Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-05-07 18:38:16
So I am planning my trip to NYC for late June. So far Evita is for sure, but I am not sure about my other two slots. I am on the fence about Once... based on the cast recording and what I have "seen" of the show, I just don't know, but after reading about how much everyone loved it on here I am really thinking I should go see it. I know a lot of people who are not into Irish folk music and even the cast recording thoroughly enjoyed it. So I guess my question is, should I give it a chance? It would probably end up being Once or Newsies, so for anyone who has seen both, I would love some insight! Thanks!
Posted by michellek45 2012-05-07 18:41:22
I haven't seen Newsies, but we seem to be in a similar situation for Once. Like you, the album and the clips didn't "wow" me, but I figured it must play out differently at the theater because everyone was raving about it. I ended up not liking it, and occasionally I was even bored by it. This is coming from someone who loves Irish folk music, too. The best indicator, I think, is watching the movie.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-05-07 18:46:53
^ I disagree -- I don't think the film is "all that" and I love the show.
You aren't going to get a consensus here: you'll have 1/2 tell you Once & 1/2 tell you Newsies.
It really depends on what you like. If you want your musicals to be flashy and big: see newsies. If you prefer substance over style, see Once. I think it's sophisticated in its simplicity.
I don't know your age, but I brought 100 HS kids (and we saw Evita, Newsies and Once) and about 98% would tell you Once was by FAR the 'better' show and they just loved it, but a good 75 or 80% really liked Newsies as well.
edited for clarification.
Posted by broadwaydevil 2012-05-07 18:53:56
Newsies is fine but the score has only a few fun songs and the rest is just boring. The choreography is exciting at first but gets old after you realize it's all the same. The book is barely there and only slightly improved from the movie (I'm sorry movie fans!) I guess the whole thing is just ok. It can definitely be a fun night at the theatre but I could never imagine walking away thinking it's brilliant.
Once - don't base any of your opinions on the cast recording. Part of the magic of Once is the staging, dialogue, and the tremendous performances that can only be seen live. I bought the recording after seeing the show, so I went in knowing none of the music except for "Falling Slowly." Although I love listening to the score, I also realized listening to it before seeing the show would definitely not prepare me for the magic that I saw on stage. Steve Kazee and Cristin Miloti are delivering star making performances and I haven't seen a musical staged so intimately and so beautifully in a very long time. The preshow is also tons of fun so get there early! The show is a must-see for anyone who loves music.
My recommendation is obvious! :)
Posted by HeyMrMusic 2012-05-07 18:56:21
I've seen both and would see Once again in a heartbeat. I'd see it many more times. Newsies is fine if you want to see chorus boys belting their faces off while doing fouetté turns on newspapers and Jeremy Jordan effortlessly hitting high A's like it's nothing. And that's fine, we need that every once in a while. But Once is the perfect combination of song, dance, story, orchestration, acting, musicianship, ensemble, design, direction... It's a wholly satisfying piece of theatre. It is so much more than a musical.
Posted by BwayTday 2012-05-07 22:29:21
HeyMrMusic said it best. While I really did enjoy Newsies, Once is by far more satisfying experience overall. The energies provided by both shows are extremely different, so it really depends on what you typically enjoy. Newsies may win on the "flash" and "pow" factors, but Once seemed 100 times more heartfelt (as a show, not referring to the casts, which both seem to be very passionate) and in the end more touching. Newsies was a lot of fun, but I have never seen a show like Once and it was a fully rewarding theatrical experience.
Posted by PalJoey 2012-05-08 00:20:43
Once is a rare piece of theater magic. Don't miss it.
Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-05-08 00:22:32
Thank you everyone. I am probably only going to get to see two shows. Evita is for sure since it is one of my all time favorites and I absolutely adore Elena Roger. This thread really has me leaning towards Once for my second choice. While Newsies looks entertaining, it does not look as unique and stylized as Once.
Posted by LuminousBeing 2012-05-08 01:13:34
I have to agree with the posters on this board. I've seen both of them and would recommend "Once" over "Newsies" without hesitation. Other posters have explained why beautifully.
