Once is Pure Gold

Once Tour 0011

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal shine in Once. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Once is a love story, just not the one you might expect. Centered around two musicians, one Irishman and one Czech women, Once is really about the love of music.

You might remember Once (2006) as the sleeper-hit film that only took 17 days and $150,000 to make and went on to gross $20 million and win an Academy Award. Like the film, the touring musical is charming, lyrical, and simply gorgeous. For those of you who have seen the film, take note that the stage version is lighter in tone and feels more like a romantic comedy than the indie film.

What’s really special about the musical is that it’s an actor/muso, which means that all of the music is played by the actors in the show. There’s no invisible orchestra playing in a pit, so there’s no separation between the audience and performers. With dozens of mirrors on the back wall of the stage, theater-goers really get to see the virtuosic performers at every angle.

Once is about the beauty of friendship, collaboration, love, and music. It tells the story of a brokenhearted Irish musician and a Czech woman who meet and, over the course of a week, find healing in the music they create together. It’s nuanced, grounded, funny, and sometimes, even a little tragic.

Both lead actors (Stuart Ward and Dani De Waal) manage to balance a Broadway-level performance with a subdued folk tone. And the ensemble a capella reprise of “Gold” in Act II is simply showstopping.

Once Tour 0005

Unlike a traditional musical, the actors of Once play the musical accompaniments of the show. Photo by Joan Marcus.

If you love folk music and charming love stories, Once is your kind of show. You’ll enjoy the ensemble of musicians and performers as they weave around the stage playing violins, guitars, and pianos while singing beautifully harmonized folk music.

Don’t miss your chance to see this high energy performance! Once will play at the Community Center Theater through April 19. Tickets range from $22-$99 and are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at tickets.com, or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office. For more information, visit the musical’s Sacramento365.com event page here.

This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com contributor Allison Baker.

Top 6 Sneak Peek: Week of 4/13

This Week: Events That’ll Make You Sing

OnceBroadway Sacramento: Once
Community Center Theater
April 14-19
Various times
Winner of 8 Tony Awards, this is an unforgettable story about following your dreams.

BarryManilowBarry Manilow: One Last Time
Sleep Train Arena
April 17
Fri 7:30pm

From Mandy to Copacabana, he writes the songs you love.

BeerChili2Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival
Roosevelt Park
April 18
Sat Noon-5pm

Drink and eat up to raise money for The Sacramento Artists Council.


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Top 6 Sneak Peek: Week of 4/6

This Week: Time to Get Active

Taste_For_The_CureTaste for a Cure
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
April 7
Tues 4pm-7pm
Sample the region’s best food, wine and beer to help fight against leukemia and lymphoma.

River_CatsRiver Cats Home Opener
Raley Field
April 9
Thurs 7:05pm
Baseball season is back! See the new SF Giants Triple A affiliate take on the Salt Lake Bees.

Cirque_Du_SoleilVarekai by Cirque du Soleil
Sleep Train Arena
April 9-12
Thurs 7:30pm; Fri & Sat 4pm & 7:30pm
Sun 1:30pm & 5pm

Cirque du Soleil acrobats will take you to a magical forest where everything is possible.

To get the complete Sac365.com Weekly Top 6 Events direct to your inbox every Monday, Sign up here!

Choose Your Sacramento Easter Adventure

It’s time to celebrate bunnies, eggs, springtime and rebirth this week in Sacramento! Have you made your plans for Easter yet? If your answer is no, let Sacramento365.com help you plan your weekend adventure with these egg-cellent outings:


…Go BIG? Then attend The Largest Egg Hunt in the World.

Easter Egg Hunt

Blue Heart International will be hiding 500K+ eggs around the California State Capitol to break a Guinness World Record.

…Slow your roll? Hop on the Easter Egg Express.

Easter Egg Express_ Photo courtesy of Sacramento RiverTrain

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento RiverTrain.

