"Once" is a love story — not only between love interests, but between community.
Broadway Rose Theatre Co. will put on the musical for the first time, and for one cast member, being a part of it feels like a homecoming.
Marissa Neitling is a Lake Oswego native with an acting rÉsumÉ spanning from New York City to Los Angeles. She starred in TNT's "The Last Ship" as Lt. Kara Foster for the past five years, and guest starred in "Madam Secretary," "Elementary" and "Leverage."
A graduate of Yale University's drama school, Neitling started at Broadway Rose with "Nunsense," the first company to "invite her into the room," as she puts it, before her whirlwind career kicked off across the country.
Neitling learned her friend Isaac Lamb was directing "Once," and said playing the role of "Girl" has always been a dream of hers.
"Once" takes audiences to Dublin, where an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant connect through music. The 2007 film received international success, with its emotional score winning an Oscar, Grammy, Olivier and Tony awards.
One of the most well-known songs in the story, "Falling Slowly," pulls at the heartstrings. In 2011, the film was adapted into a musical and premiered in New York City.
The role of "Girl" requires the actor to play piano, which Neitling loved to do for many years.
"I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to come home and play this role," she said. "This is a dream cast. I get to come home to the stage. It's been seven years since I've performed on stage, and it's what I'm trained in and where I fell in love with acting in the first place. This is also coming home to the piano, since it had been years since I played. This has been wonderful."
Not only is Neitling playing the piano, but all the actors play instruments, from a cello to an accordion, as they move around on stage. Some of them doing it just for their roles in "Once."
Neitling believes the show will capture any audience member who loves music.
"It's this unconventional love story that gets at the truth," Neitling said. "This connects to a lot of people. There hasn't been a story that has been told this way before. When you put music to it, it's amazing."
"Once" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sundays, Oct. 3-27, at the Broadway Rose New Stage, 12850 S.W. Grant Ave., Tigard. Tickets are on sale now and expected to go fast. They can be purchased at broadwayrose.org/.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.