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.

By: Oct. 26, 2021
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.

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts - West Palm Beach, FL

Mary Damiano, Palm Beach Daily News: Each of the 12 actors in "Come From Away" play multiple roles and deftly give each of those characters a distinct life on stage, sometimes switching roles mid-scene. In addition to Kevin J., Duckart gives a powerful performance as Ali, a Muslim man singled out by authorities and humiliated because of his religion. Marika Aubrey brilliantly plays real-life aviation pioneer Beverley Bass and gets one of the most devastating songs in the show "Me and the Sky," but she also hilariously plays Annette, a man-hungry Gander resident.

Marie Speed, Boca: The cast is exuberant and flawless in their meticulous execution of shifting characters; the music is fresh and the characters that emerge look and feel as real as the ones they are based upon. Hannah O'Rourke (Sharriese Hamilton) delivers a heartrending performance of a mother waiting for the phone to ring, and her solo, "I am here," captures the anguish of everyone in those few days awaiting news of loved ones.

Jenna Lee, South Florida Insider: The excellent cast featuring Kevin Carolan (Disney's Newsies on Broadway) as Claude and Marika Aubrey (Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda at the RSC) as Beverly casts a delicate balance between borderline-absurd comedy and the confusion and overwhelming grief surrounding 9/11. Aubrey in particular conveys contagious enthusiasm as she belts out her feminist anthem Me and the Sky, while Christine Toy Johnson (Diane) and Chamblee Ferguson (Nick) deliver a lovably awkward romance tale that the audience has to root for.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Sarasota, FL

Carrie Seidman, Herald-Tribune: Trying to capture the zeitgeist of this unprecedented moment in history could have resulted in either cloying sentimentalism or snarky satire, but this show nimbly avoids both. Though it doesn't provide the kind of earworm tunes that linger after you leave the theater and lacks a complexity of emotional depth, its fast-paced stream of song and spoken narrative ensures engagement for the 100-minute duration of the show, which is performed without an intermission.

Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine: Probably everyone who sees Come From Away will have a favorite song or character. Some of mine, besides the opening number, are "Me and the Sky," sung by a female airplane pilot (Marika Aubrey) upset because the planes she loves to fly were used to cause deaths; the haunting "Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere," as the passengers somberly head home to a changed existence; and, of course, "Screech In," a pub number that depicts the ceremonial tradition of newbies becoming Newfoundlanders by drinking some god-awful booze and "kissing the cod." (Yes, it's true.)

Jacob Ruscoe, BroadwayWorld: While no one character takes center stage this "company" of Marika Aubrey, Kevin Carolan, Harter Clingman, Nick Duckart, Chamblee Ferguson, Sharriese Hamilton, Christine Toy Johnson, Julie Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Julia Knitel, Sharone Sayegh and Jeremy Woodard dominate the stage in what can only be described as an electric display of true art. Their work combined with the beautiful scenic artistry and prodigious band who build the demonstrative rise of the show leaves no doubt that you are witnessing something special whenever you see this show.

Times Union Performing Arts Center - Jacksonville, FL

Jordan Higginbotham, BroadwayWorld: I truly cannot praise this company enough. Each of the 12 actors played at least 2 parts if not more. I have not seen costume changes so flawless and actors able to go in and out of character like this. Everyone jumped from one dialect to another in a matter of seconds and it was impressive. Beverley Bass/Annette/Others (Marika Aubrey) had an incredible voice. She is an amazing voice, brilliantly displayed in "Me and the Sky" in which Beverley Bass sings through her journey of becoming the first female pilot and what it was like to hear the thing she loved the most was used "as the bomb." The heartbreak that Aubrey sings in that last line will make anyone hold back tears.

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Center - Fort Myers, FL

David Elias, NBC 2: However, as it proceeded I couldn't help but fall in love with the performance, which I quickly realized, tells those fateful days from a different perspective. This show is undoubtedly a beacon of hope during the darkest of times but isn't so heavy that it will leave you feeling depressed rather it is packed with uplifting slap-on-the-knee music and comedic lines while addressing underlying problems of multiculturalism.

Orpheum Theatre - Minneapolis, MN

Joe Sarafolean, BroadwayWorld: In a world where we seem to be surrounded by stress and despair, a show about community and lifting one another up is the perfect story to be told at this time. Emotions run high in this production, partly due to the subject matter revolving around one of the greatest tragedies to befall our nation but also because of the humanity that was demonstrated by the people of Newfoundland.

