Touring Production of ONCE Announces Cast: Coming To Chicago Oct. 9 – 27 at the Oriental Theatre

image002The producers of ONCE and Broadway In Chicago, winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Theater Album, and Broadway In Chicago are pleased to announce casting for the first North American touring company. ONCE will play the Oriental Theatre (24 W. Randolph) for a limited engagement Oct. 9 – 27, 2013.

The ONCE tour cast will feature Stuart Ward* (Guy), Dani De Waal (Girl), Ray Bokhour (Da), Matt Deangelis (Švec), John Gardner (Eamon), Donna Garner (Baruška), Evan Harrington (Billy), Ryan Link (Emcee), Benjamin Magnuson (Bank Manager), Alex Nee (Andrej), Erica Swindell (Ex-Girlfriend), Kolette Tetlow (Ivanka), Claire Wellin (Réza), Estelle Bajou, Stephen McIntyre, Zander Meisner, Tina Stafford, Tiffany Topol and Matt Wolpe.

*Stuart Ward is appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

ONCE is the celebrated new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. The show features the Academy Award-winning music and lyrics of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, a book by award-winning Irish playwright & screenwriter,Enda Walsh (Penelope, Hunger, The New Electric Ballroom), direction by the acclaimed Scottish director of Black Watch,John Tiffany, movement by Steven Hoggett (Black Watch, American Idiot) and music supervision and orchestrations byMartin Lowe (Mamma Mia!).

The set and costume design are by five time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia, Mary Poppins), lighting design is by Tony winner Natasha Katz (Aida, The Coast of Utopia), and sound design is by Clive Goodwin.

ONCEwhich was also named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards, is currently running on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre where it started performances on February 28, 2012 and opened March 18, 2012.

ONCE tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music.  Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together.  Brought to the stage by an award-winning team of visionary artists and featuring an ensemble cast of gifted actor/musicians, ONCE is a musical celebration of life and love: thrilling in its originality, daring in its honesty… and unforgettable in every way.

The 2007 Academy Award-winning film, ONCE, was written and directed by John Carney, and starred Glen Hansard andMarkéta Irglová, with original music and lyrics by Mr. Hansard and Ms. Irglová.

ONCE is produced by Barbara BroccoliJohn N. Hart Jr.Patrick Milling SmithFrederick ZolloBrian CarmodyMichael G. WilsonOrin Wolf, and Executive Producer Robert Cole, in association with New York Theatre Workshop.   www.oncemusical.com

Cast Biographies

STUART WARD (Guy). West End: Once (Phoenix Theatre); The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse); Dreamboats and Petticoats (Playhouse TheatreNYC: The Hired Man (59E59) UK Theatre: The Go-Between (West Yorkshire Playhouse);The Mayor of Zalamea (Liverpool Everyman). Television: “Downton Abbey” (Carnival Films for ITV); “Holby City” and “Anthem for Doomed Youth” (BBC). Film: Our Girl (BBC Drama). Stuart is a British actor who trained at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in England. He is a keen singer-songwriter and is also the rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist for Sir Cliff Richard. More info at www.stuartward.net 

DANI DE WAAL (Girl). Broadway: Picnic. West End: Mamma Mia! (Sophie Sheridan). Edinburgh Fringe: Just So. Workshops: The Last ShipLIFTDefect. Film: Non-Stop. Dani trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London. Thank you SMS. Love to the Support System, near and far.

RAYMOND BOKHOUR (Da). Broadway: Chicago (Helen Hayes BestActor nomination). Film: Man on the MoonChanging Lanes. TV: “30 Rock,” “Flight of the Conchords,” “Third Watch,” “L&O.” Also a composer recorded by London Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Moravian Philharmonic. Co-authored The Suicide: A Musical Comedy directed in concert by John Rando. For you, Dad. 

MATT DEANGELIS (Švec). Broadway, West End, and 1st Nat’l Tour of Hair (Woof) and the 1st Nat’l Tour of Green Day’sAmerican Idiot. He’s humbled to be performing with this clan of wonderful people and musicians. He believes in Optimism, Kindness, Marriage Equality, Actors’ EquityAssociation and the Boston Red Sox! Twitter: Mattdeangelis22.

JOHN GARDNER (Eamon). NYC: Under the Greenwood Tree (Flea Theater). Regional: Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland). Thank you Jim Carnahan and Stephen Kopel, creative team, cast and crew! Love to Mom and Dad. B.F.A.: Ithaca College. 

EVAN HARRINGTON (Billy) is immensely grateful to be a part of this show! Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher (Alf),Avenue Q (Brian), The Phantom of the Opera (Piangi). Regional: Assassins (John Hinckley, Jr.), Sweeney Todd(Beadle/Pirelli), Into theWoods (Baker), The Full Monty (Dave). TV: “30 Rock.” www.evanharrington.com.

DONNA GARNER (Baruska). Selected theater: Thea in Two Pianos, Four Hands (Canadian tour, Portsmouth, NH Opera House), Vi Petty in Buddy Holly (Theatre Aquarius, Charlottetown Festival, StageWest Calgary), Fräulein Schneider inCabaret, Vicki in Full Monty (Rose Theatre), Fairy Godmother (Disney). To my love: “I carry your heart.” 

