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Tony Award-winning ‘Once’ at PPAC

The technical crew of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Once” arrived over two weeks ago to set up the lights, sound and staging for the launching of the National Tour of the hit Broadway musical.

The talented cast arrived over a week ago to rehearse Broadway Best Musical and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre album.

Executive Producer Robert Cole, a recipient of four Tony Awards, was on hand to assure that everything was in place for yesterday’s opening.

Providence has become the city of choice for many Broadway shows kicking off national tours. Cole had four reasons for opening in Providence: (1) Being properly pursued by PPAC’s staff; (2) the accessibility to New York City; (3) cooperation and assistance of the local government; and (4) good restaurants.

He saw no problem in a “small” production (compared to “Wicked” and “Phantom,” playing in a 3,000-seat theatre after starting as a small workshop production in Cambridge, Mass., moving to the 150-seat NYC Theatre Workshop and then to the 1,000-seat Jacobs Theatre on Broadway, where my daughter saw it recently and fell in love with it.

“This is a special show in a lot of ways,” Cole said. “It has the effect on you. There’s just something about it that makes you leave the theatre feeling good.”

“Once,” based on the 2007 movie about an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their love for music, is filled with memorable songs. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together.

“Once” is at the Providence Performing Arts Center through Oct. 6. For reservations call 421-ARTS.


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