Dominic P. Papatoal, Twin Cities Pioneer Press: Tuesday night's energy between performers and audience was palpable: I don't think I've ever seen a mesmerized audience spring to its feet so quickly and spontaneously to offer a standing ovation. Most hung around for a post-curtain-call jam by the eight-member band who rocked the place with mandolins and tin whistles and accordions. It was a heart-thumping, transcendent, joyous moment ... and who among us isn't crying for that?

Boo Segersin, Twin Cities Arts Reader: The musical score for this show is spectacular, with tight harmonies and layered melodies sung by a talented touring cast. Inspired by the folk music and soundscapes of Newfoundland, the music does not have that typical Broadway sound, but rather incorporates traditional instruments such as fiddles, pennywhistles, and bodhrans (a type of hand drum commonly found in Celtic music). The band is on stage rather than in the pit, allowing for more interaction with the rest of the action. In one of my favorite moments, a member of the band joins the cast center stage with an "ugly stick". See if you can spot it!

Proctors - Schenectady, NY

Steve Barnes, Times-Union: Over a continuously flowing 100 minutes, under the creative, fluid direction of Christopher Ashley, the cast uses chairs, props and endless changes of costume (by Toni-Leslie James) to create a world in which a town's population nearly doubles in a few hours as dozens of planes land, 700 people cram into a school meant for 400, the town hockey rink is turned into a huge cooler for food being trucked in and the locals become heroic in ways that seem superhuman.

Laura DaPolite, Nippertown: The music was foot stomping and fun, and included a live band with Irish roots sound. Each actor performed at least two roles, including a plane person and a townsperson. The vocal performances were each spot-on delightful, and the actors reflected the diversity of the human experience of multicultural travelers seeking solace on that terrible day. Connecting through biblical verse, shared experiences of parenthood, and romance, the characters flounder to understand the unfathomable truths of 9/11 while away from home and those they love to comfort them.

Altria Theater - Richmond, VA

Zahra Ndirangu, The Commonwealth Times: Rarely is there a musical that connects so deeply with the human experience, and "Come From Away" possesses that quality. The energy in the Altria Theater was palpable, and the audience buzzed for the entirety of the show, giving multiple standing ovations. In the humorous moments, the room filled with uproarious laughter - in the heavy moments of the show, one could hear a pin drop.

Ohio Theatre - Columbus, OH

Christina Mancuso, BroadwayWorld: And that's exactly what it was. An uplifting, heart-warming presentation of the human spirit and what we are capable of in the midst of tragedy. Woven with laughter, tears, Irish folk songs, Celtic dancing, and saving bonobos (one of which was headed to the Columbus Zoo), Come From Away cuts to the core of humanity, hope, generosity, and resilience.

Michael Grossberg, The Columbus Dispatch: Deftly playing multiple composite characters, the versatile 12-member ensemble captures the spirit of community forged between 9,300 "islanders" and 6,700 "plane people" when 38 diverted airplanes land unexpectedly in Gander on the chaotic day of the terrorist attacks.

Kentucky Center [Whitney Hall] - Louisville, KY

Taylor Clemons, BroadwayWorld: The cast is so in-sync with each other, which is what makes a truly stunning show. Everyone has standout moments to shine, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Marika Aubrey as Captain Beverley Bass. She's the only character with a true solo, and she delivers it with so much heart, you can just feel her soul pouring out onto the stage. Her vocals are soaring and her characterization is phenomenal. I'd also love to specifically praise Christine Toy Johnson and Chamblee Ferguson as Diane and Nick respectively.

Kathryn Gregory, Courier Journal: Led by powerhouse performances from Marika Aubrey (Beverley/Annette and others) and Kevin Carolan (Claude and others), with ample comic relief across the board from performers including Julie Johnson (Beulah and others), Julia Knitel (Janice and others) and Harter Clingman (Oz and others), the entire cast embodied the warmth, kindness and what I can only assume is the general likeability of small-town Canadians.

