Once (Chicago)

Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards® including BEST MUSICAL, ONCE is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, ONCE tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights...

Once (Chicago) Concert & Tour Photos

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Fan Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Tina1917
I am still humming the songs and would love to see this again. Only problem was it was difficult to understand the female lead's dialogue. (Called Girl in the play). I was surprised the theater was not full on a Friday evening considering how many Tony awards it received. If it returns do see it.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Norskegirl
When you enter the theater, you see that the stage is set as an Irish pub. You can go on the stage and order a drink and listen to the musicians playing. These musicians are also the actors and when the show is about to start, people return to their seats and the lead actor comes out to join the group, and the story begins. It's a wonderful story and the music is great! A little different than the movie, but definitely better.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ronab6363
We loved the production of Once we saw in Chicago at the Oriental. The voices and instruments were superb. It was fun to go on stage before and at intermission--some soft drinks besides water would have been nice. The seamless transportation from flat to flat, from shop to music studio to restaurant and club were made part of the story with the underscored movement of furniture and props. It flowed so beautifully. The blocking/choreography was also fantastic, with the actors filling the whole stage and different parts of the stage at any given moment. The unresolved ending always leaves me wanting.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
Queen + Adam Lambert :: 'copa' the Show :: Kacey Musgraves :: Hillsong United :: Rusko
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
LexiRachel
When I walked to me seat seat, I saw that the audience was invited on to the stage. We were allowed to walk around the set, and they were serving wine from the bar. Then, musicians appeared and began to play. We were part of the show. We were invited into their Dublin bar. The several songs played by the band and sung by various cast members were terrific, and that was before the show proper even began. Once is a touching story of a woman who helps a man though a bad time in his life and leads him to realize his potential for really no reason at all. It's simple, and probably not very realistic, but it was played well and left me in the Dubin bar for several hours after it was over. That's my measure of a good show. The only fault I had with it was that several good songs from the movie had been replaced by lesser songs. Falling Slowly was there, and played beautifully.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
PlayBabe
The music was beautiful and unexpectedly pleased to find it rather funny at many times. .
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
RoxieAnn
Great show the music, actors, and the whole experience was well worth it. Would go again. Get there early and enjoy the pre-show.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
MsPrez
I was mesmerized from the very beginning when the actors come on stage to sing Irish folk songs while I was on the stage drinking my wine I just purchased from the bar on stage. The music is powerful and moving. From beginning to end I was completely taken into the emotion and struggle of lost love, a broken heart and the hope of new love. Simply a beautiful production. I would recommend that the sound engineers improve the clarity of projecting the actors voices both musically and normal. At times it was a bit muddled.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
The show was great! very emotional driven, great character development and relationships. Funny and dramatic.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
What a great performance! Wonderful set and theatre cast! Loved it!!!
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
I frequently attend Broadway in Chicago musicals. This is by far the BEST I have ever seen. It is in Chicago for such a short time but I am hoping to go again. If you have orchestra seats be sure to arrive early to visit the onstage pub. Stick around while there to be onstage for the start of the show. It was great fun. Be sure to take tissues. You'll need them, especially during "Falling Slowly".
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Wed, Oct 9, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
JGVT
Tricky but well liked start when the cast came out and just began singing and playing on stage with guests still on the stage participating in libations and talk from the stage bar. Once those guest came off the stage and took their seats the house lights dimmed and the actual play began. The music and lyrics were great, each actor being able to play a variety of instruments. The story line was easy to follow and well acted by both characters. My only questions was in the play bill it identifies guys girlfriend but during the play I at least couldn't or didn't recognize her if she was identified. I would have liked guy to stay in Dublin with girl, but then again maybe there is a sequel in the works?
