It Is You That I Love

Once is a small budget film that was created in 2006 featuring musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as two friends who come together for one week to create music.

It's really a very simple story, but it is a beautiful story.

So when I found out it was coming to the Fox Theatre and that I could get tickets for half price, I knew the most difficult task would be convincing Justin to go.

Before I get into my review of the broadway musical, let me first say that the Fox Theatre in Atlanta might be one of the most beautiful venues that you can go to for a movie, theatre performance, or concert.

from A Design State of Mind

Travel Thru History

The Fox Theatre

Built in the 1920s by shriners in the Atlanta area who worked out a deal with William Fox to make their vision a reality, the building owners, within 2 years of it's creation, began facing financial difficulty forcing the building to shut down in 1932. It didn't take long before a new partnership was formed and the Fox re-opened in the 1940s as a "movie palace" showcasing a number of popular movies including the premieres of Gone With the Wind and the controversial Song of the South.

During the 1970s, as the Fox Theatre experienced a slow-time, the Southern Bell Company (now AT&T) attempted to buy the corner lot from the Fox Theatre. Atlanta was experiencing a huge economic growth and the spot seemed ideal for the Southern Bell headquarters. Considering the economic possibilities of having such a large company in the area, it looked as though the Fox Theatre was about to disappear forever.

Just in the knick of time Atlanta Landmarks Inc., a  nonprofit company committed to saving the theatre, purchased the property in 1975 putting together a wide-scale campaign encouraging Atlantans to "save the Fox!" The campaign ran for four years as the Fox was transformed into a multi-purpose performing arts center. Now, over 3 quarters of a million viewers per year attend the Fox Theatre to see concerts, broadway shows, and ballet performances.

New Georgia Encyclopedia

The Fox Theatre uses an Arabic motive throughout. While the entire theatre is absolutely gorgeous and worth a visit if you are ever in Atlanta, one of my favorite parts of the theatre are the 96 overheard "star" lights that flicker during performances. I truly cannot imagine a more beautiful, magical, or enchanting place to attend shows.

Once, the Broadway Show

As a general rule, I look for any excuse I can find to go to the Fox Theatre. I've been approximately five times in my entire life, and I look forward to each new visit with excitement. When I saw the tickets for Once on sale at Goldstar, I knew I had found my ticket in.

With the show starting at 7:30PM, Justin and I left work early, went home to get dressed up for the event, and then rushed out the door to pick up our tickets at the Box Office an hour before the show was scheduled to start. We didn't even have time to get dinner first! Needless to say, not having food probably didn't improve upon our lackluster experience of seeing Once as a broadway musical.

**Warning!! Spoilers may be present!!**

One of my favorite things about the movie Once is that it was low-budget and thus very simple and organic. Translated to the stage, simple, low budget, and organic are not quite the same. The writers for the stage script seemed to fill holes that were not necessarily part of the story with humor, or at least an attempt at humor, and provocativeness interspersed with foul language. Instead of being the sweet story of a friendship between an immigrant and street performer, the story became about how the street performer wanted to seduce the immigrant which, to me, is wrong in every sense of the story. So when you see the street performer going back to his girlfriend at the end of the broadway story, your only thought is that this guy must be sleeping around, trying to seduce every woman. And the way the immigrant talks?! She may be blonde, but all of a sudden she is incredibly naive and stupid as well.

Of course, the thing that really irks me more than anything else in the entire broadway show is how when the characters are suppose to be speaking Czech, they instead speak English and the Czech translation is shown up on a screen. While I don't speak Czech, I have a problem with the producer suggesting that no one in the American audience speaks Czech. It would have been far more meaningful if 1) either no Czech was presumed to be spoken or 2) if the characters had spoken in the language their character spoke. I can read translations just fine!

Then there is that one line where the street performer asks the immigrant if she loves her husband. The translation given on stage was "I love you", but from what I've read about the movie Once, the translation was suppose to be "It is you that I love".  A very small, minute difference, but in my mind it makes all of the difference in the world.

Another issue I had with the broadway show was the use of stage. It seemed as though the production and stage were put together on a shoestring budget. While I know the movie was filmed on a shoestring budget, the lack of different stages seemed to suggest that the characters were very different from the characters seen in the film. For example, at one point in the film Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard play their instruments together in an instrument shop because Marketa's character can't afford a piano. In the broadway production, it looked as though they were playing their music in a bar? I mean - what the …? That doesn't make any sense in the context of the story.

I hate to speak all negative about the play, but there really wasn't much that I liked in the broadway show other than the amazing performances by the actors and actresses.

One thing that I did love about the broadway show that the movie doesn't provide, is the on-stage bar open to the public and the very opening of the play wherein the performers host a mini-concert that leads straight into the story. I loved the lead-in, and I thought it was very well executed.


If you like the movie Once, I do not recommend going to see the broadway production unless you have a fantastic theatre to go to (and even then it's questionable). If you do go, I recommend keeping an open mind and viewing it more as an Irish concert with a bit of storyline to it rather than a story with a bit of music added. I also recommend not going on a rainy, cold night; I think that's how I ended up sick. :(

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I guess it's time to get back into the daily grind that is Monday.

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