Cadillac Palace Theatre - Chicago, IL

Kathleen Anwar, BroadwayWorld: Lighting in this show perfectly matched the mood depending on the scene: warm lighting for the gatherings at Tim Horton's, and cool blues for the transit scenes. To accommodate the many transitions, costumes were simple but effective, displaying everyday wear of ordinary people in the early 2000s. Finally, this incredible show would not be half as charming without the live folk musicians. Musical conductor Myrna Conn synchronized fiddles, flutes and ugly sticks galore that gave this piece the cherry on top of authenticity that it needed.

Amanda Finn, New City Stage: So let yourself get swept up in the chaos, the overlapping lyrics coming at you in thick Newfinese that all at once may thrill or confuse you. Embrace the love you see radiating across the stage. Remember that it doesn't need to take a tragedy to unite us. Then take all those feelings, hold them close, and go back out into the world with a greater sense of human spirit-I know I did.

Eloise Marie Valadez, NWI: The latest production gracing the stage of Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre is based on a true story that will not only tug at the heartstrings but also have audience members believing in the good one can still find at various times in the world.

Doug Mose, Third Coast Review: The uniformly talented cast of a dozen actors, who spend almost the entire show on stage, portray multiple characters who find (mostly) the best brought out in themselves under overwhelming circumstances. This deeply human story, aided by a propulsive Celtic-infused pop-rock score performed by the excellent onstage band, grips the audience's attention with its opening anthem "Welcome to the Rock" and rarely pauses-not even for applause-until the emotional finale some 100 minutes later.

Music Hall at Fair Park - Dallas, TX

Emily Short, BroadwayWorld: I don't know much about Gander, Newfoundland, the setting of this true story, but after the opening musical number, "Welcome to the Rock," I felt like I was part of their community. I must admit, when hearing the lyric, "you'll probably understand about half of what we say," I unwillingly let out a nervous laugh, but as a new member of the Gander community, I was able to understand them just fine. Through the lyrics and the characters' interactions while singing this song, the closeness of the citizens of Gander was clear, and it became even more clear throughout the performance.

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts - Houston, TX

Armando Urdiales, BroadwayWorld: The stories that Sankoff and Hein illustrate for the audience are deeply emotional, yet still comedic. For example, the story of Bonnie, expertly played by Sharone Sayegh, a veterinarian of Canada's SPCA, who is simply trying to take care of not only cats and dogs but also rare animals. The story of the British Nick (Chamblee Ferguson) and Texan Diane (Christine Toy Johnson) finding serendipitously love on that fateful day is one for the ages. (I highly encourage you to google their love story after the show, I did and you will not be disappointed!)

Doni Wilson, Houston Chronicle: Form follows function in this show, and this is truly an ensemble effort. This makes perfect sense, because this story is about a group effort, with no one upstaging anyone else. Yes, there are a few solo moments and some duets, but this musical is about community, with the songs and dances of the group underscoring that point. For example, Marika Aubrey as Beverley, the American Airlines pilot, was great whether flirting with a fellow pilot in a comic moment, or recounting the sexism she encountered on her journey to success in aviation. But her role is woven in with the other multiple characters who are dependent upon each other to get through this crisis. Even when there is a monologue, it never overshadows the team effort of the production.

D.L. Groover, Houston Press: What glories exalt in its Celtic rock-inspired Broadway heart. The octet of spirited musicians, on harmonium, accordion, bousouki, acoustic bass, bodhran, and fiddle, on stage with the actors, dance with abandon. All is lively and perfectly lovely. You'll want to clog along with them. The songs in themselves aren't memorable, you won't hear them covered anytime soon, but as a cohesive score they work like gangbusters in mood and style. The propulsive numbers move this show in ways parallel to Ashley's magic. It's satisfying on an elemental level - it's just right, exactly what this show should sound like.

Schuster Performing Arts Center - Dayton, OH

Michael Woody, Dayton Local: Prior to attending, my excitement level for the show was pretty low. I expected a ho-hum depressing tale about travelers that get stranded in Newfoundland on 9/11. I left bursting with pride over having a new musical in my all-time top three. It's a gripping, fast-paced journey with lots of hearty laughs mixed with tear jerking moments of sincere sadness. From beginning to end, 'Come From Away' is a display of pure excellency.

National Theatre - Washington, DC

Ken Kemp, BroadwayWorld: Each actor plays 3 - 5 separate, distinct roles - from the Newfoundlanders who provide aid and comfort, to the airline pilots, crew and passengers - seamlessly changing from one character to the next in the blink of an eye. And all while doing subtle costume (and accent) changes and constantly re-arranging the tables and chairs on stage to create airplanes, buses, shelters, bars and even a scenic overlook. (For an actor and director, watching the carefully choreographed logistics of all of the action was a pleasure in and of itself.)

