“Once” and for all - cast talk about major success and 11 Tony nominations - VIDEOS

David Patrick Kelly and Erikka Walsh about the atmosphere backstage over the enthusiastic salute from Broadway’s insiders.

Walsh, who is making her Broadway debut, still admits she finds it hard to believe she’s even on the stage, never mind starring in a show that has walked away with the most Tony nominations this year.

Does she dare to imagine, as I confidently do, that 'Once' will carry off the Best Musical award this year?

“From your mouth to God’s ears,” she laughs. “Tuesday night’s performance, just after the nominations were announced, was like opening night all over again.

“The enthusiasm, the energy and the audience were just amazing. We raised the roof that night. We know that we’re creating something great on that stage every evening and we hope it translates to the audience.”

Walsh plays the ex-girlfriend of the hero Guy, and she’s also on stage playing music throughout most of the show. It’s a perspective that allows her to see how much the public responds to the story.

“Before the nominations I could see the audiences and I felt sure we would get something from the Tony judges. I wasn’t sure what, or how many, but I felt sure something good would come of all that energy and joy,” she said.

On the day the awards were announced she actually fell asleep, she confesses. But then a friend phoned and told her quite casually that she needed to check the Tony announcements.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was a jaw dropping moment,” she said.

Steve Kazee, the gifted 36-year-old actor and singer from Kentucky who has found himself playing the Dublin busker Guy each night on Broadway, has had a tumultuous year in tandem with the show. Kazee’s mother passed away as the show was set to open.

“As long as we’ve known him it was an issue for him,” says Walsh. “He was always calling her during rehearsals and the early run. As an ensemble we have all had moments of joy and sadness.

“When he came back from the funeral and he just went out there and did that show, I don’t think there’s anywhere he’d rather be.”

On Monday, the show’s producers announced that 'Once' will hit the road for a U.S. tour in the summer of next year, so all of America will soon get to see what all the fuss is about.

'Once' is playing at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on West 45th Street. Visit www.oncemusical.com.

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