robert Hupp. “We've been looking for an opportunity ever since to create this knockout Tony-winner for central New York; it's been our most requested musical and we're thrilled to bring it to life now. This production is definitely worth the wait.”

With a book by acclaimed Irish playwright Enda Walsh, “Once” is a uniquely heartfelt and captivating experience that blends a tender love story with lively, wistful songs from Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who starred together in the original film.

All evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. while all matinee performances begin at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $25 with discounts available for students and groups. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 315.443.3275 or in person at the Syracuse Stage Box Office. Pay-What-You-Will performances for “Once” are May 1 – 5 inclusive; Prologue conversations, three pre-show discussions that take place one-hour before curtain on May 5, 11 and 16; the Post-show Talkback will take place on Sunday, May 5 after the 7:30 performance. Syracuse Stage has its open-captioned performances scheduled for May 8 and 19 at 2 p.m. and May 18 at 7:30 p.m., as well as an audio-described performance on Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. The Sensory Friendly/Relaxed performance of “Once” is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m.

The community partner for “Once” is DJ Bella J from On the One DJ Center in Syracuse. She will host a free one-hour DJ workshop event on Wednesday, May 1 in the lobby at Syracuse Stage, before the first preview of “Once.” Patrons can register for the event at In addition, opening night – Friday, May 3 – will feature a performance from the award-winning Johnston School of Irish Dance.

About Syracuse Stage:

Founded in 1974 and celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, Syracuse Stage is the non-profit, professional theatre company in residence at Syracuse University. It is nationally recognized for creating stimulating theatrical work that engages Central New York audiences and significantly contributes to the artistic life of Syracuse University, where it is a vital partner in achieving the educational mission of the University's Department of Drama. Stage's mission is to tell stories that engage, entertain, and inspire people to see life beyond their own experience. Each season, 70,000 patrons enjoy an adventurous mix of new plays, and bold interpretations of classics and musicals, featuring the finest theatre artists. In addition, Stage maintains a vital educational outreach program that annually serves more than 15,000 students from 14 counties. Nationally, Syracuse Stage is a member of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for American theatre; The League of Resident Theatres (LORT), the largest professional theatre association in the country; the Professional Non-Profit Theatre Coalition (PNTC), independent venues, promoters, and festivals representing every state, Washington, D.C., and Guam. Regionally, Syracuse Stage is a member of the Arts and Cultural Leadership Alliance (ACLA), Center State CEO, the University Hill Corporation, and the East Genesee Regent Association.


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