RYAN LINK (Emcee, u/s Guy). Broadway: Wonderland (Knight/Rabbit u/s), HAIR (Berger/Woof u/s), RENT (Roger). Tours: HAIR (Woof), Aida (Radames s/b). Hometown: Seattle.  Actors’ Equity since 2002. Proudly “going through it” since 2007, and now teaching, at Matthew Corozine Studio (NYC). For Granny & Grandpa, who knew the joys of music. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu… www.ryanlink.com

BENJAMIN MAGNUSON (Bank Manager). Broadway/Tour: Sweeney Todd (2005 Revival, 2007 Tour), Guys and Dolls(2009 Revival), Les Misérables (25th Anniversary). Regional: American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Human Race Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Oakbrook. Film/Television: The Other Guys, “30 Rock,” Tony Awards. Training: CCM. For Em. www.benjaminmagnuson.com

ALEX NEE (Andrej, u/s Guy). Credits include International Tour of American Idiot (Johnny), Rent (Roger), SpringAwakening (Melchior), and The Who’s Tommy (Hawker). Proud Northwestern alum. He can’t believe that he gets to chill in a pub and jam with such beautiful people. “Thank you for everything, I have no complaints whatsoever.” @alexnee42

ERICA SWINDELL (Ex-Girlfriend, u/s Girl, Réza). Broadway: Once (Girl u/s, Reza u/s, ExGirlfriend u/s). Off-Broadway:Mary Broome (Mint Theater Company). NYC theater: Romeo and Juliet (American Globe Theatre); The Lady Drug Dealer(Fringe NYC). Regional: Much Ado About Nothing (Penn Shakes). Love to family and Jon. For Gdawg.www.ericaswindell.com.

CLAIRE WELLIN (Reza). Broadway: Once. Regional: Eastland (Lookingglass Theatre), To Kill A Mockingbird and Man In Love (Steppenwolf Theatre), A Christmas Carol (The Goodman Theatre), and Killer Joe (Profiles Theatre.) Claire leads the gypsy folk band Youth in a Roman Field and contributes to the Chicago-based Glad Fanny. BFA, Minnesota State University. www.clairewellin.com 

KOLETTE TETLOW (Ivanka). Age 8, national tour debut! Credits include commercials/print ads. Thank you David Doan, Rochelle Shulman of RKS, Erin Kesser and Bob Marks for your guidance. Love to my Pittsburgh family and friends. Thank you mom and dad for everything! Thrilled to be a part of Oncewww.kolettetetlow.com.

ESTELLE BAJOU (u/s Réza, Ex- Girlfriend) is wonderstruck to join this remarkable troupe. Theater: PS122, LaMaMa, Rattlestick, HERE, Lark PDC, 59E59, Abingdon. Tour: The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne). TV: “Boardwalk Empire.” Film:Chaplin of the Mountains. Pour toi, maman. www.estellebajou.com

STEPHEN MCINTYRE (u/s Da, Bank Manager, Billy). Shenandoah 1989 Broadway debut. Sweeney Todd 2006 Broadway and national tour (Jonas Fogg and Upright Bass/Cello). Broadway pit orchestras with tuba: ChicagoChitty… Thank you Janet for 25 years of love and encouragement.

ZANDER MEISNER (u/s Andrej, Švec, Eamon, Emcee) is elated to be a part of Once. National tours: Annie (Rooster), Cats(Rum Tum Tugger). NYC/regional: FringeNYC, Drilling Company, Northlight. Graduate: IU Music. Thanks to Stephen Kopel, Jim Carnahan, SpotCo and all who led him to this. 

TINA STAFFORD (u/s Baruska). NewYork: Ionescopade (York Theatre), I Married Wyatt Earp (59 E. 59), Illyria (Prospect Theatre Co). Regional: Westport Country Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Denver Center, KC Rep, Paper Mill, Goodspeed Musicals, Shakespeare Theatres of New Jersey, Maine, Utah and Texas. Equity!

TIFFANY TOPOL (u/s Girl). Credits include Xanadu (1st National Tour), Writers’Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Milwaukee Rep. Tiffany collaborates with castmate Claire Wellin in her band, Glad Fanny, while also contributing to Claire’s proiect,Youth in a Roman Field.

MATT WOLPE (u/s Andrej, Švec, Eamon, Emcee, Billy). Regional: Ensemble Theatre, Kirk Douglas, Pasadena Playhouse,Sacramento Music Circus, La Mirada. Matt attended The Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. He’s also an accomplished songwriter. Love and thanks to Mom, Pops, Saunders/Wolpe crew and Gage. Info and music: MattWolpe.com.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

The Chicago performance schedule for ONCE is as follows:

Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays at 2 & 7:30 p.m.

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays at 2 & 8 p.m.

Sundays at 2 p.m. (additional 7:30 p.m. performance on Oct. 13)

Please note: Ticket prices and performance schedule are subject to change.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for ONCE at the Oriental Theatre range from $27-$95.  A select number of premium seats are also available for many performances.  Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at(312) 977-1710.  Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Kiosk at Water Tower Place (845 N. Michigan Ave.), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online atwww.BroadwayInChicago.com.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com or www.oncemusical.com.