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Friday, November 10, 2017

On Broadway- Come From Away

Last year on Broadway, the musical Come From Away drew crtitical praise and everyone who saw the show raved about it. It was nominated for Best Musical at last year's Tony Awards, and won many awards across the country.

The musical tells the true story of the small town of Gander, in the Newfoundland province of Canada. On September 11th, 2001, the town of less than 10,000 residents added over 7000 more people as planes flying from Europe to the United States were forced to land in Gander as all air traffic was grounded due to the terrorist attacks that day.

The twelve actors in the show play multiple roles- residents of Gander, (such as the mayor, the police chief, two teachers, a bus driver, a news reporter on her first day) and as travelers on the planes forced to land (such as a female American Airlines pilot, a gay couple, a woman whose son is a NYC firefighter and an Egyptian chef).

The ensemble nature of the play works beautifully, and the actors work so well together in their dual roles. The songs are terrific, and there are very few solos, adding to the ensemble nature of the show.

Come From Away shows us the best of humanity at a time when perhaps we need to be reminded of that. The residents of Gander took in these 7000 people, finding them shelter, food, and most importantly, giving them comfort in a frightening situation.

As we meet the people on the planes, and see their confusion and fear trying to understand why they have been forced to land (they are not told what is going on, and most people then didn't have smart phones), the feelings of that day all come rushing back to audience members as well. We all remember where we were and how we found out, and hugging our family members closer. These poor people didn't have that, many of them were alone.

As serious as the subject is, there is plenty of humor in Come From Away. The show pokes a little fun at the residents of Gander, with the people on the planes not quite understanding why these Canadians are so friendly and willing to go out of their way to help them.

Come From Away is a show that I wish everyone could see; I hope that PBS' Great Performances tapes it for future broadcast. It gives you faith that we can all come together when times require it.

The most interesting aspect of the show is that the stories of these characters are true stories- these people are real people, and that makes the show even more extraordinary. Your heart will be full after seeing Come From Away.

There are discount tickets available for Come From Away, but this one is worth paying full price. I would compare it to another Broadway show I absoultely loved- Once. The website for Come From Away is here.

Below is an interview that Tom Brokaw did with the cast of the show for the Today Show.



  1. This is the next show on my list! I loved the book it is based upon, The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede.

  2. Nice review. I really want to see this show. I have family in Newfoundland who actually helped out with the stranded passengers on 9/11. I also recommend the Jim DeFede book that JoAnn mentioned. It is a really interesting insight into their time spent in Newfoundland.