Kelsey Casselbury, MD Theatre Guide: You might think that this musical would be a heartbreaker. You might wonder how someone could even consider creating a musical about the atrocity of 9/11. But while you might need a couple of tissues, rest assured that you won't leave "Come From Away" a blubbering mess. This musical is so full of heart and soul, and funny to boot-the laughs come far more frequently than the tears. That doesn't mean that the show skirts the horrors of what happened that day. From the harsh reality of how Muslims were targeted with fear and hatred immediately after the attacks, to the devastation of firefighters lost in the WTC rubble, Sankoff and Hein face the worst of what happened without dwelling on the devastation.

Bob Ashby, DC Metro: Of the former, Beverly (Marika Aubery) is the most notable. The first female American Airlines captain, she gets the show's outstanding solo number, "Me and the Sky," an autobiographical piece about her overcoming ingrained prejudice against women in the cockpit. Aubery knocks the number out of the park. As a middle-aged couple who fall in love while in Gander, Nick and Diane (Chamblee Ferguson and Christine Toy Johnson) have a gentle duet, "Stop the World," as they contemplate parting too soon after meeting.

Tennessee Performing Arts Center - Nashville, TN

Amy Stumpfl, Nashville Scene: It's pretty heady stuff, and could easily veer off into rather hokey territory. But Canadian writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein explore these themes with humility, charm and surprising humor, providing a lovely score that supports each scene. "Welcome to the Rock" sets the tone for the evening, introducing key characters and establishing the ordinary comings and goings of Gander. And Christopher Ashley (who earned a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical) demonstrates a remarkable gift for movement. Together with choreographer Kelly Devine, he has devised some marvelous moments that honor both the chaos and the incredible compassion surrounding the story.

Lied Center for Performing Arts - Lincoln, NE

Analisa Swerczek, BroadwayWorld: The cast of this tour of Come From Away is simply stunning. With each performer playing more than one character without any significant costume changes, the attention to detail and strong character choices are more important than ever to successfully tell this story, and the cast did so with ease. Some standout performances come from Julie Johnson and James Earl Jones II, who play Beulah and Bob respectively. Their comedic timing and delivery has the audiences in stitches more than once, with Julie belting out an impressive "My Heart Will Go On" and James's explanation of the experiences he has "stealing grills" for the town barbecue.

Alyssa Johnson, The Daily Nebraskan: Every character has a story about how they started that day. For the majority, it was a normal day of school and work. The performance opened with a powerful song about the broken morning routine on 9/11, "Welcome To The Rock," that instantly sent chills throughout my body. It tells the story of everyday life in Newfoundland, followed by the song "38 Planes" when flights were grounded, thus crowding the small town's airport.

Washington Pavilion - Sioux Falls, SD

Sonja Niles, BroadwayWorld: The jokes and bits by all cast members were fresh and delivered with impeccable timing. The multiple character performances of James Earl Jones II, executed with a vast array of vocal tones, accents and pitches are all brilliantly accomplished in this production. The vocal prowess of Marika Aubrey, Danielle K. Thomas and Jeremy Woodard are notable for their power, emotional expression and musicianship. The romantic couple discovering love in the midst of such turmoil, portrayed by Jenny Ashman and Chamblee Ferguson, were just the right blend of awkward and charming to snare the audience into rooting for their love to transcend that place and time. Kevin Carolan as the Mayor (and various other adorable characters) was a delight to watch as well.

Popejoy Hall - Albuquerque, NM

Adrian Gomez, Albuquerque Journal: Each cast member flawlessly moved to another character with a flip of a hat or a swoosh of a jacket. Simply amazing to watch.

Civic Theatre - San Diego, CA

E.H. Reiter, BroadwayWorld: The ensemble is incredibly talented and all play multiple roles-often becoming one role after another sometimes with only a hat or a change in posture and accent. Lighting by Howell Binkley, scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, and direction by Christopher Ashley are all clean and simple and rooted in highlighting to story on stage. With only some tables and chairs, scenes move from planes to bars, to schools, and back again.

Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune: Twelve actors play all the roles of Gander's welcoming townfolk and the grounded international passengers ("come from away" is what Newfoundlers call island visitors). The multitalented touring cast are strong singers, actors and dancers who can pop in and out of Canadian, African, European and multiple American dialects. Standouts include James Earl Jones II, Julia Knitel, Jenny Ashman, Kevin Carolan, Danielle K. Thomas and Julie Johnson.

Dan Letchworth, San Diego Magazine: While "Screech In" has that familiar building-toward-intermission energy, it instead leads directly into the second-best number (your SkyMiles may vary), "Me and the Sky." Marika Aubrey is fantastic as the real-life Beverley Bass. Her solo is what the entire movie Captain Marvel was trying to be (sorry not sorry). Taking a nearly three-act journey in itself, it tells her life story of overcoming discrimination to become American Airlines' first female captain: Your heart will soar with her, then plummet at the line "Suddenly I'm flying Paris to Dallas / across the Atlantic and feeling calm / when suddenly..."-as you realize what rhyme is coming for calm.

Ahmanson Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

Keri Tombazian, Audacy: The 2018 Ahmanson production of Come From Away stirred us to our feet in jubilation at the curtain call. And just like that opening night crowd, we sprang up in celebration and tears for the dynamic 2022 ensemble as they took their hard-earned bows in this new production. Not only for the actors did we cheer, but also the band; the individual musicians are wizards at their game, but collectively, they make up the equivalent of an entire character. A spare set dressed with trees, chairs, and a table or two, props of hats, phones, and a fish, are more than enough to conjure that magical moment when tragedy met blessing.

ASU Gammage - Tempe, AZ

Emily Noxon, BroadwayWorld: There is so much to love about this production: the simple set, the small cast playing multiple roles, the ingenious direction, the band performing on stage, the precision of the choreography, the rotating stage, I honestly do not have a bad thing to say. Admittedly, I have loved this show from the second I heard it, so I had high expectations going in and I left the theater feeling fulfilled and hopeful. Until I tried to get out of the Gammage parking lot...oof.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts - Costa Mesa, CA

Michael Quintos, BroadwayWorld: Endearingly inspirational and beautifully performed, COME FROM AWAY---as seen in this relaunched post-lockdown national tour---certainly proves itself to be worthy of repeat visits. And more so than ever before---especially with everything (terrible) going on in the world lately---seeing the show again now is a wonderful, very needed antidote to the rampant negativity that pervades our lives today. At its core, the show is a hopeful reminder that, even in the darkest of times, such unconditional kindness for others does still exist in our world, even if evidence of such behavior is getting harder and harder to find these days.

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts - San Jose, CA

Linda Hodges, BroadwayWorld: Beowulf Boritt's minimalist set gives us the starkness of "Darkness and Trees," which was the first impression of Newfoundland that the passengers had, but the music (Cameron Moncur, Conductor) truly sets the stage. Playing instruments including the Harmonium (Cameron Moncur), the Bodhran (Steve Holloway), a Bouzouki (Martin Howley), a Fiddle (Kiana June Weber) and Uilleann Pipes (Isaac Alderson), brought a bracing Celtic sea-farer sound that captured the tambour and feel of the island located at the very northeastern tip of Canada.

Fifth Avenue Theatre - Seattle, WA

Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld: Irene Sankoff and David Hein's beautiful show takes you on an emotional rollercoaster for 100 minutes with their rousing folk music and stirring ballads. As the play "Steel Magnolias" teaches us, laughter through tears is one of the best emotions, and "Come From Away" manages that over and over. You'll cry over the losses only to turn around the next second and bust out laughing over the two Kevins, or the New Yorker's trepidation on stealing other people's grills, or that Canadian delicacy fish with cheese. And whatever moment grabs ahold of you, and speaking with others I've found different moments of this show hit different people the hardest, this stunning show will send you out into the night with a renewed sense of hope for the world. And we can all use that.

Dusty Somers, The Seattle Times: "Come From Away" is propelled by a mood of perpetual uplift, saved from bloating into something distastefully maudlin by real acknowledgment of the devastation that precipitated this moment of human triumph. Hannah (Danielle K. Thomas) waits anxiously by the phone for word from her firefighter son who hasn't been seen since the attacks, while Beverley (Marika Aubrey), an American Airlines pilot, reels from the shattering of her sacred space.

