Stop what you’re doing and buy tickets to Come From Away before they raise prices
Not often do you see a new musical on Broadway that is so profoundly moving you feel the need to talk about it for days after your experience. Come From Away, a musical written by and celebrating Canadians, is exactly what America needs in such a divisive political climate.
Come From Away is written by Canadians David Hein and Irene Sankoff and tells the story of 7,000 stranded passengers who were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland when the US airspace closed on September 11, 2001. The town, with a population of roughly 9,000 at the time, rushed to care for their stranded guests for the following five days they were trapped in Gander. The kindness, generosity, and love of the Ganderites sends a message of universal hospitality for your fellow man (or woman)—no matter his or her race, country of origin, or gender.
The story is told in a fast-paced 1 hour and 45 minutes, where the actors barely pause for screams and applause throughout (to do so would surely damage the story’s momentum; after all, the Ganderites never stopped for rest when welcoming their guests.) David and Irene’s score mixes folk orchestrations with Irish undertones to give the music a local flair that you won’t find in any other Broadway score. It’s not too folksy, though. The show-stopping ballad “Me and the Sky” sung by Jenn Colella (as Captain Beverly Bass) delivers above expectations for anyone looking for a classic moment of Broadway belting.
The most astounding aspect of the show is the uniform power of the ensemble cast. Each character has their moment in the show, and many actors have multiple moments playing different characters. For example, the hilarious and hospitable Beulah (played by Astrid Van Wieren) delivers funny one liners about fish and cheese, cleaning the bathrooms, and more. In an adjacent scene, Ms. Van Wieren could be playing an anxious passenger aboard a stranded plane. The strength of the ensemble is only amplified by the simple and effective musical staging by Kelly Devine.
Above all, the book and score provide a powerfully efficient mode of storytelling that is truly unmatched elsewhere on Broadway. The simple but beautiful set and lighting design by Beowulf Boritt and Howell Binkley respectively further emphasizes how the story is the star—you don’t need flashy sets to achieve greatness on Broadway. If you read this far without buying a ticket, I applaud you, but you’re probably missing out on reasonably priced seats with every minute you wait.
Come From Away is currently open on Broadway and playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York City. Click here to buy tickets to Come From Away on Broadway via Seat Geek, our ticketing partner
Featured video courtesy of Broadway.com.