Broadway drama “Once” takes the Keith-Albee stage Tuesday

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Tony award-winning drama “Once” will give the audience a look at a guy, a girl and their shared strife in the music industry 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Theatre.

“I saw the Broadway production first when I was sixteen,” said Mackenzie Lesser-Roy, cast as the female lead in “Once.”

Lesser-Roy said she had wanted to apply for many parts of the play at first, like the “Banker,” until receiving a call from her friend urging her to apply for “Girl.”

“Girl” is another artist struggling in the industry who, on a chance meeting, finds “Guy,” a kindred soul that begins its romantic journey through song.

Lesser-Roy plays piano and cello and was attending school for music and theatre studies before a temporary departure for the tour of “Once.”

“It’s a really hard show to cast because besides just having actors up there, you know, everyone has to play instruments as well,” Lesser-Roy said.

“Once” is unique because the music will be entirely performed by the actors on stage, with no orchestral accompaniment.

Lesser-Roy said she is experiencing her first time touring as an actor since having departed from schooling, an educational endeavor she plans to return to.

“It was hard leaving, mostly because it was kind of scary,” Lesser-Roy said. “You know you usually get the jobs after you leave college and it was very intimidating that I was going to be starting this two years sooner than I thought I would be.”

Despite the daunting experience, Lesser-Roy said she was lucky to have gotten the opportunity of her dreams.

“I’ve learned just as much on the road as I have in school,” Lesser-Roy said.

Lesser-Roy, as “Girl,” performs as a complex character that drives the play’s emotional plot, a contrast to the hopeful romantic “Guy.”

“I think she knows that she is intense and that she is complicated,” Lesser-Roy said. “I think she doesn’t quite know how fragile she is, which is why she is so startled by the fact that she fell in love with him. They have similar fears, similar weaknesses.”

Ryan Fischer can be contacted at [email protected]

Ryan Fischer can be contacted at [email protected]

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