Once Upon a Stage

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as the iconic Guy and Girl in the film Once

By Dawn Darby, Editorial Assistant
August / September 2011

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s Once to be a musical

Written by Irish playwright Enda Walsh, the very anticipated stage adaptation of the acclaimed film Once will debut at the New York Theater Workshop this November.

Filmed using hand-held cameras and a humble budget, Once tells the story of two struggling musicians from completely different walks of life who find love on the streets of Dublin. In the film, Glen Hansard of the Irish rock band The Frames played Guy, a young struggling busker who makes a minor living fixing vaccum cleaners. His co-star, Marketa Irglova, played Girl, a Czech immigrant who spends her days selling flowers and taking care of her mother and daughter.

Hansard and Irglova won an Oscar in 2007 for their song “Falling Slowly.” They shot to fame quickly and fell in love behind the scenes in the process. The duo, who have since split but remain creative partners, then toured worldwide with their band and became the subjects of a new documentary, The Swell Season, which eloquently captures the bittersweet strain of this unassuming couple’s love under the pressure of their newfound celebrity. Hansard and Irglova have written the music for the upcoming off-Broadway production of Once, but will not be reviving the roles of Guy and Girl. Casting has yet to be announced.

Rumor has it that the theatre debut of Once is to be directed by John Tiffany with the help of producers John N. Hart, Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Fred Zollo, Barbara Brocolli, and Micheal G. Wilson. With this amount of talent involved, many critics already expect this musical will eventually find its way to the Broadway stage.

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