CHEMAINUS VALLEY COURIER ‘Once’ is about a Guy (Daniel Kosub) and a Girl (Allison Lynch).

Falling Slowly the claim to fame of Chemainus Theatre’s Once

Academy Award winning song will be familiar to most, even if the show’s title isn’t

Jon-Alex MacFarlane has portrayed the bank manager in this production more than Once.

‘Once’ begins a run at the Chemainus Theatre Festival Feb. 9 that continues through March 10 with MacFarlane, 51, bringing his familiarity with the role to the impressive cast. The Halifax native has primarily been in larger venues with an award-winning Toronto cast and under the direction of a New York production team for a U.S. national tour.

The Neptune Theatre in Halifax is about the closest venue in size to Chemainus where he’s made stage appearances in Once.

“The show itself is very intimate,” MacFarlane said. “In some respects, a smaller venue actually plays to its strengths.”

‘Once’, a 2007 Irish musical romance film, may not be familiar as the standard productions everyone knows, he conceded.

“It doesn’t have that notoriety to it,” MacFarlane indicated.

But it does have one hugely familiar aspect to it and a great claim to fame in the song Falling Slowly that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the Oscars in February of 2008 and was also nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, TV or other Visual media at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

“That song people will recognize,” said MacFarlane. “As to the story or how it’s portrayed, this story is very unique. It had this incorporation of actors and musicians as one. We are the actors, we are the brand, we are everything in the show.

“We don’t have one leader up there. Each person dependent on where we are in the show takes the lead.”

While the story is centred around Guy (Daniel Kosub) and Girl (Allison Lynch), “the rest of it we’re significant in we affect the story and our part of the story,” noted MacFarlane. “All of our character are there to support the relationship between Guy and Girl.”

MacFarlane is enjoying his first time to the West Coast, having arrived for the start of rehearsals on Jan. 15. “Funnily enough, I found out a cousin of mine lives in Nanaimo,” he indicated.

This will be the fourth time in a production of ‘Once’ for MacFarlane.

“No two companies are the same,” he pointed out. “They are very individual. The sound and how it looks is very unique to each production.”

MacFarlane was actually sought-out by music director and good friend Kraig Waye for this role because of his expertise.

“As soon as he knew he was on the project, he requested me,” MacFarlane said.

“The role is somewhat specialized. It makes it hard to find someone with what’s required.”

Each central character plays two or three different instruments. “That’s what creates a mystique about the show,” said MacFarlane, who plays the cello and guitar.

Other cast members include: Stephanie Cadman (Reza); David Cohen (Andrej); Masae Day (Ex-Girlfriend); Alison Jenkins (Baruska); Alexander Nicoll (Svec); Waye (Eamon/MC); and Mark Weatherley (Da/Billy).

“The beauty of Once is that it’s not your typical musical – from the contemporary lineup of singer-songwriter tunes to the love story in which two unlikely characters find themselves, to the cast of unique characters,” points out CTF artistic director Mark DuMez.

“The story may stretch your expectations of musical theatre and capture your heart in its authentic look at trying to keep the fires of creativity and hope burning when forces conspire against them.”

“At its core, ‘Once’ is a tremulous fable about hopeful, yet contradictory forces falling slowly over two divinely connected souls,” added director Peter Jorgensen.

Just Posted

Memorial mural to be painted in Port Hardy

Art will honour lives lost to substance abuse and mental health

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The only reason he was alive was that 10 minutes of CPR before paramedics got there’

Meet the 2018 Tour de Rock team

Retired principal among Island team members

Beekeepers offer to pick up unwanted swarms

Capital Region Beekeepers Association sets up swarm line for residents to call

City of Nanaimo already making changes to purchase card policies

CFO, CAO will no longer be able to sign off on each others’ expenses

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

Nola flirts with no-no as Phils beat Jays 2-1

Philly hurler took no-hitter into 7th inning

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

UPDATE: Suspected gunplay in East Courtenay on Friday night

Witnesses told reporters that at least two shots rang out

Most Read