Posted by adam.peterson44 2012-05-08 02:00:43
I'll add here that while I bought my ticket for last weekend as soon as they went on sale a few months ago, I was worried after they released the cast recording for free online - I listened to it and did not enjoy it at all. But I did very much enjoy the overall production. It felt more like a play with music to me than an integrated musical per se (that's my reaction, not a description of how it is being marketed/considered, etc.), but the book was absolutely delightful, the tunes were very pleasant, and the lyrics, while nothing all that special, worked very well in the context of the show.
Posted by breathyfemalevocal 2012-05-08 02:06:26
Just want to add my opinion since I so appreciate when others respond with advice for me.
I had the same feelings you seem to have before seeing Once in March while on a brief trip to NYC.
What I had heard of the songs didn't really appeal to me, but I usually like most shows to some degree. I love Spring Awakening and Next to Normal, but also Follies, A Little Night Music, Damn Yankees, Hair, Parade and even quite liked the recent The People in the Picture. [title of show] is a favorite, and I fell in love with Encore's Merrily We Roll Along. I usually want to see all of the "hit" shows, but I see almost as many off-Broadway small shows. I just couldn't pass this up.
I didn't like Once at all.
It was as if I was hearing one long Irish song with very little action for over two hours. I was bored OUT OF MY MIND. The music was monotonous, the set was stagnate, and the book was awful. Other than Steve Kazee, I didn't like any of the actors either. Yes, the musicians and cast move around the stage stomping their feet and gyrating their shoulders and other body parts, but there was so little "story" action that I still can't believe it is as successful as it is.
I was shocked that someone from the cast was nominated in a featured category; all but the leads really seemed to be one mass of people that lived in a bar and often reached for their instruments to play songs (excuse me, the SAME song) whenever someone looked sad.
An example of something I found really irritating (SPOILER, I guess). The Girl mentions that she has a broken vacuum to The Guy, who is a vacuum repairman, and, suddenly, one of the bar roommates whisks out an upright vacuum and places it in her hand. I think this was suppose to be comedic, but it was really just stupid. In comparison, the scene in the movie where she goes home overnight and brings with her the broken pull-behind vacuum the next day and then is shown pulling it around the streets as they talk...THAT is charming! As a matter of fact, I watched the movie after seeing the Broadway version and enjoyed it a thousand times better. It was very intimate, I understood who everyone was and their reasons for being there, and they didn't all live together in a bar! Ok, I'm being a little facetious, but that really is how it came across to me.
I know many love this show and some do not. I know that this has happened before with other shows (i.e. Follies, Spring Awakening, Bonnie and Clyde, BB Andre Jackson, etc.) But this is the first time I've had such an strong, certain feeling in opposition to a show that is held in such high regard by people that include some whose opinions I truly value. I've learned the true meaning of "to each his own" with my Once experience.
I hope a long run for Once, and I hope you enjoy it if you see it. I just wish I'd have spent my money and limited NYC time elsewhere.
Also, I really enjoyed Newsies at Papermill last fall and look forward to seeing it again next month. The dancing and songs were terrific, the energy of the very talented cast was electric, and I enjoyed the story and the message it is sharing with its audience.
While having positive connections to most shows, as I mentioned before, I've long had little fun with Disney productions and those of ALW (Evita and Sunset Blvd excluded.) Newsies is my first genuine love of a Disney show. The historical element of a true story basis and the period, realistic costumes (not fairy-tale Disney with plastic hair) make it much more approachable and relatable. On a side note, I didn't like the Newsies film very much; the exact opposite as my film/musical experience with Once.
I wholeheartedly rec Newsies during your trip!
Posted by ColorTheHours048 2012-05-08 04:46:53
breathyfemalevocal - Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion and I would like to say that I in no way discount yours as perfectly legitimate in regards to your personal taste in theatre. But after reading your review, I have to wonder if you completely understand theatre as a concept. Period. Bored, I can understand. But genuinely upset over the fact that a character can suddenly appear out of nowhere to deliver a prop (which is part of a conceptually driven sight gag) with no reasoning but "I think this was suppose[d] to be comedic, but it was really just stupid"? That just... kind of makes no sense.
