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Monday, Jun 5, 2023
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Macon’s Grand Opera House to show Broadway musical “Once”

In “Once” all of the music is performed onstage by the actors.
In “Once” all of the music is performed onstage by the actors.

While there are plenty of good movies and television series to watch, nothing is quite like live theater.

On March 14-15 at 7:30 p.m., the Grand Opera House will host the touring production of the acclaimed Broadway musical “Once.”

“Once” is being performed as part of the Grand’s Broadway series, which has been a staple at the Opera House for over 20 years.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the show won eight Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Musical, and received a Grammy award for Best Musical Theatre Album the following year.

The musical tells the story of a Dublin singer-songwriter who is about to abandon his dreams when he meets a woman drawn to his music. “Once” takes place over the timespan of a single week and shows the growth of their friendship, musical collaboration and eventual romance.

Gram Slaton, the Executive Director of the Grand Opera House, said he believes “Once” is a great show to close out the season.

“Anyone who saw the movie version, which preceded its being adapted for the stage, could not fail to be charmed by its story and incredibly beautiful music,” Slaton said.

Unlike the pit orchestra of most Broadway shows, the accompanying music performed in “Once” is played onstage by the actors.

“It's a different sort of stage experience,” Slaton said. “It can speak to both a younger audience while holding an older audience that likes the more traditional Broadway fare.”

Mercer students can take advantage of The Grand’s student rush tickets, which are $20 on the day of the show with a valid student I.D.

While the Broadway series has been a part of the Grand for decades, Slaton said they have struggled lately to get the turnout they want.

He said the fact that most of the shows in the past season had cycled through the Grand’s series several times could be to blame.

“We’re glad to have ‘Once’ in the season because it is a new title that’s never been on a national tour before,” Slaton said.

The Grand selects shows for their Broadway series based on what the best available titles are, when they could be presented, whether the show offers any variety, and how much the overall costs would be for the Grand and their audience.

Slaton, having recently taken responsibility for organizing the Broadway series, is hopeful about the success of next year’s series.

“The titles for next year should really excite our audiences and recapture that momentum we’ve been building for many years now,” Slaton said.

“Once” is the star of that shifting momentum.


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