Once The Musical – Review and Tips

Calgary has just started turning gritty and grey. It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy those dark and lovely tales that come to us from across the pond. You know those non-Hollywood love stories where life and people are presented in all their raw glory? Like the BBC version of House of Cards compared to the glamorized US version everyone is watching now. I love those heart-wrenching, authentic portrayals I can sink my teeth into and carry bits of with me.

Remember the Irish musical film ‘Once’?  The actors, the story and the music were compelling and realistic–I immediately fell in love with it and still have the soundtrack on my playlists.  Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová of The Swell Season wrote and performed all the songs including “Falling Slowly” which won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song. The soundtrack also received a Grammy Award nomination.

I heard about ‘Once’ The Musical through American Express Invites Front Of The Line program and booked a babysitter immediately! When show night rolled around, it was cold and blustery…so perfectly fitting. My girlfriend and I dressed in layers and met up at The Brasserie Kensington for a delicious Lobster Risotto. A perfect start to what would be a memorable night!

TIP – The Jubilee Auditorium is just a five-minute drive or one C-Train stop away from the charming neighborhood of Kensington which is home to quite a few eateries  including the newly opened PRLR and the timeless classic Wine Bar Kensington.

Plans to arrive early and partake in the on-stage cash bar went awry when I realized I had left my tickets at home (Yes! There is a working bar on stage at this production!). We arrived just in time for the show to start, and we were able to go up to the stage during intermission.

TIP – You can NOT take your drink off of the stage and they don’t give you much warning for when intermission is going to be over. “Chug it or chuck it!” was the refrain as we resisted being ousted from the stage.

All in all, I was impressed with the show. The show features a simple set where all of the cast members are also the orchestra and they made magic with their harmonies. The two main characters had amazing vocals and projected the spirit of the film for the most part. In particular, Dani De Waal as Girl was perfection.

TIP – No photography allowed–I found out the hard way.

You can attend similar upcoming events like I did and get access to some of the best seats in the house when you purchase tickets through Front Of The Line. Be sure to check out Amex Invites to learn more about some the hottest upcoming events in Calgary!


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