Breaking News: COME FROM AWAY Sets Opening Night; Newfoundland Benefit Concerts Set for This Fall!
The producers of Come From Away announced today that they will honor the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador and the "come from aways" whose lives inspired the new musical Come From Away with two special benefit concert performances at Gander's hockey arena, The Steele Community Centre (155 Airport Boulevard, Gander, NL), on Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 3pm (NDT) and 8pm (NDT). The benefit concerts, presented in association with the Town of Gander, NL, will star the cast of the Broadway and Toronto productions of Come From Away. Tickets are now on sale for the two benefit concert performances of Come From Away in Gander, NL and are $20. For reservations and more information please visit www.gandercanada.tix.com, or contact the Steele Community Centre box office at 709-651-5931 or in person between the hours of 10am (NDT) and 5:30pm (NDT), Monday through Friday.
100% of the revenue from the special benefit concert performances will go to local Newfoundland charities that support the affected communities.
Claude Elliott, who has been the Mayor of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador since March 6, 1996, said "The events of September 11, 2001 forever changed how Gander and surrounding communities are viewed on the global stage. Now our communities have taken on another role of a different kind, this time on a Broadway stage! For those who did not witness the extraordinary acts of kindness, the performance of Come From Away in Gander will highlight the many selfless acts made by residents during that trying time. For those who were a part of the efforts to accommodate over 6,600 unexpected visitors, the performance will demonstrate the impact of their hospitality. As a community, we are excited that the people of Gander and surrounding areas will be able to see a production that showcases how the power of love and human decency, even in the midst of darkness, can bring light and restore our faith in mankind. We are very thankful to everyone who worked on this production to bring it to fruition."
"When we first heard about what had happened in Gander, we were drawn to this story about seeing humanity at its best in the wake of seeing it at its worst," said Irene Sankoff, "and when we first went to Newfoundland to interview the people who are portrayed in Come From Away, we were overwhelmed by the same generosity that the Come From Aways experienced in 2001."
"Since we started writing Come From Away we were focused on creating a musical that honored the people we met - as well as the truth of what happened over those five days." said David Hein, "With each reading, workshop and production the project grew in a way we never could have expected, so when plans were being made to bring the show to Broadway, Irene and I felt strongly that our friends in Newfoundland should be given the chance to experience our telling of their story first. And what better way to do that than with a benefit concert?"
The Benefit Concert will star the cast of the Broadway and Toronto productions of Come From Away, Newfoundland native Petrina Bromley (Stratford's As You Like It); Geno Carr (The Old Globe's Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas); Jenn Colella (If/Then); Joel Hatch (Annie); Rodney Hicks (The Scottsboro Boys); Kendra Kassebaum(Wicked); Tony Award nominee Chad Kimball (Memphis); Canadian Lee MacDougall (Stratford's The Music Man);Caesar Samayoa (Sister Act); Q. Smith (Mary Poppins); Canadian Astrid Van Wieren (North American premiere ofMamma Mia!) and Sharon Wheatley (Avenue Q).
COME FROM AWAY will begin performances at a Shubert Theater to be announced on Broadway Saturday, February 18, 2017 and officially open Sunday, March 12, 2017, following productions at Washington DC's Ford's Theatre (Friday, September 2 - Sunday, October 9, 2016), and Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre (Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - Sunday, January 8, 2017).
With a book, music and lyrics by Canadians Irene Sankoff & David Hein, Come From Away is directed by Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley (Memphis), choreographed by Tony Award nominee Kelly Devine (Rocky), with music supervision by Ian Eisendrath (A Christmas Story), scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One), costume design by Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James (Jelly's Last Jam), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Hamilton), sound design by Tony Award nominee Gareth Owen (End of the Rainbow), orchestrations by August Eriksmoen (Bright Star), music arrangements by Ian Eisendrath and casting by Telsey + Company.
In a heartbeat, 38 planes and 6,579 passengers were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, doubling the population of one small town on The Edge of the world.
On September 11, 2001 the world stopped. On September 12, their stories moved us all.
Following sold-out, record-breaking, critically acclaimed world premiere engagements at La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Come From Away landed on the "Best Theater of 2015" lists in the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, San Diego Union Tribune, and Times of San Diego. Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times called the show "An affecting, stirring and unpretentious new musical. Christopher Ashley's production lets the simple goodness of ordinary people outshine sensational evil," and Bob Verini of Variety raved, "Superb! Canadians Irene Sankoff and David Hein have forged a moving, thoroughly entertaining tribute to international amity and the indomitable human spirit."
COME FROM AWAY was originally co-produced in 2015 by La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theater. Come From Away (NAMT Festival 2013) was originally developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Michael Rubinoff Producer, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and was further developed at Goodspeed Musicals' Festival of New Artists, in East Haddam, CT. The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, Steve and Paula Reynolds and The Fifth Avenue Theatre, Seattle WA also provided development support.
For more information please visit www.ComeFromAway.com