Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Orchestra cast demonstrates power of music and dreams in touring Broadway’s ‘Once’ at Eisenhower Jan. 31

An emotionally captivating score performed by a live orchestra sets the tone for “Once,” the award-winning screen-to-stage romance about not giving up on your dreams and celebrating the power of music. The touring Broadway production will make its Penn State debut at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Purchase tickets, which are $65 and $56 for an adult, $47 and $38 for a University Park student, and $48 and $39 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

Based on writer-director John Carney’s 2007 film, which won an Academy Award for Best Song, the production includes music and songs written by the film’s actors, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

The story follows a busker, who’s also a vacuum cleaner repairman, and his chance meeting with a young pianist. After she hears his sad song of unrequited love, she convinces the heartbroken balladeer to perform the song in order to win back his girlfriend. The two folk artists form an unexpected bond while singing, writing and rehearsing their musical collaborations. The show’s actors double as the orchestra and incorporate their musical talents into the plot.

The original Broadway musical took home eight Tony Awards (including for Best Musical) and three more nominations, three Drama Desk Awards and the 2013 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. “What was always wonderful about ‘Once,’ its songs and its staging, has been magnified,” said a New York Times reviewer of the show’s Broadway production.

Watch a preview of the performance.

The John L. Brown Jr. and Marlynn Steele Sidehamer Endowment provides support for the presentation. WATM-ABC 23, WWCP-FOX 8, THIS TV, Antenna TV and 98.7 The FREQ are the media sponsors.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders. Reservations for audio description are required by Tuesday, Jan. 17. Phone 814-863-0255 to reserve the service.

Patrons are welcome to bring a contribution for a book drive aimed at supporting Mid-State Literacy Council’s efforts to improve reading and learning proficiency in children. Titles with reading levels of preschool to sixth grade are preferred. Blue collection buckets are located in the Eisenhower lobby during regular business hours—Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.—and during the performance.