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Thank you to all of our wonderful patrons who made ONCE a big success!

Performed by StageDoor's Adult Company


Directed by Tanner Kelly



Based on the Motion Picture Written & Directed by JOHN CARNEY



The story of a guy who gave up on love and music, and the girl who inspired him to dream again.  Guy, a heartbroken musician busking for coins on the streets of Dublin, meets Girl, a Czech immigrant with a complicated history and a broken vacuum cleaner. ONCE tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights... but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance.



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Read the Reviews

Once Reviews

From OnStage Colorado:

StageDoor brings the magic with its production of ‘Once’

By Alex Miller| OnStage Colorado|Jun 19, 2023|Categories: Reviews|Tags: conifermusical

The Conifer theatre sticks the landing with the charmingly complex musical

It’s not that often that I see or review the same show twice, but after being wowed by the Miners Alley Playhouse production of the musical Once a few years back, I was keen to see it again up in Conifer at StageDoor Theatre.

It did not disappoint.

Director Tanner Kelly assembled a simply extraordinary cast of local talent to meet the challenging roles inherent in the show. Everyone on stage plays an instrument and sings, and there’s not a weak link in the bunch. What I love about this show is how the music itself is so woven into the action, but it’s impossible to do without an ensemble overflowing with talent. This StageDoor production has this in spades for Once.

The story centers around a talented but unsuccessful Irish singer-songwriter named, simply, “Guy” (Gunnar Bettis). At the top of the show, he sings “Leave,” and then does just that: leaving his guitar on the street and starting to walk away. But “Girl” (Olivia Kisicki) has heard him play, loves his song and implores him to give it another shot.

So begins a master class by Girl in how to poke, prod, cajole, encourage and scold an artist into realizing their true potential. Oh, and of course there’s a love story that unfolds between Guy and Girl, but it doesn’t necessarily end up in the same place as, say, one of those Hallmark movies.

It’s more complicated than that — way more complicated. While Guy lives with his widowed father above the family vacuum-repair shop, Girl shares a Dublin flat with three roommates from her native Czech Republic. This location plus Guy’s flat and the main setpiece — a neighborhood pub — are all well delineated in the busy, functional set designed by Dean Arniotes and Biz Schaugaard. With 13 people on stage, there’s a lot of traffic management that Kelly handles well.

At the center of the action, Bettis and Kisicki are tremendous. Both hugely talented singers and instrumentalists (he on guitar, she on piano), they’ve inhabited their roles to a T and enjoy clear chemistry in telling the story of their characters’ almost romance. With the help of dialect coach Miranda Guettlein, their Irish and Czech accents are believable — as are those of the rest of the cast.

With its stadium-style seating, StageDoor’s space allows for a real up-close experience watching the story unfold. One of the magical elements of Once is how many of the musical numbers start out slow and with only one instrument, then build as the rest of the cast starts to chime in with guitars, mandolins, drums, two violins, a cello, piano, accordion and more. It’s really fun to watch.

This is one of those shows that everyone should get out and see — it’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying it. StageDoor’s production is first-rate, and a great example of a community theatre pulling out the stops to make something special.

It’s only got three performances left, though, so get to it this weekend if you can!


From - Chris Arneson

There are not very many musicals like Once, which might be why you rarely see it tackled regionally. The entire cast is tasked with playing some kind of instrument, making the show feel more like an immersive folksy concert with a plot. 


Now playing through June 25, Once at StageDoor Theatre in Conifer not only captures the distinctively raw sound of Irish folk music, the cast embodies it with vigor. Directed by Tanner Kelly, the show fits perfectly into the smaller space, allowing the music to capture the crowd.


Once is based on the 2007 indie film that propelled the song "Falling Slowly" to receive an Oscar for best original song. The musical itself won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical along with 7 other accolades. 

It follows a Dublin musician textually referred to as Guy (Gunnar Bettis), who meets Girl (Olivia Kisicki) while busking on the streets. As he's about to give up on his music, she approaches him with a busted vaccuum, offering to pay for its repair with music. Coincidentally, Guy fixes hoovers, and fate runs its course with the pair. 

While the whimsical story is sweet and simplistic, it's the music that truly draws you in. In Once, every actor plays double duty as a musician. There are several instruments, like guitars, violins, piano, accordion and even a cajón. The score is both haunting and celebratory, and the cast wonderfully expresses a range of emotions. 

Bettis plays Guy with both vocal and instrumental aptitude, giving him a bit of a shy confidence that lands just right when he performs. As Girl, Kisicki has spot-on comic timing along with masterful vocalizing. The entire cast shines as an ensemble, yet each of the 13-member cast has at least a few standout moments.

The stage is set like a bar, utilizing the space very well, including some smart usage of the upper proscenium. I craved a bit of the show's preshow performing, which really settles in the crowd into the vibe of the show before the action starts, but it's not entirely necessary.


Ultimately, Stagedoor's Once provided me with all the familiar feeling I've come to love about the show.

From a First-Time StageDoor Patron:

We just went to your theater for the first time and saw Once. I watched the movie years ago, loved it so much that I bought the movie. The movie inspired me to explore Glen Hansard and Marketa's music. 

The first time I saw swell season tour was at Ellie Caullkins' opera house. I have seen them 3 times and am seeing them again in August. I have also seen the Broadway version of Once. That is how much I love this!

A few months ago, I loaned my movie out to an employee, who also loved it. Her daughter worked at stage door and they recently visited me to tell me that Once was playing at StageDoor! 

 I had never been to your theater. I hadn't seen anything at local theater in forever! 

The performance was terrific. I cried. I sang along, I laughed. I cried some more. It filled up my soul. Local theater is one of the things that brings me the most joy and makes me feel all the feels! 

Thank you so much for your beautiful interpretation. It was executed in such a lovely and creative way. The musicians were fantastic. You captured the heart and soul of Once. Thank you a million times. 

We will definitely check out your theater again and often! Your theater is lovely.

I love local theater!

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