BWW Review: COME FROM AWAY at Aronoff Center
On September 11th, 2001 the world stopped as two planes collided into The World Trade Center. All eyes were on America in the wake of this unparalleled tragedy. All the while, planes bound for the United States were grounded in a small Newfoundland town called Gander. In the Tony-Nominated Best Musical Come From Away, we focus on the lives of the people on those planes and in the town that opened their doors and their hearts to over 7,000 people.
The show had a show and steady build on its road to broadway. It played many regional theatres before finally making the leap to New York City in the spring of 2017 where it was met with critical and audience acclaim. The show was nominated for a number of awards at the Tonys, but only walked away with best director of a musical. However, the show is still going strong in NYC, is now entering it's second year on tour, and just recently opened a West End production in London.
The show is what almost feels like a visceral experience. From the moment it starts it doesn't stop. It's swift and creative storytelling feels so incredibly organic. In its ensemble nature, a smaller but dedicated cast brings this remarkable true story to life on the main stage at the Aronoff Center.
It's hard to praise individual cast members when this is the true definition of a group effort. They all work so effortlessly well together to tell a story that is bigger than any one person. I honestly can't think of any show that requires as strong and committed of an ensemble. Everyone had small moments to shine, but they always came back together in service of the story they were tasked with telling.
The set is simple. A variety of chairs, tables, and a single backdrop take us to an infinite number of places. The sheer brilliance of its simplicity is that the story can be everywhere and nowhere all at once. The costumes are simple as well, but in the best possible way. Through small outfit changes from character to character, along with some brilliant acting from the cast, the residents of Gander as well as the "plane people" all feel incredibly singular and fleshed out.
The show is best described as a feel everything musical. It's got a light about it that brings fourth feelings of hope. As the show says we must commemorate the ones we lost, but we must also acknowledge what we found. The show tells a story about the unwavering kindness of strangers in the most difficult and drastic of times, a reminder that humanity as universal. I wholeheartedly recommend this show for anyone with a pulse, it's unique brand of hope and camaraderie is exactly what we need in these dark times we are currently living in and facing.
Come From Away
Now - September 29th
Procter & Gamble Hall - Aronoff Center For The Arts
650 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH 45202.