The Orpheum Theatre radiates southern grandeur and hospitality—and that’s exactly what I experienced on Tuesday’s opening night of ONCE. I’ll take any excuse to visit the Orpheum—rain or shine—and I think it’s safe to say most of Memphis agrees with me. The lobby was crowded as we escaped the rain and waited to be seated. I have to agree with Michael, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house and the staff is always ready to help you find your spot.
The show begins as the doors to the theater open to reveal the show set—an inviting Irish bar, luring you up the stage steps to grab a drink. As you take your seat or wait for a drink, the cast of ONCE takes the stage with their own instruments and warms the audience up with a jam session that eases into the opening act. ONCE tells the story of two musicians with undeniable chemistry…and baggage. The show draws you in with its music, humor and relatability. It’s beautifully simple in its execution and the amount of talent in the room is immediately evident after the first note is played.
It would seem that the cast of ONCE is just as taken with our city as I am with them. Donna Garner, who plays Baruska, worked with some local high schoolers on their vocal auditions while in town and Reza (my personal favorite) played by Erica Swindell, delighted Grizz fans as she sang the national anthem at Wednesday’s season opener. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.
ONCE is playing the Orpheum through November 2nd. Trust me on this one, Memphis. Do yourself a favor and go see ONCE. Twice. Click here to grab your tickets.