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Iceman565
Irish pub setting. Live musicians playing guitars, mandolins, pianos, accordians and many other instruments. Sounds like a dream, but it ended up sounding like a Bon Iver album and I am not a fan of sappy pop music. I also didn't care about the love story. They knew each other for like ten days and we were supposed to believe that they were soul mates? I just didn't buy it. If Once was a stock...don't buy!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Stats3599
It was OK. I would rather have seen a few other events instead. I went very open-minded and really tried to like the show but just never got into the Music or the performers.so for me ONCE was ENOUGH!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Shadow7711
I thought the sound was not very good. I purchased good seats for top dollar and could not hear the voices or the music that well. I did not enjoy the performance for this reason. I had seen the movie a few year back and would rate it in my top 10. The Play is not in my top 100 plays
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Anonymous
I had seen the movie, loved the music and was delighted with the performance. I have already recommended the play to many people. The talent was supurb.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
My husband and I saw Once in New York a few months ago, and were so excited to find out it was coming to Chicago to see it again. This show is such a huge diversion from the normal broadway show, and well worth the time and money to see it. Get there early, there is music ahead of time and the opportunity to go up on stage with the musicians and enjoy a drink at the bar!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Katwoman33
The performances and story are great. You laugh, you cry. What more can you ask for?
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ChicagoBeth
I loved the movie, and Glen & Marketa. Love the play even more! I've seen it twice in New York with the original cast. This touring troop is just as good! All the songs that I love get the full treatment. The movement and lighting effects are superb.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Anonymous
The story was touching! I enjoyed this show a lot.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hannahnabbysdad
Saw it on the last day of the Chicago run and must say found it extremely moving and so well done. Touching, funny, and with beautiful music. The tix we chose thru Ticketmaster's choose you own seat feature were perfect for the price and were a great view. Another great Chicago theater experience
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sun, Jun 7, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
musicallover101
Almost cried during "Falling Slowly". I think it's better than the movie or the broadway soundtrack on amazon.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
farnwsuburbanite
Brought my 5 yo son..was hoping it would be family friendly....used the F word umpteen times....not family friendly. It would have been great if they had omitted the swearing.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jecats
Once was amazing. I was enthralled throughout the entire show. The music was wonderful, the voices and musical talent were out of this world. My companion had seen the show 2 years ago in New York, and she said the Chicago cast was better than the New York cast.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Roy321
Once in a while, a play grabs your heart and soars. Such was Once. Plus the theater is such a grand showcase!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Anonymous
Surprised there were not more people there. Show was very good. Music and musicians were excellent. Story line very good. Words on side were very helpful
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
Loved the play! I even took a chance and brought my 12 year old son along. He enjoyed the music and all of the humor in the play. Not so much the love story part of it but that is to be expected for his age. I thought the music was wonderful and was really glad we went.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ElderJ
I was a big fan of the film, so my expectations were high going in. They clearly surpassed them, creating a beautiful stage piece with minimal sets and a focus on character and music. The openness in which the show started was great, where they allowed audience members on stage as the actors opened with some musical numbers. The two lead actors had clear chemistry, and the supporting cast, which was minimal in the film, was distinct and strayed from any caricatures. I am stunned that the Broadway version has closed, as this is one of the best musicals I've seen.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Darrellynn
Once was really great!!! The music was fantastic! The only thing I can say about the theatre itself was there were not enough bar staff. The line was way to long before the play or during intermission to get a beverage. 1 person for the whole theatre!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Loopo
I enjoyed the singing, dancing and acting so much. I do feel the sound wasn't quit as clear as it should have been. I believe some of the quick one line answer which were humorous were missed. I would love to see the performance again. Our audience loved it.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Carroll1229
I was amazed at the amount of talent on that stage. They never get a break as they sit there the whole time, have to play multiple instruments, sing, dance, etc. Fantastic. Music was great. Cast was solid as they have obviously done it a while. Great Ensemble. Would see it again.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Sat, Jun 6, 2015
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
LL1313
While I found the on stage musicians very talented, the story line was weak. I hoped there would be more dancing, and a stronger plot. It was nice to have the musicians play before the show began, but I did not understand who was invited on stage.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
TonyG2
Fun from the moment you enter the theater! Allowing audeince on stage pre show and at intermission was great, as was the added stage bar.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
Best Musical since last year! Strongly recommended!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
clubwife
