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Review Roundup: COME FROM AWAY National Tour Returns to the Stage; What Did the Critics Think?


The production returned at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN.

Come From Away

The National Tour of Come From Away has returned to the stage! The production returned at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN earlier this month.

Come From Away is the breathtaking new musical, written by Canadians Irene Sankoff and David Hein, in a stunning production from Tony-nominated director Christopher Ashley.

In a heartbeat, 38 planes with 6,579 passengers were stranded in a remote town in Newfoundland. The locals opened their hearts and homes, hosting this international community of strangers- spurring unexpected camaraderie in extraordinary circumstances.

The cast is led by Marika Aubrey (Lincoln Center's South Pacific), Kevin Carolan (Disney's Newsies), Harter Clingman (Peter and The Starcatcher), Nick Duckart (In the Heights), Chamblee Ferguson, Sharriese Hamilton, Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), Julie Johnson (Memphis), James Earl Jones II (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess), Julia Knitel (Beautiful), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Sharone Sayegh (The Band's Visit), Jenny Ashman, Jane Bunting, Amelia Cormack, Aaron Michael Ray, Kilty Reidy and Brandon Springman.

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Orpheum Theatre - Memphis, TN

AniKatrina Fageol, BroadwayWorld: What struck me the most about this show is that this is truly an ensemble show. The 12 performers portrayed multiple characters, slipping into various dialects and cultures with ease. It's impossible to pick a favorite... every character had a compelling story to tell and each actor was incredible to watch. Kelly Devine's choreography draws you right into Newfoundland as we are immersed in the culture with the opening song. The show even has a live 8 piece band that comes on stage toward the end, playing lively tunes that will make you want to get up and join in. Each instrument is unique as the story is! You will hear guitars, pennywhistles, accordions, fiddles, and bodhrans. I know I was tapping my toes for the majority of the night.

Bass Performance Hall - Fort Worth, TX

Samantha Calimbahin, Twelve cast members play all the roles, impressively switching accents and swapping articles of clothing to transform into a different character. The plot follows an ongoing narration, as different characters take turns in the spotlight telling (or singing) their perspective of the events - but it's in no way boring. The show tackles 9/11 with somberness and sincerity but isn't averse to humor, creating a storyline that's equal parts entertaining and emotional, tying up each character arc with a nice bow at the end.

Rich Lopez, Dallas Voice: Although based on a true story, Come From Away was less historic and more a celebration of humanity. The value of selflessness and hospitality back then hits home now when people are so divided. Perhaps the show reminded us of what we could be in the face of a tragedy, but also what's lost. The appeal of Come From Away was its optimistic musical numbers and its humor but also it was a reminder of how easy it is to be kind and the legacy it can leave.

Walton Arts Center - Fayetteville, AR

Jocelyn Murphy, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette: What was unexpected was the way my heart swelled and the emotion with which I was overcome after the final bow had taken place. The lights were up and the musicians were given a moment to shine after the actors had left the stage. Everyone was out of their seats, enthusiastically clapping along. And looking around the sea of masked faces, a room of some 1,200 people engaging with the same piece of art I had just experienced too, I was moved in a way I haven't felt in more than a year and a half.

Kevin Kinder, Fayetteville Flyer: And, yes, this is a funny 9/11 show. The show is fast paced, with many short scenes, no intermission and a run time of under 100 minutes. It's a sparse set with energetic music played by a live rock band and characters that move quickly between accents and costumes. The show can be a lot of fun.

Broward Center For The Performing Arts - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Rod Stafford Hagwood, Sun Sentinel: But what "Come From Away" does completely nail, despite being smooth and kinetic, is sincerity. There are visceral moments - everything onstage stops while, for the first time, the passengers see the enormity of the attacks - when the show grasps something heartfelt and primal, like telling an epic story around a fire nestled among those virtual trees somewhere in the boonies of Newfoundland.

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