Pioneer Theatre Company Presents ONCE at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre through March 2

Pioneer Theatre Company is presenting the romantic, Tony Award-winning musical Once, with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová and book by Enda Walsh, February 15 through March 2, 2019 at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South 1400 East in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The cast of Pioneer Theatre Company's "Once," running from Feb. 15-March 2. Photo by BW Productions
The cast of Pioneer Theatre Company’s “Once,” running from Feb. 15-March 2. Photo by BW Productions

Based on the motion picture written and directed by John Carney, the Sundance film-turned-Broadway-hit won eight Tonys, including Best Musical. The touching love ballad, “Falling Slowly,” also won the Oscar for Best Song. Helmed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, the production features choreography by Lainie Sakakura and music direction by Tom Griffin.

From left to right: Cody Craven (Andrej), Hillary Porter (Girl), EJ Zimmerman (Reza), Mary Fanning Driggs (Baruska), Hailey Burnham (Ivonka) and Zander Meisner (Švec) in Pioneer Theatre Company's "Once." Photo by BW Productions
From left to right: Cody Craven (Andrej), Hillary Porter (Girl), EJ Zimmerman (Reza), Mary Fanning Driggs (Baruska), Hailey Burnham (Ivonka) and Zander Meisner (Švec) in Pioneer Theatre Company’s “Once.” Photo by BW Productions

Set in Dublin, Ireland, the play follows two aspiring musicians as they encourage and discover each other’s talent and love. Displaying the quadruple talents of the actors, the performers will not only sing, dance and act in the show, but will play the musical instruments as well.

Roderick Lawrence (left) as Guy, Chris Mixon (center) as Da and Hillary Porter (right) as Girl in Pioneer Theatre Company's "Once." Photo by BW Productions
Roderick Lawrence (left) as Guy, Chris Mixon (center) as Da and Hillary Porter (right) as Girl in Pioneer Theatre Company’s “Once.” Photo by BW Productions

The production features Roderick Lawrence (Guy), Hilary Porter (Girl), Scott Anthony (Eamon), Maya Bhagwat Bassuk (Ex-Girlfriend), Chris Blisset (Billy), Cody Craven (Andrej), Hailey Burnham (Ivonka), Mary Fanning Driggs (Baruska), Riley French (Emcee “MC”), Zander Meisner (Svec), Chris Mixon (Da), Kristopher Saint-Louis (Bank Manager), EJ Zimmerman (Réza) and Britton Gardner (Ensemble).

EJ Zimmerman (left) plays Reza and Chris Blisset (right) plays Billy in "Once," their debuts at Pioneer Theatre. Photo by BW Productions
EJ Zimmerman (left) plays Reza and Chris Blisset (right) plays Billy in “Once,” their debuts at Pioneer Theatre. Photo by BW Productions

The artistic team includes Scenic Design by Yoon Bae, Costume Design by Gregory Gale, Lighting Design by Kirk Bookman, Sound Design by Allan Branson, Hair and Makeup Design by Amanda French, Dialect Coaching by Sarah Shippobotham, with Production Stage Manager Mary P. Costello, Stage Manager Becky Lynn Dawson, 1st Assistant Stage Manager Kallie Erickson, 2nd Assistant Stage Manager Dee Dee Palmer.

Performances are Mondays – Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $44 – $66 in advance, and $5 more when purchased on the day of the show Kids in grades K-12 are half-price on Mondays and Tuesdays. Click on www.pioneertheatre.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

Pirronne Yousefzadeh directs the musical. She serves as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement at Geva Theatre Center. She has directed and developed new work at The Public/Joe’s Pub, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Ars Nova, Soho Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, InterAct Theatre Company and Hangar Theatre, among others. This is her first PTC production.

Tom Griffin returns to PTC as the guest musical director after Newsies last season. Other recent PTC productions include Oliver!, It Happened One Christmas, Peter and the Starcatcher, Elf-The Musical and A Christmas Carol: The Musical. He also musically directed the west coast and Los Angeles premieres of The Last Five Years, Sweet Charity, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and The Music Man; the west coast premiere of Spitfire Grill; Annie; West Side Story; The Scarlet Pimpernel and Bye Bye Birdie.

Lainie Sakakura is an award-winning Choreographer, receiving the Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography for Red Eye of Love and a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography for Damn Yankees. She has performed in the original casts of six Broadway shows, including the Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I.

Pioneer Theatre Company operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s only fully professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.

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