Honorary Producers Joan & Andy Fimiano with actors Rustin Cole Sailors and Amanda Leigh Jerry at the First Night of Once.
From the very first note, Once captured the First Night audience’s attention and never let up, delivering two-plus hours of heartfelt music and inspiring performances.
Honorary Producers Joan and Andy Fimiano found the performance to be stunning. Says Joan: “I thought it was at the top of SCR performances that I’ve been to over the years. The talent and chemistry between the performers was amazing. And it was the fastest standing ovation that I’ve ever seen!”
Andy adds “I was also touched by the chemistry of the cast and, not only that, the blend of the singing and instruments brought me to tears throughout. I had goosebumps up and down my spine. It was a beautiful performance—I will always remember it!”
Honorary Producers Laurie and Steve Duncan found Once to be one of the most enjoyable theatre experiences they’ve ever had, noting their delight in going onstage for a pre-show drink while the cast played a variety of songs.
“From the staging, lighting and choreography, to the ending, it was a beautiful and heartwarming, soulful musical production. The depth and breadth of the talent and ability of the actors to act, sing, dance and play their instruments was incredible to watch. The performance of Rustin as "Guy" was as good as any we have ever seen in California or New York! The story and performances are a must-see and we thank SCR for bringing this play to life in Orange County.”
Michael Lewis, of Corporate Honorary Producer U.S. Bank added, "The show and music was so mesmerizing that time just flew by! I don't think anyone in the audience wanted it to end."
Guests who attended the cast party were transported to the Republic of Ireland, as décor influenced by the Irish landscape transformed Ela’s Terrace into a picturesque Dublin tableau. Along with tables sporting lush greenery and lanterns providing a rustic vibe, Irish folk music played continuously in the background, providing an authentic slice of Irish life.
The celebratory soiree was sponsored by Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, with a menu highlighting Andrei’s commitment to local and organic ingredients. Partygoers feasted on an array of delectables, many of which featured an Irish twist in a nod to the Dublin-set Once. Favorite dishes among guests included cauliflower and potato soup shooters with Irish soda bread, Guinness-marinated chicken kabobs and fingerling potato salad, among other delicious appetizers.
Additionally, various hot and cold food stations offered an extensive selection of savory fare such as lamb kabobs, and roasted red bell pepper hummus and crudité. A Mediterranean dip station featuring kale and artichoke dip, baba ganoush and pita flatbreads was a hit with the festive crowd, as well as a ceviche station with house made corn chips.
The evening’s signature drink was a “Dublin Dream”—a Black Velvet cocktail made with Guinness and Champagne, a fitting libation to honor Éire.
For a sweet finish to the evening, guests indulged in a dessert buffet featuring Carrot Cake, Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups and Cinnamon “Wish” Cookies—all tempting treats that few could resist!
All the while, lively conversation, laughter and beautiful music continued to swirl around Once, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical that launched SCR’s 2017-18 season on a perfect note.