“Once” Upon a Time in Ireland
By Skip Sheffield
Dani de Waal is a young British woman born in Germany to a South African father. She co-stars with Stuart Ward in the Irish musical “Once” as a Czech girl in love with an Irish street musician. The musical fable “Once” runs Oct. 6-18 at the Broward Center for the Arts.
Dani de Waal has been playing the role of “The Girl” for more than two years and will stay with the show until it finishes its national tour leg in December.
“It’s been a long haul,” she says cheerily. “The show is about more than just the feelings between two people. It is about going for your dreams and pushing for all it’s worth.”
“Once” is based on a 2007 Irish musical film by John Carney, with a new book by Irish playwright Edna Walsh. The film stars were Glen Hansard playing a 33-year-old Irish street musician and Marketa Irglova as a 17-year-old Czech girl and aspiring pianist-singer. Irglova was the same age as her character and she collaborated with Hansard on writing, singing and performing the songs. She also fell in love with Hansard in real life, which made the movie all the more romantically convincing. Such fairy tale romances don’t always last, but the songs of once, especially the hit ballad “Falling Slowly,” are forever.
“The important thing is that these two people have changed each other’s lives,” offers de Waal. “It is less important that they stay together. It is not the end of their life’s journey.”
“Once” is performed by a large cast, each singing and playing their own instruments onstage.
“The beauty of the show is it is real,” says de Waal. “Love is complicated but the music is beautiful.”
Tickets for “Once” are $35-$125 at TicketMaster. Call 800-745-3000 or 954-462-0222.