“Once” Is Not Enough

ameka menes

While in London, I saw “Once,” the musical, in London’s Phoenix Theatre. I had heard many great things about it, but I was completely unprepared for what I would experience. In my time in London, we saw a lot of shows as a class: operas, plays, concerts – but not one of those made me cry. “Once” however, by myself on my final night in London, did the trick.

It’s about a requited love that simply can’t happen. A woman discovers a man singing along to his guitar, and watches him finish his performance by flinging his pick into his case followed by his instrument. Fed up with his inability to make any progress with his music, he’s ready to give up on his gift – and ultimately himself. This woman intervenes and sticks by his side, encouraging him to pursue his dreams… one of which is her. Whether or not she agrees in the end, you’ll need to see for yourself. Just keep some tissues nearby, okay?

I discovered later, upon mentioning the musical to a friend, that the musical is based on a movie. I was flabbergasted. Now I want to see that, too. I mean, this is totally one of the best things to ever happen in the world, and it took me crossing the pond to London to find it! It’s funny how you study abroad and then all of sudden your life changes. Things in other places, apart from our norm, can impact us in interesting ways.

So does anyone know where I could find a copy of the film version of “Once”? I’m serious: I’m ready to watch it right now. And if you’re not familiar with the heart-wrenching lyrics the protagonists sing, go YouTube “If You Want Me,” “When Your Mind’s Made Up,” “Falling Slowly,” “Say It To Me,” and “The Hill.”

There is nothing like seeing those songs performed live during the musical. If you ever get to see it, I promise it is so worth the ticket price.