REVIEW: ONCE at Miners Alley Playhouse

by Sue Leiser

“Guy is an irish singer who spends his days fixing Vacuums in the Dublin shop he runs with his father, and his nights playing his music at local pubs. He’s on the verge of giving up music altogether when a Czech immigrant “Girl”, walks into the bar, hears him play and refuses to let him abandon his guitar. As it turns out, she has a broken vacuum cleaner, Guy repairs it and she pays him in music on a piano she plays in a record shop. Over the course of a week Girl convinces Guy to believe in the power of his music and his love for the woman who inspires his songs. They scrape together money to record a demo album with a Motley Crew of bar friends and their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful – but very complicated – love story.”

I borrowed this description of the beautiful version of ONCE at Miners Alley Playhouse. I struggled to put it in my own words but this was what I would have written if I was a writer!  However, as a regular person who went to see the show and was OVERWHELMED by this exceptional musical production!

I didn’t need help in looking over my notes taken in the dark not wanting to take my eyes off the stage and surrounding parts of the theater where the actors performed many different instruments and sang in voices that gave me chills!  This show is unique with perfect casting and voices that sang from their hearts into mine. Director Len Mateo and musical director David Nels nailed it by casting John Hauser, Carmen Vreeman Shedd, Joel Abelson, Allegra Ludwig Michael, Katie Jackson, Ellen Orloff Gauthier, Damon Guerrasio, Nelson Walker, David Miller, Parker Fowler, Aaron Vega and Denis Bergfeldt. I list them all because they complete a fabulous ensemble of accents, vocals and playing a beautiful variety of instruments and they can act as well!!!!! I was also impressed by the unique choreography by Angie Simmons. “Fun Home” and “Cabaret” are two of my most recent fav’s at MAP, but “Once” is now right up there!

ONCE is enchanting audiences now through October 13th. For tickets, showtimes or more information, contact Miners Alley Box Office by calling 303-935-3044 or online at Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden, CO.


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