Come From Away
Written by: Irene Sankoff and David Hein
Venue: The Gerald Schoenfeld Theater
Attended on: January 2, 2018
Based on a TRUE STORY
Why did I go?
The word of mouth for this show is r-e-a-l.
Come From Away went from being a random show with no star to being one of the most sought after tickets in New York. The only reason I got a ticket was because I showed up 2 hours early to stand in the rush line on one of the coldest days this winter. (I suggest checking out the show's rush policy)
What's it about?
The true story of a tiny town called Gander in the Newfoundland province of Canada. Over 7,000 passengers from across the world were forced to stay there on September 11, 2001, and the days following, when all the planes flying over the US were re-routed to the Gander International Airport. The local people took in all the passengers until they were able to return to their respective countries, many of whom didn't know if they would be returning to their loved ones in New York. The creators of the show interviewed hundreds of real people and weaved their personal anecdotes into this musical. It's amazing.
Is it good?
I loved it.
Like many New Yorkers, I went into the theater skeptical about the potential for a musical about 9/11. Every New Yorker I've spoken to, across the board, has been happy with how the show turned out. I attribute it to the amount of research the creative team underwent prior to writing.
It was so refreshing to see a show that wasn't based on already well known source material. This is not an adaption of a movie, book, or play. It's not a revival. It's a totally original show from a relatively unknown creative team.
Come From Away was the most cathartic experience I've had on Broadway in a long time.
Who's in the cast?
Good question. This is one of the only shows on Broadway that doesn't have a celebrity leading the cast, or at least a lead actor that's "broadway-famous". It's the true embodiment of an ensemble show. Almost the entire cast is onstage almost the entire time.
The only cast member I knew beforehand was Jenn Colella. She's been on broadway in several new musicals, most recently in If/Then. None of her shows have really taken off like this one has (no pun intended). I'm glad she is getting the recognition she deserves with Come From Away, including a tony award nomination for this performance. Her song Me and the Sky is the 11 o'clock number, and one of the only solo songs in the entire show.
Well....this story is one of my favorite theater-going experiences and it happened at Come From Away:
During curtain call a bunch of people in the audience pulled out flags from different countries and started waving them. I felt a bit stupid/ignorant because there was a family directly in front of me enthusiastically waving their flag and I had NO CLUE what country it came from.
The band came downstage center and started jamming. I noticed a flag on the guitar player's instrument and recognized it as the flag being waved in front of me. Then it clicked- this had to be the NEWFOUNDLAND flag.
I tapped the guy with the flag on the shoulder to ask where it was from as we were walking out of the theater. He confirmed that it was from Newfoundland. I had a great conversation with him and his family about their home and the musical. They had come to New York City for the first time to see the show!
Then his Mom gave me a pin of their flag (pictured above) and started passing them out to other people around us. If that doesn't completely embody the spirit of the show, I'm not sure what else would.
A moment (and momento) I will cherish!
"Welcome to the rock
if you come from away"
Come From Away, Broadway