Brits Arthur Darvill, Joanna Christie Take Over Leads in Broadway’s ‘Once’

Brits Arthur Darvill, Joanna Christie Take Over Leads in Broadway’s ‘Once’

Just over a month after the first casting change of the two starring roles of Broadway’s “Once,” the lead actors have changed again. British actors Arthur Darvill and Joanna Christie took over the leading roles of Guy and Girl, respectively, on April 23.

Darvill is well-known on both sides of the Atlantic for his role as Rory Williams in the BBC series “Doctor Who.” However, he also has appeared in stage productions of “Swimming with Sharks,” “Dr. Faustus,” “Our Boys,” “Marine Parade” and “Stacy.”

Christie is perhaps best known for co-starring with Daniel Radcliffe in the West End revival of “Equus.” She also has appeared in “The Ramshackle Heart” and “One Night in November.”

The roles of Guy and Girl were originated on Broadway by Steve Kazee and Cristin Milloti. The former won a Tony Award for his performance and the latter was nominated for a Tony. They were replaced by their respective stand-ins Ben Hope and Laura Dreyfuss in March.

The New York Times reports that the quick replacement of Hope and Dreyfuss seems unexpected and strange, considering they weren’t announced as temporary replacements. However, a spokeswoman for the show told the paper that Darvill and Christie were planned as replacements all along, and they had to wait for their visas to be completed.

“We didn’t know when Arthur and Joanna’s visas were going to be completed, so we couldn’t include end dates for Ben and Laura in the March casting announcement,” said spokeswoman Susanne Tighe.

The musical is based on the 2006 indie film of the same name. In the movie, the role of Guy is played by Glen Hansard, an Irishman and Markéta Irglová, a Czech woman. Hansard and Irglová wrote all of the songs in the film and the musical, and the latter features a book by Enda Walsh.