I loved the show. The music was great and I really liked that the actors were also the musicians. It was different than anything else I have seen. If you get a chance to see it - don't miss it.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Hlou
Took my 22 year old and 16 year old---they loved it as did I. Perfectly cast and music was beautiful. Will take my husband next time Once comes back!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
GoBlueGoWings
Saw ONCE in at Cadillac Theatre in Chicago on Saturday night (6.6.15) Stuart Ward was on break so Ryan Link played/sang the role of Guy. Link "played massive" and having seen Nolan on Broadway, Keating in London and Ward at a prior tour stop, I can unequivocally say that Link delivered an honest, soulful performance without missing a beat. Dani de Waal continues to impress as Girl. Evan Harrington as Billy is brilliant. Alex Nee as Andrej and Matt DeAngelis as Svec are genuine and impressive. Heartily recommend seeing this show more than ONCE!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
johnnykool
Very enjoyable, from beginning to end!! Quite realistic, as well, right down to brogues and colloquialisms.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Sparrow5033
Saw Once last Saturday. Was very excited to hear the Irish music and to see a story with Irish characters. Music was great! Acting for the most part was very good. Some very funny (as in HaHa) dialog, but the story had a rather abrupt ending and kind of left you hanging. Play was just under 2 1/2 hours inclusive of the break, which seemed kind of short. I did like the way the same backdrop was used to change scenery with just some changes of furniture or actor position changes. I would not go see it again, but I did love some of the characters and as mentioned above, I loved the music. PS- way too much use of the F word. Did not expect it out of some of the characters. Seemed to be added for no reason to others. Disappointed in this.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Sherby33
I wasn't sure what to expect from Once, only having heard the song "Falling Slowly." I was blown away! The musical was unique and captivating and I did not look at my watch Once. I would highly recommend Once to anyone.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Jrhowald
Show was good but not great. Sounds like the touring male lead was not in Chicago and it showed. Some cast interplay wasn't as I expected and our lead dropped in and out of his Irish accent. But the show was good, the rest of the cast pretty good and my wife, who had never seen the production or movie enjoyed it despite the laughs at Irish/southern/American accents. Our biggest complaint was the seats. the seats I purchased were not listed as obstructed view and would not normally be but with this stage configuration they bring their own setup in a bit from the full stage. As a result, I paid for third row seats and wasn't able to see a bit more than a third of the stage!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Fri, Jun 5, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Bentel
Once was a great theatrical experience! I loved all of the creative staging, from the novel set design (with actors moving furniture all over the place between scenes!) to the musicians/characters being seated on stage.. The acting was terrific; the music amazing -- and being able to go on stage and have a drink while the musicians were playing was the cherry on top of an amazing night!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
roman5
Absolutely stunning performance. Fun. Talented. All around entertaining.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
Great show! Great music! Funny, sweet and touching.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
MusicalMoments
I missed the production the first time in came through Chicago. My friend Alice shared that it was coming back to the city and told me I must see it, I trust how well she knows me. The Cadillac Palace is a beautiful old theatre. From our second balcony seats, looking down at the stage, it felt familiar. Set like a pub in Ireland, it felt like home. Old wood and weathered mirrors. Musicians and drinks. It was Dublin or any other town in Ireland. From the start the characters lilt in their voices felt so comfortable. Being a second generation 100 perfect Irish lass myself, hearing Da in reference to the father of the story, made me feel proud of my heritage. I missed all of those who have passed a little more as well. The story centers on a broken-hearted young man and the amazing woman he meets. In a very short time pushes him to realize his musical gift. The cast of characters are also transformed in the process. What made this musical stand out for me was its subtle beauty. The set changes were nothing short of stunning. Not the usual folks in black changing a scene but ballet like moves that were graceful without being obvious. The way the other performers slowly came into join a scene whether in character or simply on an instrument, were so smooth. The brick wall behind the main half-moon shaped pub came into the musical during the second set with a moving message about fear will stay with me always.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
AdrianneGB
I did not realize that the actors would be speaking with an Irish accent. I cannot process accents of any sort, so missed much of the dialogue. However, it was easy to understand the story and the music was absolutely wonderful. So, if you have no trouble with accents, see this play.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
For fans of the original movie, this show really delivered. The musical talent was top notch and a very respectful homage to the movie.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
MusicalLover2300
This show was stunning, I want to see is 10 more times!!!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Kath604
This is my second time seeing this play. I loved it more the second time, almost as much as I loved it the first time. It is unique. Having the stage as a functioning bar, the musicians also being actors and dancers, as well as stage figures. The voices of the whole ensemble. The two stars have amazing voices, the music enticing and pulling you in. I hope it comes back again, as I would see it again.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
djdcary
What a beautiful musical! The story is universal. The music is such that days later, I'm still humming. The actors were really good. See it if you have a chance.
