When Markéta Irglova and Frames frontman Glen Hansard put their music (and themselves) into an indie film in 2006, they got an Oscar, two Grammy nominations, and a band out of the deal. As of last night, the pair, known since as folk duo the Swell Season, can now add a bucket of Tonys to that list: Once, the Broadway musical based on the romance flick of the same name, dominated last night's 66th annual Tony awards, taking home eight of the 11 awards for which it was nominated (via Variety).
Despite being up against more strong contenders like the stage adaptation of cult favorite Disney film Newsies, Once — which unfolds the awkward half-love story of a busker and an immigrant in Dublin — scooped up the accolades for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Steve Kazee, who plays Hansard's role), Scene, Lighting, and Sound Designs of a Musical, Best Orchestrations, and Best Direction of a Musical. Technically, that list doesn't include any songwriting awards, which means Irglova and Hansard won't be adding them to their personal trophy cases, but there are no "Best Song" categories at the Tonys (the pair won Best Original Song at the 2007 Oscars, for "Falling Slowly," which was originally a song by Hansard's Frames and appeared on both that band's album The Cost and his and Irglova's The Swell Season the same year the movie came out). The only strictly musical category is for Best Original Score Written for the Theater, which Newsies nabbed (Once's music was pulled directly from the film). Other musical awards went to Porgy and Bess, which won Best Revival of a Musical and Leading Actress in a Musical, and Nice Work if You Can Get It, which took home both Best Actor and Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.
The Swell Season's last heartbreaking record, Strict Joy, was released in 2009; SPIN liked it a lot, and so did Jason Segel. Hansard's first solo effort, Rhythm and Repose, coincidentally drops next Tuesday (June 19).