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Review Roundup: ONCE at Bucks County Playhouse - What Did the Critics Think?

Review Roundup: ONCE at Bucks County Playhouse - What Did the Critics Think?

Bucks County Playhouse concludes its 80th anniversary season with the Bucks County premiere of "Once," the multi-award-winning romantic Broadway musical runs through November 30. The 2019 Season is sponsored by Bank of America.

Featuring an impressive ensemble of 13 actor/musicians who play instruments ranging from piano to guitar to mandolin to accordion, "Once" transports audiences to the streets of Dublin where Guy, played by Matt DeAngelis, a struggling singer and songwriter, is on the verge of giving up on his music. When a Czech immigrant, Girl, played by Mackenzie Lesser-Roy, hears him play, however, she refuses to let him abandon his guitar. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolve into a powerful but complicated love story. With a book by Enda Walsh, music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, "Once" is based on the motion picture written and directed by John Carney. Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, "Once" features a score that has been honored with Grammy, Tony and Academy Awards. The score most famously includes the Academy Award-winning song "Falling Slowly."

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Chloe Rabinowitz, BroadwayWorld: Mackenzie Lesser-Roy's gorgeous voice and ability to deliver a line with equal parts sincerity and sarcasm effortlessly becomes the heart of this production, while Matt DeAngelis' emotional power and musicianship serve as your steady guide through the story. The entire cast fills the theater with cohesive, supportive energy, delivering a production that successfully celebrates love, life, and music.

Michelle Nugent, Broad Street Review: The performance isn't perfect. During Guy and Girl's most emotional scenes, dialogue drags down the intensity of things better left unsaid. Choreographer Misha Shields gives Girl two bizarre avant-garde dance sequences that are tonally out of place. But these are forgivable offenses that don't discount the joy of seeing these ordinary characters create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Joshua Herren, Phindie: Across the board, the performances astound. The ensemble's chemistry explodes off the stage. Matt Angelis's vocals soar as Guy. Tina Strafford brings the house to their feet as Baurska, Girl's mother. Brandon Ellis, Jacob Brandt, Seth Eisler, Lauren Wright, and Jenn Chandler bring the most to their heartfelt and comedic portrayals of supporting character roles. All of them can sing their faces off... and dance (Misha Shields contemporary choreography is lovely)... and play several instruments. It almost isn't fair.

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