Friday, October 29, 2021

Come from Away

Twenty years after 9/11 and 14 months into the COVID shutdown, Broadway reopens for a performance of Come from Away featuring many of the original Broadway performers for a live recording on the musical about 7,000 strangers from all over the world stranded in the small town of Gander for five days. While originally planned to be a more traditional film, with scenes filmed in Newfoundland, the live performance of the first returning Broadway show brings its own kind of magic that is wonderful to watch unfold.

Based on true events, the Canadian musical by Irene Sankoff and David Hein offers plenty of both laughter and tears over its 106-minute running time featuring a small cast playing multiple roles of both the shaken visitors and incredibly hospitable locals. And director Christopher Ashley knows just how to frame each sequence, giving us the best seat in the house. 

For those who haven't seen the play, Come from Away is a rousing musical surrounding the five days after 38 planes were rerouted to Gander International Airport on 9/11, the work of the locals to provide for for an influx of visitors that nearly doubled the size of the town, and the struggles of those left stranded for days before being able to return home. They would leave transformed by the unique experience and hospitality they found on a giant rock, on the edge of the world, in the dark. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will leave you crushed by individual stories including a career pilot (Jenn Colella) realizing the biggest joy of her entire life was just turned into a deadly weapon, and it will leave you charmed by the beauty and graciousness of the human spirit.

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