Review Roundup: The Critics Are Welcomed to the Rock at COME FROM AWAY in Melbourne
Come From Away had its Melbourne premiere at the Comedy Theatre on Saturday 20 July.
The ground-breaking new musical is based on the incredible real-life events in the wake of the September 11 tragedy when 38 planes carrying nearly 7,000 people from over 100 countries were redirected to Gander, Newfoundland, almost doubling the population of the remote Canadian town.
Capturing the generosity and hospitality of the small community of Gander who invited the "come from aways" into their homes, it is an inspirational story of hope and humanity.
The cast features Nicholas Brown, Nathan Carter, Zoe Gertz, Simon Maiden, Laura Murphy, Richard Piper, Emma Powell, Katrina Retallick and Kellie Rode, together with Glen Hogstrom, Angela Kennedy, Kathleen Moore, Jensen Overend, Ash Roussety, Alana Tranter, Sharriese Hamilton, Doug Hansell and Kolby Kindle.
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Stephen Parthimos, The AU Review: The performances from the entire cast are stellar, everyone has a tight grip on the multiple roles they each play, and everyone in here makes an impression that is memorable well after leaving the theatre. The cast of 12 are each responsible for multiple roles; and through subtle costume changes, accents, and mannerisms it's clear throughout who everyone is playing at each and every moment. The music is a big part of this production and the entire cast prove their talents through incredible upbeat musical numbers. The music is infectious and is one element of the production you do not want to miss. The strongest singing performance is from Zoe Gertz, who plays Beverly. She has an incredibly powerful voice and stands out through all of the group numbers she is apart of. Her solo musical number is one of the biggest and most impactful moments of the show and she delivers without a struggle.
Cameron Woodhead, The Age: Come From Away is a feel-good musical. It emphasises the better angels of human nature, and even (a quality our Prime Minister will admire) celebrates the role of religion in dark times. But there's a dark lining that grounds the show - the harsh treatment of a Muslim passenger (Brown) presages a new wave of xenophobia, for instance - and that prevents it from becoming saccharine or over-sentimentalised. Not everyone will love Come From Away, but you'd be blind not to admire it, and heartless to leave the theatre without reflecting on the value of unconditional kindness, and what a difference it can make.
Catherine Lambert, Herald Sun: This slick, first rate production is as good as the New York one but all the better because it is so far away from the original action but so close to the emotional impact. Seamless staging from Kelly Devine is a joy to watch along with all around stellar performances from a diverse cast. No weak links, only immense talent that deserves to be celebrated.