Last night I was given the opportunity to attend the Melbourne performance of the new musical 'Once', the story of a guy and his music and a girl who inspired him to share it. I must say it was an absolutely incredible performance and one I'm very grateful to have been invited to see. This was my first time being invited as a blogger to any event and it could not have been a more special experience.
It is the only musical to have ever won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, a Olivier Award and a Tony Award, and after what I witnessed last night it is easy to see why.
It is the story of a young man from Dublin, and this Guy has given up on his music and the girl who inspired it, but then he meets a Girl and she turns it all around. She convinces him to record his music and go after the girl who was behind it all. It is a love story, it is humorous and it will leave you literally spellbound as you listen to this talented cast of actor/musicians who bring this story to life.
Seen here is the Guy (played by Tom Parsons) and the Girl (Madeleine Jones), singing the smash hit duet "Falling Slowly", a song that grips you by the heart and takes you on an incredible melodic journey. These two actors were brilliant, both warm and funny, and like all the cast, had truly amazing voices.
Based on the award winning film, it was written and directed by John Carney, with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. I have been lucky to have seen quite a few professional shows in my lifetime and this would have had to have been about the best I have ever seen. It was raw, it was powerful, it evoked real emotion and the music is so good it made me happily part with $30 for a CD on the way out.
I was given two tickets and I brought along my sister in-law Natasha, who had never been to see a professional musical before. I was so pleased for her and happy that I could share this experience with her. Her reaction at interval was really a true testament to how fantastic the show is. She told me that she felt "changed", and even though she felt a little silly saying it, I completely understood. Experiencing something like this does make you a different person. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities. At the end, and during our walk back to the car, she went on to say that she was getting butterflies to think that the Guy and Girl might end up together, this was how much the story had pulled her in. I completely agreed
As for the whole evening, (which meant time off from kids and a trip down to the big smoke!), we had a fabulous time! This is me posing on the 'red carpet'. (I must work on my pose).
For those who are interested I was wearing an Ariat top, the skirt I can not tell you where from (as it was a hand-me-down from my Mum (!) and my new Montana West handbag got a workout. I resisted from wearing my black Wrangler cowboy boots (!)
We left home at what seemed the ridiculously early time of 4.30pm, (for an 8 o'clock show), but remembering we live out in the country and it did take us two hours to get in to the city.
We walked through town, making our way to the theatre to pick up our tickets. There was plenty to see.
Collecting our tickets I was required to show some photo I.D. and I was about to be really 'redneck' and show my gun license, but decided against it and pulled out the drivers license instead.
After that we wandered off to find some dinner before the show and found outselves here...
It was, however, a little crowded, but we were happy to sit outside and it wasn't that cold. I ordered the lasagne...
...and Natasha went for a Chicken Parmagiana, which looked really delicious.
Both our meals were really good.
We were in for a further special treat, if that was at all possible, during the interval of the show, where bloggers were invited along to a blogger/media mingle with the producers. In fact I even shook hands with producer John Frost!
I came away from the evening, like my sister in-law, feeling that a part of me had, indeed, somehow changed.
A big thankyou to Nuffnang Australia, who were the reason I was there in the first place, especially Valissa Warren.
If you have the opportunity I highly recommend that you go see 'Once'. It will change your life!
* Official photos of the cast were generously supplied by the 'Once the Musical' Australia production.