BWW Review: COME FROM AWAY Is A Loving Tribute To The Best In All Of Us
5 out of 5 stars
Come From Away is not a musical about the September 11th terrorist attacks - if anything it is the exact opposite. Come From Away is a musical about all that is good in people - compassion, care, love, acceptance, equality, and treating others with kindness. Truly, it is a musical written for now.
What began as a short workshop in Toronto at Sheridan College's Canadian Musical Theatre Project (the initiative spearheaded by Michael Rubinoff creating new Canadian works) has become an incredible full scale, Broadway-bound production.
When passengers were finally permitted off the plane and taken to makeshift shelters in town, they didn't know what to expect. Many didn't speak English, and many had never been to Canada let alone a town like Gander.
But they were received, for a lack of a better phrase, like family. The town's population nearly doubled. Friendships were formed, romances ensued, and the greater good inside each of us prevailed.
Come From Away, if anything, is a tribute to the people who changed 7000 lives over the course of five days. It is also the best new, original musical I've ever seen.
Come From Away is an ensemble piece - with the company practically on stage the entire time. Stage veteran Jenn Colella has the one solo standout moment with her moving ballad "Me And The Sky" which tells the story of the first American female flight captain Beverley Bass.
The company also features Petrina Bromley, Geno Carr, Rodney Hicks, Chad Kimball, Lee MacDougall, Caesar Samayoa, Q. Smith, Astrid Van Wieren, Sharon Wheatley, Josh Breckenridge, Susan Dunstan, Tamika Lawrence, and Tony LePage.
Kendra Kassebaum also stands out as first day on the job reporter Janice, and Joel Hatch as the most approachable and loveable Mayor you'll likely ever encounter. (The actual Mayor of Gander was in attendance and the characterization is incredibly accurate.)
Kelly Devine's choreography perfectly inhabits the world of Newfoundland and blends it with musical theatre staging. The production is brilliant directed by Christopher Ashley who perfectly paces the drama while bringing enough comedy to the piece to keep it from being overwhelming.
Sankoff and Hein's score is enchanting, and full of songs that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be a better person when you leave the theatre. Don't miss Come From Away.
Come From Away plays Toronto through January 8th only, and begins performances on Broadway February 18th. For tickets and more information visit ComeFromAway.com.