The best thing about live musical theatre is its ability to tell stories and convey emotions through powerful music and performances. Come From Away is one of those musicals that does that perfectly. It takes you on a ride through rousing music and performances while also celebrating the best side of people: kindness. This musical is a timely true story that will inspire and make people feel comforted during these trying times. Canadians, this story connects to you. If you want to experience more of the story that happened in Gander, Newfoundland, during and after that terrible day in September of 2001, your chance has come as Come From Away arrives at Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada, beginning this August.
“For the most part, though, “Come From Away” is breathless in a way that will leave you in awe. The balancing act it achieves here is really something—the show is constantly evolving within a confined space, it’s robust yet intimate, and for all its artistic complexity, it manages to maintain a let’s-put-on-a-show scrappiness. A musical about the aftermath of 9/11 may sound like an eat-your-vegetables chore, but “Come From Away” is as comforting—and as layered—as a plate of poutine.”
– Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
“Not only is Come From Away relevant in a political sense, but its heart and comforting emotion expressing that no matter how bad things get we will get through it feels perfect for the modern moment.”
– Carson Timar, CLAPPER
Come From Away is based on the story of the residents of Gander, Newfoundland, and the travelers they have to accommodate after the tragedy of 9/11 occurred. It is from the idea of theatre producer Michael Rubinoff and the writing of married couple Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Sankoff and Hein visited Gander during the 10th anniversary of the attacks in 2011 to meet and interview the residents and the visiting passengers that were stranded there. Because they were so inspired by the stories, they were stoked to write about them. “We set out to write a show that would honor them and celebrate the kindness they had shown to the world,” said Sankoff in an interview. In 2012, they were able to narrow down their writings into a 45-minute show, practically creating the first half. To their delight, it became a success, and the rest was history.
Sankoff and Hein were able to collect hundreds of stories, and they were able to highlight multiple and intertwine them masterfully. You will see a plane pilot deal with the tragedy’s impact on her work, a friendship forming between two ladies while dealing with loss, two people falling in love with each other, and a couple that slowly realizes that they might not be for each other. Most significantly, you will see a community forming with solid bonds. All of these were real stories based on real people. They were strangers from different parts of the world, finding solace in each other.
“All the various story and character strands are skillfully balanced and delineated while the show maintains its togetherness vibe.” – Wenlei Ma, News.com.au
In 2015 Come From Away’s first-ever professional production started in two locations which are in La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and Seattle Repertory Theatre in Seattle. It became a favorite and was transferred to many big theatres in 2016 and 2017. It first moved to the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and then to the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Ontario. Finally, in March 2017, it came to Broadway.
The Broadway show was directed by Christopher Ashley, choreographed by Kelly Devine, with scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, and music direction by Ian Eisendrath. After five years on Broadway, it is slated to end in October with 25 previews and 1,670 regular performances.
Come From Away is a blockbuster hit with its lively Celtic music, simplistic designs, and moving performances. Because of this, various award-giving bodies have recognized the musical with 19 awards since 2017. Christopher Ashley won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. The same year, Drama Desk Awards awarded the musical with 3 wins for Outstanding Musical, the Outstanding Featured Actress award for Jenn Colella as Beverly Bass, and Outstanding Musical Book. In 2019, the West End production won four Olivier awards for Best New Musical, Outstanding Achievement in Music, Best Sound Design, and Best Theatre Choreography.
Apart from the Broadway stint, many countries have productions and tours of the musical. These are found in Australia, Argentina, and the U.K. A Canadian tour is coming to Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada, which will start on August 30 and continue until September 4. If you want to get inspired and or want to enjoy the magic of a musical, get some tickets now. You can book it by clicking the “Get Tickets” button above and on the preferred day you want to watch it.