Come From Away

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We went to see “Come From Away” in previews. It opens mid-month — get tickets now, because we think you will find it difficult after it opens.

First let me make it clear, I am leery of new musicals and do not like “rock” musicals, but I am highly recommending “Come from Away” a new rock musical at the Schoenfield Theater. It tells the story of how the little — population 10,000 — town of Gander, Newfoundland dealt with the unexpected arrival of 38 planes and 7,000 people who were diverted there when US airspace was closed on 9/11. This really happened and the real story is very touching, but this five day event is compressed into an action filled and highly moving hour and three quarters. The 12 person cast plays multiple roles as townspeople, plane crew members and passengers. While the music is indeed “rock” it was more than manageable, if a little loud! The action is non-stop and you’ll never look at your watch.

We loved the show, loved the cast, loved the idea and were very moved. 9/11 was for me — as many others — a seminal day in my life. Additionally both Toni and I have, unplanned, spent a few hours in the Gander airport, and my father was a frequent visitor during post WWII transatlantic flights. Perhaps this effected the emotional impact, but the story of how this little town reached out to the passengers, the relationship among the passengers and the outcome makes for compelling theater.

The show has had a two year trip from La Jolla, California to Broadway and by all reports it was good to begin with (my sister saw it in La Jolla) and has got better since.

Martin McKerrow

 

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Posted: 02/24/17 by Doug Anderson

“Come From Away” is the story of the 38 planes that were vectored into Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11 when US airspace was closed. It’s told from the point of view of the Newfoundlanders. Seven thousand “Plane People” arrived in a town of 9,000 people and stayed for a week. Everything we hear about Canadians was on full display.

The house was full and the energy palpable. Directly behind us sat two young couples from Newfoundland, excited and proud. They explained to us that the Celtic style music was Newfoundland music.

Five stars come in different sizes. Two nights ago we saw “Sunday in the Park with George” — a totally different five star experience from this. Audiences too are completely different. But five stars I give this, also.

Yes, the stories of the “Plane People” might have been more fully developed, but this 1 hour 45 minute production set its pace at the start and kept it up till the end and the audience loved it.

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