Five Reasons to be Excited for the Once Upon a Time Musical Episode
By: Marianne Paluso (@Marianne_P81)
In case you missed the news, in the back half of season six, Once Upon a Time‘s cast of colorful fairy tale characters will be showcasing their song and dance skills in “The Song in Your Heart,” which is about to commence filming in studio in Vancouver this week. It’s something many fans have asked about for years, so creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis finally decided to incorporate a musical episode into the story. Admittedly, musicals are not for everyone, but for me personally, as someone who loves musical films and theater, I am absolutely excited and thrilled. Here are five reasons to be excited for this upcoming episode.
1. The Composers
Writing the music and lyrics for the slated seven original songs are the very talented Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. Fans of Nerd #1 will recall that Zachary and Weiner are the writing duo behind Zachary Levi’s Broadway debut First Date. Filled with fun, catchy songs, what’s interesting is that one of this show’s songs, “Safer,” has so many lyrics that sound like quintessential early Emma Swan. This is reason enough for excitement, but Zachary and Weiner have a Disney connection as well, writing an original show for the Disney cruise line, Disney’s Twice Charmed, seen exclusively aboard The Disney Magic. You can listen to samples of their work on their official website here. Working along with Once Upon a Time‘s brilliant composer Mark Isham, the music is sure to be wonderful.
2. The Talented Cast
The success of a musical rests a great deal on the talent of its cast. Luckily for Once fans, not only are the cast wonderful actors, but also fine singers as well. Josh Dallas has a musical theater background, having performed the lead in On The Town in London, and has a truly exceptional set of pipes. Before joining OUAT in season two, Colin O’Donoghue was a member of the band The Enemies, and most recently showed off his amazing vocal talents in the film The Dust Storm, which I reviewed in December. Jennifer Morrison showcased her stunning singing in the yet-to-be-released Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, a preview of which can be seen online. Rebecca Mader, likewise, has a beautiful voice; Robert Carlyle showed off his charming lilt in California Solo; Ginnifer Goodwin her sweet song styles in Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast; while Lana Parrilla and Emilie de Ravin each have fine voices and singing experience.
3. Who Will Sing
So far, we know who will be singing four of the seven songs, and each sound fantastic. Morrison will have a big solo for Emma; Goodwin, Dallas, and Parrilla will be doing a Snow and Charming versus the Evil Queen sing-off of sorts; Mader will have a wicked solo for Zelena; and O’Donohgue is set to sing most likely in a pirate-themed number. That leaves three remaining songs. What will they be? A big group number? Something for Belle or Rumplestiltskin? Something from guest stars with fine voices such as Sean Maguire, Karen David, or Beverly Elliot? A sister duet between Regina and Zelena would be quite fun, as would a duo a la “Agony” from Into the Woods between Charming and Killian, while a Snow and Charming duet would be sure to be sweet and lovely. At the top of my list would be a Charming solo, perhaps about being a father, to showcase Dallas’ brilliant vocal range, and a romantic duet between Emma and Killian, already magical together acting wise. Their two beautiful voices together would be completely enchanting.
4. The Fantasy Aspect of the Show is Perfect
When it comes to a musical episode, the format of the show also has a lot to do with how it works. Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s musical episode, “Once More with Feeling,” is hailed as one of the best, and its fantasy aspect led to its believability. Scrubs was an offbeat, very silly comedy and it worked perfectly. Shows like Psych and Grey’s Anatomy may not seem like they could pull it off, but many loved them. If they could, then certainly OUAT can. In fact, I cannot think of another current show more perfectly suited. As a series literally filled with magic and curses, as well as Disney-inspired characters whose films are all musicals, OUAT is the ideal show to tackle this concept.
5. It Will Be an Important Episode
When it comes to high-concept episodes, they often can be one-off types that serve no real purpose other than entertainment value. But series creators Horowitz and Kitsis recently reported they not only have been planning the episode since September, but also assure us it is incorporated into the narrative in a significant way. “The Song in Your Heart” will be episode 20th of the season, and the penultimate one before the season finale. So not only will it surely be a fun-filled, entertaining extravaganza, it will also move the plot forward in an important way that leads right into the end of this season’s stories. Who could ask for anything more?
“The Song in Your Heart” airs May 7. Will you be tuning in?