"Come From Away," a brand new musical based on the events of September 11, 2001, opened on Broadway tonight. Here's Roma Torre with her review.
"Come From Away" lands with a plane-load of optimism. The beautifully crafted musical leaves us not just feeling good, we’re transported on a wave of hope for humanity. This Canadian production, fine-tuned on U.S. stages, arrives 16 years after the nightmare of 9/11, delivering a long awaited catharsis that we didn’t even realize we needed.
It’s something of a docu-musical based on true events that unfolded that fateful day in Newfoundland. When it became clear that the U.S. was under a terror attack, our airspace was closed and it forced 38 planes to land in Gander International Airport. 7000 passengers and crew members were stranded in Newfoundland for 5 days. "Come From Away" tells the stories of some of those travelers and their Island hosts who went well above and beyond to welcome them.
A huge bravo to director Christopher Ashley who masterfully orchestrated the complex work. The ensemble of 12 actors switch off in multiple roles seamlessly. With just a piece of costume and a slight accent, they manage to alternate between characters with remarkable clarity. They don’t just look like ordinary people, they are entirely convincing as islanders and strangers finding communal peace through tragedy.
They’re backed by an 8-piece band that cooks up a storm on that stage. Just be sure to stick around after the curtain call. They go all-out with an encore performance.
Husband and wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein created this wonderful work with a moving score that's both melodic and toe-tappingly rousing. And an extra tip of the hat to Kelly Devine, credited with musical staging.
There’s only one solo number in the show and that features Jenn Colella playing a pilot — actually the nation’s first female airline captain — who just happened to be flying from Paris to Texas that day.
Every member of this extraordinary collaboration deserves the highest praise. With great warmth and humor, "Come From Away" is a soul stirring antidote to the terrors we face near and far.