Sunday, May 6, 2018

Paramount Theatre hits the right notes in stirring version of "Once"

Photo by Liz Lauren


Once again, the Paramount Theatre hits all the right notes with its production of "Once," which runs through June 3.

For those not familiar with the story, "Once," a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin, tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story. 

"Once" is based on the Oscar-winning 2007 movie, which took home the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly.” The movie stars real-life musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

The Paramount Theatre sets the mood before the curtain even rises. Patrons can stroll on stage to purchase beverages at a Irish bar, and a jam session among the musicians on stage before the show helps to get the audience in the mood for the production.

Sparks start flying early between Barry DeBois, who plays the character Guy, and Tiffany Topol, who plays Girl. DeBois and Topol shine in their roles and clearly understand the emotional baggage that both Guy and Girl are carrying.

They also earn high marks for the emotions they pour into the songs, written by Hansard and Irglova. 

The production is blessed by a spectacular cast of actors and musicians, including Jon Patrick Penick, who offers a hilarious take as Billy, a piano store owner. Kudos also go to director Jim Corti, who brings a sense of intimacy to the production, in turn allowing audience members to become part of the story as it is unfolding on stage.

The Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. For tickets, go to or call 630-896-6666.