Virginia Repertory Theatre Announces the Company of Once

By | January 27, 2019

Virginia Repertory Theatre Announces the Company of Once

Based on the Film by John Carney
Direction and Choreography by Nathaniel Shaw

Virginia Repertory Theatre announces the opening of Once on Friday,
February 8, 2019 at the November Theatre/Arenstein Stage, 114 West Broad Street. The show will run through Sunday, March 3, 2019. Previews will be on Wednesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 7, 2019. With music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, and book by Enda Walsh, this enchanting and emotionally captivating musical love story is based on the 2007 movie by John Carney.

Described as one of the most original musicals of our time, Once follows a classic tale of boy-meets-girl, but through the eyes of two musicians and the community they bring together on the streets of Dublin. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Falling Slowly”), Once features a cast that acts as its own orchestra to tell a story about love, humanity, and the redemptive power of music.

Virginia Repertory Theatre is presenting this production of Once in association with the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After the production closes in Richmond on March 3, the actors, instruments and scenery will relocate to Lancaster, where the run will continue March 19 through April 14, 2019.

Virginia Rep’s production of Once is proud to participate in this year’s annual Acts of Faith Festival. The Acts of Faith Festival is the nation’s largest faith-inspired theatre festival, a vibrant and inclusive community-wide collaboration involving RVA’s theatres and faith communities.

Virginia Rep is thrilled to welcome Ken Allen Neely and Katherine Fried to Richmond for their November Theatre debuts as Guy and Girl. Both Neely and Fried recently completed a run of Once at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Other NYC/Off-Broadway credits for Neely include Adam Pascal in Madame Pascal (Dixon Place), Christian in Cobalteans (Davenport
Theatre), and Nick in Puppet Dead (Mills Entertainment). Other credits for Fried include Viola in Shakespeare in Love, Katherine in Henry V (Illinois Shakespeare Festival); and Doris in The American Clock (Guthrie Theater).

J. Michael Zygo joins the company as Emcee, as well as Musical Director, Associate Choreographer, Dance Captain and Music Captain. Zygo was an original cast member/musician of the Tony Award-winning Once on Broadway (Emcee, u/s Guy, u/s Billy, Dance Captain, Associate Conductor) and featured on the Grammy Award-winning cast album. Broadway
credits include School Of Rock (Ensemble, u/s Ned, u/s Theo). Off-Broadway credits include Once (NYTW) and Man of Rock (NYMF).

Virginia Rep Artistic Director Nathaniel Shaw will direct and choreograph the production, following the success of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time earlier this season and last summer’s smash hit, West Side Story (RTCC Award for Best Musical). Shaw also was an Associate Choreographer for Once, supervising both the Broadway production and first national tour.

Bill Mohney will serve as scenic designer. Mohney is the Head of Production at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ruth Hedberg (Pinkalicious; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) will design costumes. Joe Doran will serve as lighting designer. Recent Virginia Rep credits include Fun Home and In The Heights. Virginia Rep Audio Visual Supervisor Derek
Dumais (Sister Act, West Side Story) will Sound Design. Amanda Durst (Da, The End of War) will serve as Dialect Coach.

The full creative team and cast list is below.

Direction & Design:
Director/Choreographer – Nathaniel Shaw^
Musical Director/Assoc. Choreographer – J. Michael Zygo
Associate Director – Katrinah Carol Lewis
Production Stage Manager – Jocelyn A. Thompson*
AEA Asst. Stage Manager – Kerri J. Lynch*
Asst. Stage Manager – Lydia Crush
Scenic Designer – Bill Mohney
Lighting Designer – Joe Doran

Costume Designer – Ruth Hedberg
Sound Designer – Derek Dumais
Dialect Coach – Amanda Durst

Cast List:
Guy – Ken Allen Neely*
Girl – Katherine Fried
Da – Christopher Seiler*
Baruska – Kelly Kennedy*
Ex-Girlfriend – Hilary Alexa Caldwell
Svec – Trevor Lindley Craft
Andrej – Lennon Hu
Billy – Jon Patrick Penick
Bank Manager – Andrew Nielson
Eamon – Will Hart
Emcee – J. Michael Zygo*
Reza – Lauren Wright
Ivanka – Isabel Lewis, Keeley Maddux

^ The Director is a member of the STAGE DIRECTORS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS SOCIETY, a national theatrical labor union.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the U.S.A.

Ticket Information
Box Office: 804-282-2620
Full Price Tickets: $36 – $63
Discounted Group Rates and Rush tickets available.
U-Tix for college and high school students $15. Available by phone or in person, day of show only. Valid Student ID required.

Performance Schedule
Evening performances at 7:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays and every Thursday
Evening performances at 8:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday
Matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays and Saturdays and every Sunday

Accessibility Programs

Audio Described Performances
In collaboration with Virginia Voice, Virginia Rep is pleased to offer Audio Described performances, in which actions, expressions and gestures are described during gaps between dialogue throughout the performance for patrons with low vision or blindness. In addition to live audio description during performances, patrons are also invited to participate in a tactile tour
before the performance. The Audio Described performance for Once will be on Sunday, February 17 at 2 p.m.

Induction Loop
The Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre is equipped with a state-of the-art induction loop hearing system that is compatible with all telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. A handheld receiver and headphone system is also available free of charge for anyone who is
hearing impaired.

Community Tickets Grant
Virginia Rep is thrilled to offer a free Community Tickets Grant for nonprofit organizations. We encourage all organizations who have a demonstrated need for complimentary tickets to fill out a short application on our website:

Valet parking is available for $8 at all performances and free self-parking is available for patrons within blocks of the theatre. Valet is complimentary for patrons who dine at Max’s on Broad or Tarrant’s Cafe before the show. Valet is no longer located in front of the theatre, and has been moved less than one block away to Jefferson Street.

About Virginia Repertory Theatre
Virginia Repertory Theatre is a regional professional theatre in Richmond, Virginia. With a budget of $5.5 million, four distinct venues, an educational touring arm, and an annual audience over 530,000, Virginia Rep is one of the largest performing arts organizations in Central Virginia. Virginia Rep stages four seasons annually: the Signature Season at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, Theatre Gym Season in partnership with Cadence Theatre Company, Virginia Rep’s Children’s Season at Willow Lawn, and the Hanover Tavern Season.

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