As for the topic at hand, ONCE vs. NEWSIES, I haven't seen the latter myself, but have mostly heard good things from friends who are also fans of the movie (which I am not). I am also not the biggest fan of the original ONCE, but highly recommend the musical. It's overwhelmingly beautiful, the score is incredible, and the cast is uniformly perfect. It's definitely a piece of theatre you need to see.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-05-08 04:54:20
^ To add: How did you ever think they lived in the bar? Yes, SOMETIMES it was literal (almost never, though) but it was representative of a culture, of a feeling, of a community.
I'm sorry you didn't like it and all, and I don't begrudge your opinion, but I'm astounded by your reasons.
Posted by madbrian 2012-05-08 08:36:35
I highly recommend Once. I did not see the movie, so I went to the show with no preconceptions or expectations. It is a completely different, unique theatrical experience. It is a quiet, ethereal show that draws you in from the moment you enter the theater. I haven't seen anything like it before.
Posted by CRS14 2012-05-08 09:10:07
I'm going to echo the sentiments of the thread and recommend Once over Newsies.
I went into Once knowing next to nothing about it and left completely mesmerized. Yes, the songs are very unique and somewhat similar, but the staging of them and the emotion the actors put into them is unrivaled. There wasn't a single moment I was bored thanks in large part to the fantastic Book. There are some very emotional and tender moments that I haven't seen matched on a stage this season.
As for Newsies, I saw it at Paper Mill and absolutely adored it. The music, the cast, the dancing - everything was close to flawless. When I saw it on Broadway it was still enjoyable, but it didn't affect me like it had previously. I'm also not one to bash, but I couldn't stand Kara Lindsay's performance. After falling in love with her at Paper Mill, I was shocked at how emotionless she was this time around. Every scene she was in just never felt right and it really took away from the emotion I wish were present - her and Jeremy were not believable in the slightest.
To summarize - Once is the more complete and one-of-a-kind show which I'd highly recommend while Newsies is a fun show that won't make you think or ask you to feel anything. Steve Kazee and Jeremy Jordan are both giving performances that need to be seen (though I think Kazee deserves the Tony).
Posted by themysteriousgrowl 2012-05-08 09:19:21
**waiting patiently for it**
Posted by bearhorn 2012-05-08 09:34:08
A couple of weeks ago, a group of us came to New York to see "Once", "Evita", "Ghost" and "Leap of Faith". For us, there was NO DOUBT for which was the best of the lot. "Once" was terrific. It's not full of big song/dance production numbers, but a more intimate (& beautiful) story. The music and cast were great.
Posted by HeyMrMusic 2012-05-08 13:52:15
I'm actually quite shocked that this cast didn't get the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble, and then to snub Steve and Cristin... Every single person in this cast is perfect and it was one of the best ensemble performances I've ever seen. They are all equal champions of singing, acting, dancing, and playing. It's astonishing what they do on that stage.
Posted by willep 2012-05-08 16:15:56
^I agree completely, HeyMrMusic.
To go back to breathyfemalevocal, I will say that although I absolutely LOVE the show, that vacuum cleaner bit is easily my least favorite part.
Posted by After Eight 2012-05-08 16:30:08
My least favorite parts were the two mopes, her outfit, her hairdo, the book, and the score.
I did like the mother.
Posted by After Eight 2012-05-08 16:30:15
Posted by themysteriousgrowl 2012-05-08 17:03:30
Posted by HeyMrMusic 2012-05-08 17:14:05
In summary, don't see the show because the Girl is made to look ugly. Thanks for setting us straight, After Eight!
Posted by fashionguru_23 2012-05-09 15:39:09
Does anyone know if you are able to go stage even if you ticket is in the Mezz?
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-05-09 15:46:39
ONCE. NEWSIES is wildly overrated.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-05-09 15:53:36
Unless they have changed anything recently, there is no restriction to going on stage during the pre-show. However, at intermission, they ask you only go on stage if you are going to purchase a beverage.