“Come From Away” is a moving musical that tells the untold story of the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
What I found so moving about this musical was that while not diminishing the tragic events that transpired, it shows us how human beings can make such a huge difference just by comforting one another. The developing relationships and experiences portrayed during the musical were so inspiring of how supportive and caring humanity can be.
The goal of the musical is to reveal as many perspectives as possible from the days following Sept. 11, 2001 in Gander. The musical definitely achieves this goal and manages to tell the true stories of passengers, flight attendants, pilots, journalists and the residents and mayor of Gander. Each actor plays multiple roles, requiring them to constantly switch their costumes and accents.
This ultimately serves to share as many perspectives with the audience as possible, which the actors do very effectively, giving me, someone who wasn’t even alive during the attacks, a sense of what it felt like to be in their shoes. I was struck by the historical accuracy of all of the stories of the characters in the musical.
Perhaps more impressively, “Come From Away” is 100 straight minutes of action, with no pauses in performance to change the set or costumes. The cast seamlessly transitions from, for example, town residents discussing how they can help prepare for the influx of people, to worried passengers on board an incoming flight.
Like the popular musical “Hamilton,” all dialogue in “Come From Away” is conveyed through song, but not in rap style like in “Hamilton.” “Come From Away” combines a variety of upbeat music styles with some slower tunes during more somber parts of the musical.
I strongly recommend this musical to everyone because it gives so many new perspectives behind the Sept. 11 attacks, has exceptional and contagious music, is the perfect balance of solemn commemoration and comedy and reveals untold positivity in the wake of tragedy.
While the last day of the national tour’s D.C. stop was Jan. 5, the play is still running on Broadway and touring around the country. If you’re in New York and plan to see a show while your there, definitely consider “Come From Away.”