Sacred Heart’s Theatre Arts Program Presents “Once”

A story of music, love and friendship all told from center stage.

On April 15-18, Sacred Heart University’s Theatre Arts Program (TAP) presented “Once,” the Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, in the Edgerton Theatre. Tickets were available for Sacred Heart students at a cost of $5 and free to all Sacred Heart faculty and staff with their SHU ID.

The musical starred seniors Rebecca Radisic and Charlie Fusari, who, along with singing and acting throughout the show, played the guitar and piano respectively with almost every musical number.

“‘Once’ is one of those shows that can make you laugh, smile and cry all at the same time. Throughout the whole show, I was in awe. It was truly amazing,” said sophomore MacKenzie DeVries. “The leads Charlie and Rebecca played their characters perfectly and their voices were incredible. I had goosebumps the entire time. When the show ended, all I wanted to do was watch it again.”

“Two of my friends are the two lead roles, and it has been so inspiring watching them find their characters and developing the story with them. I’ve always been impressed with the production quality of our shows, but this one in particular has been such a joy to create,” said TAP vice president Emma Trimmings.

According to a TAP Instagram post, both lead actors, along with the entire ensemble, were vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the performance. The accompanists wore masks on stage, seated behind the actors. The musical also featured social distancing within the audience’s seating selection.

“This year has been super rough with trying to perform during a pandemic. However, we have been so lucky that administrators at this school are working with us. For this show, we were all able to get vaccinated through the school if we had not gotten it ourselves, and it has been so weird performing mask-less, but it has been so great because I can almost see the light at the end of all this,” said Trimmings.

“‘Once’ has been an incredible experience for the entire company because of the simple fact of being able to put the show up. COVID-19 has seriously limited theatre, and being able to perform a show as great as this makes the experience all the more special,” said TAP president Erica Allocca.

The musical “Once” is based on the major motion picture of the same name, released in theatres in 2007. The film was directed by John Carney.

Edna Walsh wrote the adapted book written for the musical. The music and lyrics were done by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

According to IMDB, “Once” is “a modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.”

According to materials provided by TAP, “This emotionally captivating musical is the only show to have music that won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Olivier Award and a Tony Award.”

Additionally, according to materials provided by TAP, the performance featured “all of the magical songs from the critically acclaimed film, including the Oscar-winning ‘Falling Slowly.’”

“The production brings everyone together, and we incorporate members from other departments from performing arts, like the dance ensemble,” said Allocca. “Everyone is just overjoyed to come back from this pandemic stronger than ever.”

“I just want to say thank you to all the people at Sacred Heart who continue to support the Theatre Arts Program. We are so grateful to everyone that has come to the shows this year,” said Trimmings.

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