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Broadway's 'Once' offers quick return on investment

August 14, 2012|By Chris Barton
  • Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in "Once."
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in "Once." (Joan Marcus / Associated…)

This just in: The Tony Award-winning musical "Once" is a hit.

Following in the footsteps of the low-budget Irish film that inspired the musical, "Once" has delivered a return on its initial $5.5-million investment in just six months. The film version, which starred musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglová, was made for $150,000 and went on to earn roughly $20 million as the left-field indie hit of 2006.

In an announcement Monday, the Broadway show's producers crowed that "Once" recouped its investment "faster than any Tony Award-winning best musical in more than a decade." A national tour of the stage musical will reportedly launch in 2013.

The story of an unrequited love between a heartsick busker (known in the  credits only as "Guy") who falls under the spell of a Czech flower vendor, the musical adaptation opened at the New York Theater Workshop in December 2011, then moved to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway early this year.

In a review from March, the L.A. Times' Charles McNulty expressed reservations about the musical's length given its fable-like story, but wrote, "'Once' depends on your dreamy-headed complicity. But even if you resist, you’ll still be humming 'Falling Slowly' on your way home."

The production was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won eight, including best musical, best actor and best book, which was written by Irish playwright Enda Walsh.


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