From the Tony Award-winning musical ONCE, singer/actor Stuart Ward joined us in studio to talk about the musical’s Los Angeles premiere at the Hollywood Pantages Thursday!
Stuart plays the leading man (Guy) in the musical, which was adapted for the Broadway stage based on the Oscar-winning film.The musical also stars Dani De Waal opposite Stuart as the Girl, with Ray Bokhour (Da), Matt Deangelis (Švec), John Gardner (Eamon), Donna Garner and many more.
For those who’ve never seen the movie or musical, Stuart gave a quick synopsis about the musical’s emotional story of an unexpected friendship that turned into a complicated romance over a shared love of music.
“It’s about an Irish busker – a street musician – who’s kind of down on his luck. Things aren’t going too well for him – his mother recently passed away, his girlfriend left him for New York, he’s working for his dad in a vacuum cleaner repair shop,” explained Stuart.
“He decides he’s going to jack it all in – that means he’s going to give up – and just as he plays his last song on the streets of Dublin, he meets this Czech immigrant girl…who kind of installs this confidence in him to keep going with his music,” he added. “They kind of start making music together, then they fall in love a little bit, but it’s kind of complicated.”
This musical celebration of life and love is something many fans can relate to in their own lives, as Stuart notes.
“There’s a lot of baggage, but I think a great thing about the show is you know, every time you meet someone now, there’s a lot of baggage,” he said. “It’s kind of true to life.”
Stuart also sang one of the hit songs from the musical live in studio. Playing with just an acoustic guitar, Stuart belted out a chilling rendition of “Say It To Me Now,” which he says is “played to a bank manager in attempt to convince the bank manager to give me a loan to go to the studio and record my demo.”
Not only does he play a musician in the musical, Stuart is also the embodiment of his character in real life. He recorded an album Pictures, which is available on iTunes and for sale at the show.
ONCE premieres at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on Thursday with a limited four-week engagement from July 15 through August 10th. For tickets and more information, visit www.HollywoodPantages.com.
Listen to Stuart sing music from Once live in studio, plus our complete interview with him in the clip below.