First Interstate Center For the Arts - Spokane, WA

Carolyn Lamberson, Spokesman: Drawn from the stories of those who experienced it, "Come From Away" deftly portrays their stories as a series of snapshots. We don't get a lot of depth here - Bass' backstory is the only one explored at any length - but we get enough. The emotions are real. When the passengers, some of whom had been on their planes for more than 24 hours, get to the shelter, they stop, glued to the TV as they take in the horror and sing the powerful number "Lead Us Out of the Night."

Queen Elizabeth Theatre - Vancouver

Alyson Eng, BroadwayWorld: COME FROM AWAY is 1 hour and 40 minutes and performed with no intermission. It fits in the category of "not too long, but not too short" adding to its appeal. The staging is simple, as it remains (for the most part) the same throughout the show with changes in scenes portrayed by additions of props, furniture, sounds, and lighting. Approximately halfway through, the stage starts to revolve similar to the stage in the musical, Hamilton. As the story becomes more complex with greater character development, the additional components to the stage reflects on this as well.

Gail Johnson, Stir: Toni-Leslie James's costuming is suitably plain, most of the performers in everyday clothes like jeans and runners; there's the odd baseball cap, and the elementary-school teacher dons cargo pants. The mayor, whose days typically start and end at Tim Horton's, is the most dressed-up, with a plaid blazer and loafers. Beowulf Boritt's set, flanked by trees, is similarly simple. The performers reconfigure mismatched wooden chairs that act as the cabin of a plane that passengers were stuck on for hours; the yellow bus that transported people to schools, Salvation Army shelters, community centres, and churches in Gander and nearby towns; and the legion where spent locals and visitors alike gathered one night to dance and drink Screech.

Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Edmonton

Sarah Dussome, BroadwayWorld: Despite the shocking tragedy, the citizens of Gander are determined to provide their nearly 7,000 guests with top-notch Maritime hospitality. Highlights include a particularly lively pub night (folksy toe-tapper Screech In) in which the bravest visitors don jaunty yellow rain hats, each take a swig of screech, and kiss a codfish to become honourary Newfoundlanders. Other noteworthy numbers include electrifying opening number Welcome to the Rock and dryly comedic ensemble number 38 Planes. As American Airlines captain Beverley Bass, Marika Aubrey delivers a powerful rendition of showstopper Me and the Sky.

Lianne Faulder, Edmonton Journal: For one thing, it's an ensemble cast, with actors who toggle between portraying passengers and Gander folks, as befits a story that emphasizes community. While there are some characters that naturally draw the audience's attention slightly more than others, including pilot Beverley Bass (Marika Aubrey) who plays American Airlines' first female captain - there is no standout performance. Nobody has to compete for jokes - there is plenty of Newfoundland humour to go around. The audience literally roared throughout the evening at the comic exchanges.

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary

Louis Hobson, Calgary Herald: The genius of Come from Away is that the same 12 actors using 12 chairs, a few tables, boxes and props portray dozens of locals and visitors. It's all done with a quick change of hats, jackets, scarves, shirts, blouses, accents and attitudes. This amazing sleight of hand requires an ensemble of multi-talented performers who can bring as much zest to each new character as they do to the songs and that is precisely what we have in the cast of this top-notch touring production from Broadway Across Canada.

Memorial Auditorium Sacramento - Sacramento, CA

Courtney Symes, BroadwayWorld: Would anyone want to go see a show that's only about the dark sides of 9/11? No, that would be far too depressing. Come From Away explores the emotions, racial tensions, and hardships that all the passengers felt, but infuses the dialect with humor before any of us can become rooted in sadness. It is equally witty, poignant, and mesmerizing. My litmus test of a great show is asking myself if I would go see it again the same week. The answer is yes, a resounding yes!

Morrison Center for the Performing Arts - Boise, ID

Jessa moore, BroadwayWorld: Written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the show is fast paced and enjoyable and while there are some darker undertones, Hein and Sankoff make sure there is room for moments of joy, light, and even levity. It is a beautiful demonstration of the potential for light to exist in dark situations. Stage lighting design was done by Howell Binkley, who passed away in 2021. The actors on stage fill the roles of several "characters" from residents of Gander to the stranded passengers at the change of a light. With choreography done by Kelly Devine the dancing on stage is never overly flashy to take away from the moments on stage , but still spark joy in seeing how the story progresses.