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
2ontheaisle
Fantastic show from start to finish I can't wait to see it again!
Cadillac Palace - Chicago, IL - Wed, Jun 3, 2015
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Roze79
What was very impressive for me was the range of the actors and actresses. Quadruple threat....they sing, they dance, they act.....they play instruments!!!!!! The main characters were also believable. Butt the pace of the show was not to my liking. Sometimes the pause between one sentence to another was just a hair too long, making the silence feel more uncomfortable than dramatic or purposeful. I didn't love all of the music either. It was lovely having the bar on stage and patron interaction...with the stage. It was also great having the actors exit 'stage' by just stepping into the dark and sitting. However it was also sometimes confusing as i wasn't always sure if they were really out of a scene or surreptitiously part of it...which maybe is part of the allure.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
iluvhaley
From having the stage used as a working bar for theater goers to the simple props, this show was fantastic start to finish! A strong story line, great musicians and singers, and perfectionists for actors, I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Wish I would have had time to see it again!
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Leasefrog
Had a blast - loved every minute of this performance!
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Applesara
Once was such an amazing play!! The cast was so talented and the entire show from beginning to end was wonderful!! I cried and laughed of happiness :]
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Athy
Took my mom to see this and we both completely enjoyed it. The music and voices were great. If you like Irish music you will love this play. Would see it again if it comes to Indy. Will take my daughter.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
McCabe
Once has been "our movie" for my wife and me so it was an easy decision to see the play when it came to Chicago, only a five hour drive for us. We loved the show. Allowing the audience to come on stage, the low key way the show sort of invaded the theater, having the cast on stage for the whole show were all excellent ways to present the story. The story was presented with all the best moments of the movie intact but it went beyond the movie in expanding characters and adding additional music and humor. The cast was wonderful, such talented musicians and actors. I laughed and cried, leaving the theater feeling high.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Maureen1919
The cast did a fantastic job, they were all so talented vocally. They did the movie proud- I had been waiting for this to come to Chicago for 3 years and was so happy when I saw the notice, I took my mother, aunt, and daughter- great show!!
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chicago43
I could see this show again. Loved it. The audience was so taken by the story. So simple but so many wonderful details about this show worked. Check it out.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Anonymous
Spectacular! Must see. Hope it comes back to Chicago soon.
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
JoanneMW
By the end of each act, all the muscles in my body were relaxed. All the songs were absolutely beatiful and hearing such good music seemed to mentally AND physically refresh me- and I cannot say that about anything else. The musicianship from each of the actors was admirable to say the least. They were so energetic and in tune with each other and so talented with so many different instruments! Not to mention the show was hilarious (when it needed to be) and the actors' accents were flawless and added on to some of the comedy. It was a good story of hope and I encourage everyone and their mother to see it !
Oriental Theatre Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
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