Public Invited to Join Largest Gathering of Guitarists to Play ‘Falling Slowly’ from Once

The event takes place on December 9 at the Citi Performing Arts Shubert Theatre.

falling slowly once shubert theatre

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the Once tour company / Photo by Joan Marcus provided

A guy and a girl meet on the streets of Dublin. He’s a busker, composing songs on the guitar. She’s a flower seller, but also a pianist. Over the course of a week, as they become friends and play music together, they fall in love.

The story unfolds in Once, a 2007 film that was later adapted into a stage musical, developed at the American Repertory Theater by artistic director Diane Paulus and producer Diane Borger before making Off-Broadway, Broadway, and touring debuts.

In 2014, the Boston Opera House hosted a two-week engagement, and in December, Once will return to Boston, this time with a three-week engagement at the Citi Performing Arts Shubert Theatre.

Following the premiere on December 8, the Citi Performing Arts Center is inviting the public to come out to the Shubert Theatre during their lunch break on December 9 and join the cast in playing “Falling Slowly,” the emotionally charged central ballad from the musical, in unison on guitar.

“We are looking to bring together as many guitarists as possible to play and sing ‘Falling Slowly.’ We’re looking for everyone, from all walks of life. You could be a student, a construction workers, a performer, a dog walker, a teacher, a doctor, or an executive—it doesn’t matter, just learn the song, bring your guitar, and join us,” said Josiah A. Spaulding, president and CEO of the Citi Performing Arts Center, in a press release.

The nonprofit intends for the event to be the largest-ever gathering of guitarists to play “Falling Slowly” in the United States.

Check-in will begin at noon, and at 12:30, participants will take seats inside the Shubert, tune their guitars, and play the song three times.

The first 100 participants to register will receive two free tickets to see the musical, while everyone else will receive a voucher to buy one ticket and get one free.

Wednesday, December 9, noon, Citi Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston. To register and learn the chords and lyrics to “Falling Slowly,” visit