Buell Theatre- Denver Center for the Performing Arts - Denver, CO

Chris Ameson, BroadwayWorld: The musical plays with just an ensemble of 12, somewhat encapsulating the spirit of community brought on by the show. No single character is a lead, and multiple characters are played by the same actors. While you may expect something a bit more somber from a show focusing on a tragic event, it turns out to be a celebration of humanity, a warm reminder of what can happen when we take care of each other.

Manitoba Theatre Center: Main Stage - Winnipeg, Canada

Jill Wilson, Winnipeg Free Press: The current Broadway Across Canada production at the Centennial Concert Hall is a welcome reminder that there is good in the world. Over the course of 100 or so minutes (no intermission), its specific story of a community opening its heart to strangers lets us believe the general myth of Canadian acceptance.

DeVos Performance Hall - Grand Rapids, MI

Margaretha Heidel, Grand Rapids Magazine: Then we watched this little Newfoundland town spring into action to help the thousands of waylaid travelers with the myriad of needs and challenges you can only begin to imagine. Kudos to the writers of the show; deft, humorous, marvelous characters filled out by even more amazing actors. An ensemble cast that hasn't a loose nut, but plenty of nutty humor sure to please. And the opening night audience was pleased. An instant standing ovation was made the moment the show finished. You simply have to get tickets to this show.

John Kissane, The Rapidian: That setup allows for a wide range of songs, and the show takes full advantage of that. Best among them may be "Me and the Sky." It's a life in miniature, the life of a female pilot who navigated the turbulence of sexism, and who, older and well-respected, has found herself unexpectedly grounded by the actions of madmen. Less individual, but still moving, is "Prayer." The song begins with the Prayer of St. Francis before weaving in words of devotion from other faiths.

Overture Center - Madison, WI

Scott Rawson, BroadwayWorld: I was emotionally affected when, nearly immediately after greeting each other in a café, someone rushes in and simply says to the mayor, "turn on the radio". Just writing this one impactful line gives me chills. Yes, I remember it well. I venture all of us alive at that time remember that moment. I was almost 40; I had friends in New York city. Life changed in a heartbeat. But this is not about me. This story is about all of us, and how, in the face of crisis, we can turn toward each other and do beautiful things. It is, of course, also about those who could not get home, or get word to or from home. This was their story. It was exceptionally well told and powerful.

Civic Center Of Greater Des Moines - Des Moines, IA

DC Felton, BroadwayWorld: Each actor in this show has moments that stand out and make the track they have unique. There were a few that stood out to me in a new way this time. The first is Kristen Peace, who joined the tour this last summer. She plays the roles of Bonnie and others. She brought a more comedic delivery to the role. As an audience member, it made me step back and look at the role in a way I hadn't before. Bringing a more comedic interpretation allowed the moments her character shows caring and compassion to stand out even more, especially when she is talking to Unga, a rare bonobo chimpanzee.

Auditorium Theatre - Rochester, NY

Colin Fleming-Stumpf, BroadwayWorld: It can't be overstated just how critically important shows like Come From Away are right now, given the divisiveness that we're all currently engulfed in every day. Rather than turn a cold shoulder and retreat to the safety of their homes, the people of Gander showed compassion and love during a time of terror and darkness despite differences in culture, national origin, religion and lifestyle. Rather than the millionth jukebox musical or movie adaptation, I sincerely hope Broadway producers find more opportunities to bring shows like Come From Away to audiences, because they're so tremendously needed.

Shea's Performing Arts Center - Buffalo, NY

Michael Rabice, BroadwayWorld: In a story that seems too large to be easily retold, no detail is left out. Themes of religion, need for provisions, bedding .sanitation, baby supplies, emotional well being and even a good old barbecue to rally the masses flesh out the story. And let's not forget the animals locked up in those plane's baggage areas-- they get a story too.

National Arts Centre - Ottawa, ON

Courtney Castelino, BroadwayWorld: Performances were amazing all around and the cast perform so well together that it is hard to single any one individual out. About one third of the cast are holdovers from the first North American tour and they have perfected their performances. Each cast member plays multiple characters, signalled through simple costume changes, such as an added hat or sweater and the scenes are quickly morphed using wooden chairs, cleverly incorporated into the choreography (Kelly Devine).

Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier, Apartment613: The songs range from east-coast bangers that will make you want to stand up and stomp your feet to those that give you chills and those that get you teary-eyed. There is lovely humour woven throughout the show as well. It feels distinctly Canadian and will fill you with a sense of national pride while still being able to connect with any audience, in any theatre, around the globe.

Academy Of Music - Philadelphia, PA

Jamie Flowers, West End Best Friend: Come From Away features 12 thespians who play a myriad of roles each; the generous and hospitable Newfoundlanders, the terrified and confused plane passengers, and the brave aircraft personnel. These actors are in near constant motion for the entire 100-minutes of the show. They do full characters switches (including costumes and accents) and give each performance and character a chance to shine. They all deserve not one, but two standing ovations. Thank you Kevin Carolan, Harper Clingman, Christine Toy Johnson, Julie Johnson, James Earl Jones II, James Kall, Julia Knitel, Ali Momen, Kristen Peace, Danielle K. Thomas, Jeremy Woodward, and Cailin Stadnyk for an amazing performance. Each actor plays three or more characters that are seamlessly woven together to capture the multi-cultural tapestry that blanketed Gander in those devastating and beautiful few days.

Landmark Theatre - Syracuse, NY

Len Fonte, The show tells the true story of how the residents of tiny Gander in Newfoundland rallied to care for the passengers and crews of 38 planes bound for the U.S. from Europe but diverted to their sleepy airstrip on 9/11.

PPAC - Providence, RI

Barb Burke, BroadwayWorld: The minimalist set, by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt, features a smattering of chairs and tables on a revolving stage surrounded by trees, and these furnishings become everything from a plane cabin, to the legion hall, a school, to the local Tim Horton's, helping the viewer to get caught up in the story and focus on the characters. Likewise, Toni-Leslie James's costumes remind us that this is a story of average people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

Crystler Hall - Norfolk, VA

Page Laws, The Virginian-Pilot

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center - Charlotte, NC

Beth Mack, Clture: Come From Away is a riveting show. Each cast member plays multiple characters flawlessly with the literal switch of a hat and accent. Through the use of intricately choreographed movements of cast members and props, audience members are seamlessly transported into an array of scenes ranging from the inside of an airplane to a local pub in Gander despite the set never changing.

Golden Gate Theatre - San Francisco, CA

Linda Hodges, BroadwayWorld: One by one their individual stories are added to the larger one of how the kindness of strangers can make you feel welcome even in the worst of circumstances and really, how much more alike we are than different. In one of the most touching scenes, Jeremy Woodward, who plays Kevin T, one half of a gay couple (Ali Momen plays his partner, Kevin J.) remembers a hymn he'd almost forgotten, and he begins to sing it in the song "Prayer." Others from different faith traditions begin to sing and pray as well - each in their own way - poignantly demonstrating the universality of the holy.

Keller Auditorium - Portland, OR

Krista Garver, BroadwayWorld: COME FROM AWAY does several things extremely well. First, the Irish-influenced music is fantastic - just try not to tap your toes! Second, each member of the 12-person cast plays multiple roles, as both Newfoundlanders and plane people. But even with the large number of characters, they are all authentic, vulnerable humans who it's impossible not to care about. Also, this is truly an ensemble show. There's only one real solo, sung by Marika Aubrey in the role of Beverley Bass, the first female airline pilot on American Airlines (true story). Otherwise, the entire company collaborates on everything, which is exactly right for this story of collective generosity following collective tragedy. And finally, the staging, which uses wooden chairs to create everything from an airplane and a bar to cliffs overlooking the water, is simple yet perfect.

The Royal Theatre - Victoria, BC

Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist: The 12 performers in this production are strong. On this evening the pacing of the first 30 minutes was a bit rushed, as though the cast was worried about losing the audience. Once or twice the dialogue was hard to make out, even though the band (featuring harmonium, Irish flute and uillean pipes) played at a reasonable volume.

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COME FROM AWAY Will Launch Non-Equity Tour Summer 2023 Photo
COME FROM AWAY Will Launch Non-Equity Tour Summer 2023

The First National Tour of Come From Away will conclude its run May 21st, 2023 at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC in Canada. A new National Tour, produced by NETworks Presentations, will launch July 25th through July 30th in Cleveland at Playhouse Square.

Reviews: COME FROM AWAY National Tour Returns to the Stage Photo
Reviews: COME FROM AWAY National Tour Returns to the Stage

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.



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