A girl walks down a Dublin street and meets a guy singing with a guitar, busking for perhaps the last time.
That’s how both the 2007 movie “Once” and the current musical version, which made its Broadway premiere in 2012, start.
But that could be where the similarities end, according to the director of the South Coast Repertory rendition of the award-winning musical, which runs Sept. 2 to 30 in Costa Mesa.
“The musical is very different from the movie,” said Kent Nicholson, director of “Once” at SCR, as well as a slew of other productions from Berkeley to Seattle to New York. “The movie is cinematic — it takes place in several locations. The play is set inside a pub....