Once More, With a Deal

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When we were younger and living on Long Island, our mom would take us into the city now and then and get us ‘twofers’ as she called them – the two for one half prices Broadway show tickets at TKTS. Thus was born my love of discount show tickets, and many an early Sunday morning has been spent on line (or in the queue as they say here) getting half price tickets for shows – recently with nieces and over the summer, my sister Deborah. It was this past summer when Deborah and I got tickets to see “Once: The Musical” on Broadway. We both loved it – the music and songs were fun and touching. The characters well-drawn, and the skill of the actors remarkable – all of the company played instruments and sang, all of which were key to the storyline.
The songs made their way to my iPhone, and were the soundtrack for the next weeks – which included my trip to London to discuss my new role. Playing in my ears as I jogged through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, the songs from “Once” became linked to my journey here.
And so it was fitting that my first West End show would be seeing ““Once: the Musical”” once more, this time with my dependable theatre date Anna. We’ve seen many shows together, hitting the twofer shop at the Liecester Square tube entrance – Encore Tickets. This one is always pretty dependable for a good selection, and last week was no different. We went on a Tuesday night, which is a good night to go as there are more tickets available to shows in general – once at the theatre we saw there were plenty of available seats.
If you see “Once,” go early, as you can get a drink at the working bar on stage (semi-working, the bottle of Macallan turned out to be a prop). About ten minutes before curtain time, the cast comes on stage with their instruments and perform a few songs with the theatre-goers on stage. Once the ushers move the audience to their seats, the lights slowly dim and the performers segue into the show. The West End cast did not disappoint. The Irish accents were (not surprisingly) a bit thicker over here, but the performances were top notch. The leads had great chemistry and the full
cast delivered strong performances and top-notch musical abilities. The joy of seeing a work for the second time is to catch the early moments which carry deeper resonance upon the conclusion – I was moved to tears quite early on, knowing how certain moments pay off later.
I look forward to the next West End Tuesday trip, and will check out more of the twofer venues to see what the comparable selection is like. Have you any good suggestions on good theatre deals in London or elsewhere?

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