Glen Hansard stopped by XRT for music and conversation Live from Studio X earlier this week to talk with Terri Hemmert and play a couple songs ahead of his show at the Vic Theatre. The talented singer-songwriter and actor, best known for his lead role in the hit movie Once, shared some laughs with Terri and performed a couple of songs. But one topic brought on a surprising revelation from the grizzled Irish musician.
When asked how he felt about Once’s adaptation into a Broadway musical, Hansard admitted “that was the one moment where I was really horrified, when we heard that they had sold the rights.” Hansard explained that “you get so close to something you created, and when I heard they were putting it on Broadway, I remember just thinking, ‘oh, here it is. This is where they get it wrong.’”
[pullquote quote="When I heard they were putting it on Broadway, I remember just thinking, 'Oh, here it is. This is where they get it wrong.'" credit="Glen Hansard"]In a time where audiences have become so accustomed to successful music or film projects at some point being re-imagined for the stage, it’s not all that surprising that Once, a film substantially dependent on musical talent and performance, would be subject to the same treatment. But Hansard mentioned that musical theater really isn’t part of Irish culture, so there’s an aura of skepticism surrounding that area of art and entertainment for him.
Glen Hansard Live From Studio X
[photogallerylink id=129260 align=left]However, after Hansard met with director John Tiffany to express his reservations, Tiffany communicated his excitement about the show and assured that it would be mellow and respectful to the original work. Hansard then went to some of the rehearsals and was impressed with what he saw. “What was really great about it, they cast people who were songwriters, cast musicians who were real. There was none of the Broadway [feel],” Hansard said. “I was taken for a ride every time. I’m really happy with what they’ve done with it.”
The musical has been wildly successful, garnering critical acclaim and eleven Tony Award nominations for 2012. Hansard just completed his stint in Chicago supporting his debut solo record, Rhythm and Repose, but the talented Irishman will make a return in September for the Hideout Block Party.