After Huge Broadway Success, “Once” goes to London

Who ever thought that a simple love story, that was clearly the underdog from the start, could have gained such global attention that it goes from Broadway to London, with rave reviews all the while? That’s just what happened with “Once” as it prepares to go to London’s West End for showings at the Phoenix starting just after Christmas.

When “Once” first opened off-Broadway in 2011, it received some harsh reviews, with The New York Times being especially vocal about lackluster performances, and musical sequences that just didn’t quite hit the mark. Other critics thought that the show had potential, and that it could perhaps be a Broadway hit. The next year it was moved to the Great White Way.

Immediately upon opening on Broadway, it could be seen that “Once” was going to be a smash hit. During its time there it received 11 Tony Award nominations in 2012, and won eight of them. Ben Brantley, who had written the original review of the off-Broadway show, reviewed it once again during its opening night on Broadway. During that review he was forced to admit that “what is essentially the same production feels as vital and surprising as the early spring that has crept up on Manhattan.”

“Once” will begin playing at the Phoenix in London following “Goodnight Mister Tom,” which is set to run for nine weeks throughout Christmas.

The show will be directed by John Tiffany and choreographed by Steven Hoggett, the same creative team that was behind the critically acclaimed “Black Watch.” The love story has been written by Irish playwright Enda Walsh.

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