Your family can forget the hustle and bustle of the world and travel along the Sacramento Delta with the Sacramento RiverTrain.

…Take a ride on the wild side? Hang out with the Easter Bunny at Harley Davidson of Sacramento.

Harley Easter

Photo courtesy of Harley Davidson of Sacramento.

While your kids take pictures with the rascally rabbit, adults can window shop for their next ride. Sounds like a win/win situation to us…

…Not slave away in the kitchen? Let Ten 22 take care of Easter Brunch.

Easter Brunch

Photo courtesy of Ten 22.


The Old Sacramento restaurant’s three course menu will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

…Reconnect with the meaning of the holiday? See For What Purpose.

For What Purpose_ Photo courtesy of The Rock Church

Photo courtesy of The Rock Church.


With a cast of 200 actors, the play reenacts of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

And if you’re looking for even more ways to spring into action this weekend, visit Sacramento365.com’s Holiday Page for many more options.

This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.

Get to Know April Featured Artist Demetris “BAMR” Washington

BAMR Profile Shot

Photo by Roy Brandys.

Vibrant. Bold. Impressive. These adjectives are merely understatements to describe the works of muralist, painter, and creative being Demetris “BAMR” Washington. Weaving together his faith, love for his family and community, and the “messy thoughts in his head”, Demetris creates layered and detailed works that can barely be contained on their surfaces — be they canvas or 10 story buildings. It’s no wonder that his talents are sought after by the Sacramento Kings, The California Endowment, Downtown Sacramento Partnership and others. Yet despite his growing success, the artist stays humble, always learning from his imperfect self.

This month we connect with the down-to-earth man with larger-than-life masterpieces. Learn more about his story here.

Top 6 Sneak Peek: Week of 3/30

This Week: Spring Has Sprung!

Cesar Crop15th Annual César E. Chávez Celebration
Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School
Mar 31
Tues 6pm-8pm

Dancers, speakers, and organizations will celebrate justice and the legacy of the activist.

Sac Talent CropSacramento Has Talent
Crest Theatre
April 2
Thurs 7pm

Access Sacramento has discovered some of our city’s greatest hidden talent – see ’em on stage!

Egg Cellent CropThe Largest Egg Hunt in the World
CA State Capitol Park
April 4
Sat 9am-1pm
500K eggs will be hidden around the Capitol in attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

To get the complete Sac365.com Weekly Top 6 Events direct to your inbox every Monday, Sign up here!

48 Hours of Non-Stop Laughs

48 hours

We’re not sure what’s going on here either. Be prepared to LOL at some of the zaniest shows produced by Sacramento comedians. Photo by Donald E. Strong.

If you are anything like me right now, you need more than just a chuckle or a funny meme to forget an ever-growing to-do list. I know I’m in need of extra-strength, gut-busting, mind-erasing laughter, and thankfully, The Sacramento Comedy Spot has the cure.

Starting at 8pm on Friday, March 27, the Midtown comedy club plays host to the 48 Hour Comedy Marathon. Now in its third year, the festival features its most ambitious lineup, proving that you don’t have to travel all the way to Chicago or New York to see laugh out loud, experimental comedy. Sacramento’s homegrown improv, stand-up, and sketch talent will bring the funny, the sexy, and the strange with shows like Feud with Friends, Strip-pov (yes, strip poker meets improv) and the 1K Pajama Walk. (Reading the titles of the jam-packed schedule already has me chuckling — A. E. Starkey’s Meowtacular Catstravaganza, anyone?)

And if you are not able to witness the hilarity in person, this year’s main stage events will also be livestreamed on the 48 Hour Comedy Marathon website.

Join me in making laughter a priority this weekend at the only marathon that doesn’t require any running. The 48 Hour Comedy Marathon lasts from Friday, March 27 8pm to Sunday, March 29 8pm at The Sacramento Comedy Spot. For tickets and schedule details, visit the event’s Sacramento365.com event listing here.

**This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.