"Once: The Musical" will come to John R. Emens Auditorium Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. The nationally-touring, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical tells the story of a Czech woman interested in a Dublin street musician's work. Joan Marcus // Photo Provided
Touring Broadway musical 'Once' comes to Emens
If you’ve ever wanted to see a nationally-touring, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, wait no longer.
“Once: The Musical” will be performed at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 in Emens Auditorium.
“Once” tells the story of a Czech woman who takes interest in a Dublin street musician’s work. With her support, his talent grows and they begin to connect over more than just music.
What: "Once: The Musical"
Where: Emens Auditorium
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 26
Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online and are free for students in advance.
“It tells an unforgettable story about going for your dreams, not living in fear, and the power of music to connect us all,” said Kristi Chambers, assistant director of marketing and communications at Emens.
Mackenzie Lesser-Roy is one of the cast members. She has been a fan of the show since she was 16, when she saw it on Broadway.
" As a musician and actor, it spoke to me and inspired me like very few other musicals have," she said. "The characters are so truthful, quirky and awkward, just like real people. I never knew I could feel so connected to characters that were made up. It's difficult not to become invested in the lives of these very special and loving characters."
“Once” also allows audience interaction. Each performance requires a cash bar or pub on stage open to the audience during intermission and half an hour before the show starts.
“This is a rather unique request, yet one that should provide an interactive experience for the audience to literally be a part of the cast and set,” Chambers said. “Though we have never had a request such as this before, University Catering was eager to assist us in staffing this on-stage bar.”
This is Lesser-Roy's first time touring with a show, and she said the experience has been exciting.
"I've been able to see parts of the country I never would have seen otherwise. I now have favorite cities all over the country," she said.
One of the things that makes the tour special is spending so much time with the cast, she said.
"When you spend every minute of every day together, you get to a level of comfortability that can only be compared to that of a relationship with a family member," Lesser-Roy said. "Every up and down we experience, we experience it all together, and that has created a very special bond among us all."
“Once” won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Its song “Falling Slowly” was nominated for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
The performance is part of the Artist Series at Emens, which is a subscription-based series that’s been around since 1964. The series allows patrons to reserve the same seat to each of the six to eight performances during the year.
For Ball State students, tickets to Artist Series performances are free to encourage students’ campus experience, Chambers said.
“‘Once’ was chosen to be a part of this series because of its national prominence and appeal to a wide range of demographic audiences,” she said. "I hope that this inspiring tale captivates students and the community alike to follow your dreams."
Lesser-Roy said she hopes the audience comes to the show with an open mind.
"This show is unique and not your typical musical," she said. "It will surprise you in ways that you wouldn't expect when you buy a ticket to a 'musical.' I hope it inspires people to live their lives fearlessly and appreciate the people they love."