At the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 245 West 45th Street. The musical opens on March 18, 2012 and is booking until January 6, 2013. It runs two hours twenty minutes with one intermission.
The musical is an adaptation of the 2007 Academy Award film. The song "Falling Slowly" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2008 the sound track was nominated for two Grammy Awards. It won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music. Music Lyrics are by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.
The story is about "Guy" an Irish musician (Steve Kazee) and a Czech immigrant "Girl" (Cristin Miliotti) whose lives change when they meet by chance. Girl is drawn to Guy playing music on the street. She loves his voice and the song he is singing. His girl friend went to the United States and has met another man there. Guy is about to abandon his hopes making it in the music industry. In the course of a week they are drawn to each other both emotionally and physically. Girl helps him renew his dreams by helping him get a loan and find musicians so that he can make a demo tape of his music to circulate in the industry .
This is a beautiful love story simply done but with gusto.
The cast is outstanding. This is a multi task and multi talented group of actors. Beside the two lead actors there eleven actors that play different roles and different musical instruments. Paul Whitty said they had to learn how play multiple instruments. Among the instruments played are the guitar, piano, melodica, harmonica, electric bass, drums, accordion, banjo, violin and tambourine.
The stage is a circular bar with picture frames with mirrors in them. Chairs on the side are where the cast members sit and play unless they are in a scene. Bob Crowley did the scene and costume design. He has been nominated ten times for a Tony Award and has won five for designing the Broadway Productions of "Carousal" (1994) "Aida" (2000), "The History Boys" (2006) "Mary Poppins" (2007), and "The Coast of Utopia" (2007) . He is the recipient of the "Laurence Olivier Award" for Best Set Design and has won three Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Design.
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioni work well together. There is a chemistry between them especially when they sing "Falling Slowly". It was sung so beautifully it sent chills down my spine. They both gave an exceptional performance. Paul Whitty who played Billy a music store owner stole a couple scenes. One was a little off colored - how he kept a straight face I don't know but he did.
This is a love story that could end two ways depending on who you rooting for. I'm not telling.
If you a romantic at heart or just love a musical that is not complex this is the show to see. I wouldn't mind seeing it again myself.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor