Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Reviews: ONCE Captivates Audience Opening Night in Chicago


It's no surprise that "Once" opened to a standing ovation Tuesday night at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago. The show has a successful track record both on screen and on Broadway. "Once" is the winner of eight Tony Awards and the winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. Originally based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, it has prosperously adapted to the stage.

The music is what differentiates "Once" from any other current musical. The Irish roots of the music provide incredible acoustics with soul revealing lyrics. Before the show began, the cast of gifted actors/musicians gathered together on the rustic set to share their joyful folk music. The music captivated the audience and led to a seamless transition into the show.

"Once" shares the story of an Irish musician, Guy (Alex Nee) and a Czech immigrant, Girl (Dani de Waal) drawn together by their shared love of music. Their unexpected love for one another leads to a powerful but complicated romance. While creating music together, their love for one another grows infinitely and the thought of a future together becomes the dark cloud that hangs above their happiness.

Alex Nee provides a superb portrayal of Guy with his perfected edgy-rock vocals. Nee blends well with Dani de Waal's incomparable angelic voice and quick witted portrayal of Girl. Dancing and vivaciously playing their instruments, the ensemble of "Once" move the set and play multiple characters to piece the story together. The acting is sharp and the comedic moments are on point. The song "Gold", sung a capella in the second act, is possibly the most beautiful song in the show. "Once" is filled with honesty and raw emotions that create an unforgettable evening.

"Once" runs through June 7 at the Cadillac Palace, 151 W Randolph. Tickets $30-$95. 800-775-2000.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

From This Author Jillian Weimer

Jillian Weimer is a huge theatre enthusiast. She is currently working as a production coordinator and actress in Chicago. She comes from a background in (read more...)