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'ONCE' to Return to Toronto in February 2015 with an All Canadian Cast

Toronto fell in love with ONCE in December 2013, when the first touring company of the Tony Award-winning musical played here for a limited run; a critical and popular hit, it sold out every single seat during its six-week run. The Toronto Star called ONCE "a perfect illustration of the magic that musical theatre at its best is capable of." The Globe and Mail awarded it four stars, its highest rating.

Now, due to popular demand, producer David Mirvish is mounting a new, sit-down Toronto production of ONCE to star an all-Canadian cast. Performances will begin February 10, 2015at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.

"We saw ONCE during its very first performances at the New York Theatre," explains David Mirvish. "We knew then this was a very special show, something that only happens once a decade. We invested in the Broadway transfer and were keen to present the show in Toronto.

"When ONCE played here only this past December, with an excellent cast, in its first national tour, our enthusiasm proved to be well founded, as Toronto audiences warmly embraced the show, making it the toast of the town.

"The show's authentic exuberance, its universal truths about love, music and family, won everyone's hearts and minds. We knew we had to bring it back for a longer stay.

"We are delighted that the show's original producers share our excitement about ONCE belonging in Toronto, so much so that they have allowed us to build a new company of actor/musicians who will make ONCE our very own. This new production of ONCE will be directed and choreographed by the brilliant team of Tony Award winner John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett, who created the show, at the American Repertory Theatre, then at the New York Theatre Workshop and then on Broadway.

"We know that in Canada's pool of acclaimed talent we will be able to bring the originality, wit and unforgettable music of ONCE to life. But we will also be looking to find new talent and give them the chance to shine in this very special production."

Set in modern day Dublin, ONCE tells the story of Guy, an Irish musician who has given up on his music-and his love-and Girl, a Czech immigrant who inspires him to dream again.Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together.

ONCE is based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, written and directed by John Carney, and starring Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who also wrote the original music and lyrics.

The stage adaptation is brought to life by an award-winning team of visionary artists: book by award-winning Irish playwright & screenwriter, Enda Walsh (Penelope, Hunger, The New Electric Ballroom); direction by the acclaimed Scottish director of Black Watch, John Tiffany; movement by Steven Hoggett (Black Watch, American Idiot); and music supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe (Mamma Mia!). The set and costume design are by five-time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia, Mary Poppins), lighting design is by Tony winner Natasha Katz (Aida, The Coast of Utopia), and sound design is by Clive Goodwin.

ONCE was originally developed at the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in April 2011.

A developmental run of ONCE played in November 2011 to January 2012 at New York Theatre Workshop.

ONCE opened on Broadway on March 18. 2012, produced by Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf, The Shubert Organization and Executive Producer Robert Cole, in association with New York Theatre Workshop.

The production won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It also won Best Musical from the New York Drama Critics' Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critic Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards. The original cast recording won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

ONCE is currently running on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (now in its third year) and in London's West End at the Phoenix Theatre (now in its second year). The national tour is playing across North America and the show's Australian premiere begins in October 2014 in Melbourne. Future international productions are also planned.

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