Review: Once

A small love story trapped in a big production

click to enlarge TIMOTHY RICHARD
Timothy Richard

Once is the simple story of a man and woman who meet in Dublin, connect over a song, and tip toe around their quickly deepening love because they both know it just won’t work. The story is sweet and almost without serious conflict because the characters behave like rational adults who don’t keep secrets to forward plot. Peter Deiwick plays the guy in question and he’s very good. His performance is at once stoic and vulnerable and you just want someone to give him a hug. Amanda Leblanc as the girl is even more terrific. She plays a woman who is pragmatic and strong and completely taken by surprise when she finds herself falling in love. There is undeniable talent oozing from each performer, even those not given much spotlight. That all the actors and musicians remain onstage through the entire show takes some getting used to, and without careful direction could be a major downfall. And though the Irish pub created on set is spectacular, it feels slightly wasted since most of the action takes place outside the bar. All in all, Neptune’s Once has very maximalist design for a story that begs for smallness.

Book by Enda Walsh
Music & Lyrics by Glen Gansard and Marketa Irglova
Directed by George Pothitos
Runs until May 28th
Neptune Theatre Mainstage

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