Once, the musical (I haven’t seen the film yet), is superb. It climbed into me without asking me to understand why I would let it. It’s like two shows, actually – about 45min of music on the set (huge folk ensemble doing Celtic and Russian folk) before the play officially starts, and the musicians & vocalists are then the cast. It starts with the bar that serves as the primary set for the play in turn serving the audience as a full bar, just like the bar at the back of the Jacobs Theatre. The whole while they serenade the audience, as people arrive, get drinks, and take seats, before clearing the stage of guests and going at it in earnest. The music portion lasts quite a while, and then the stage darkens, and it became the bar in the story. I love the entire performance, the songs more than the story, honestly – but the all music ‘first act’ is the most enthralling for me. It is quintessentially, artful.