She has played the instrument for years but never in front of a live audience. Though she found the element particularly challenging,
"It's a great story to tell," the English-born actress said.
The Tony-winning musical based on
Since its premiere on
The touring production, which opened at the Hollywood Pantages, arrives at the
Guy is a street singer-songwriter in
"I saw this production in
But one of his friends told him he'd love the music, and after downloading the soundtrack -- written mostly by the movie's stars,
"I'd never heard music like that, and the music is the reason why I wanted to do the show," he said. "Not just the music itself, but the fact that it's a story about creating music, a story about the healing power of music."
Tiffany had an immediate thought about the show's direction. He wanted the actors to double as musicians, playing their own instruments in front of the audience.
"Actors have played instruments onstage for years, but not always in a show about making music," he said.
After hearing Tiffany was attached to the project and spending two days together reading the screenplay and listening to the songs, Walsh was convinced he wanted to do the show.
He also wanted to do something for his homeland, which was hurt in the recession. "I thought it would be sweet to do a little love letter to
In addition to his tribute to
Before the start of the show, lucky patrons can come onstage, pay for a drink and mingle with the cast. The actors, playing Irish and Czech music, want theatergoers to imagine being in a pub.
"We wanted the audience to own the experience," Walsh said. "We needed to be sure that there are all these other love stories in the air. Each person is riffing off a love that's been lost, that got away. That was the key, for the audience to feel part of the experience, and also to look at the people on the stage and go, 'They're us.'"
Tiffany said it's the story's realistic romance, in which two people fall in love but do not live happily ever after together, that has made the film and stage musical successful.
"I think what's very moving about the piece is how sometimes we meet people who we don't necessarily stay with forever, but they give us the resources to move on to the next part of our life," he said.
"People have said to me, 'When I was sitting in the theater watching "Once," I felt like I was watching it with everyone I've ever loved, whether or not they're still in my life.'"
If You Go
Cost: Tickets start at
Information: (714) 556-2787 or scfta.org
(c)2014 the Huntington Beach Independent (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Visit the Huntington Beach Independent (Huntington Beach, Calif.) at www.hbindependent.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services