BWW Review: COME FROM AWAY at The Adrienne Arsht Center- Unapologetically Kind
The roar of the audience's appreciation at the curtain call still rings loudly in my ear. Although I alternated between laughing and crying while watching the national tour of Come From Away at the Adrienne Arsht Center, what I remember feeling once the curtain came down was joy. I may have discovered for myself why this show is such a hit on Broadway and on tour because while it talks about a challenging time in our history, it also reminds us of how kind people were in the aftermath of 9/11. (Something that feels lacking in our current political climate.) It is easy to be kind to those you love, but the unquestionable kindness people can have for strangers - inspires. Come From Away is a story we need to keep telling. It's a story we should continue to tell to remind us that people can and should genuinely care for one another even and especially when they have nothing to gain.
COME FROM AWAY made its Miami debut at the Center's Ziff Ballet Opera House for a limited engagement on June 18 - 23, 2019. Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed the world after 9/11. This small town gathered together and opened their arms and hearts to 7,000 stranded passengers from all over the world when their planes were stranded after the horrific events of 9/11. And while cultures clashed and nerves ran high uneasiness turned into trust. In a few short days, strangers built friendships, and later their stories move us all.
The musical's masterful storytelling transported you back to 9/11 and undeniably brought back memories of where you were during 9/11. Yet, it was a gift to see the story outside your experience because it allowed you to see the story from multiple perspectives. Each actor played someone from Newfoundland and numerous people from the planes. This musical is a textbook example of an ensemble show. Each actor skillfully moved in and out of each character they played so gracefully it felt like there was a cast of 50 onstage instead of 12. Each of the actors was incredibly truthful in their storytelling. The touring production of Come From Away stars Kevin Carolan (Disney's Newsies), Harter Clingman (Peter and The Starcatcher), Nick Duckart (In the Heights), Chamblee Ferguson, Becky Gulsvig (School of Rock the Musical), Julie Johnson (Memphis), Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), James Earl Jones II (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess), Megan McGinnis (Les Misérables), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Danielle K. Thomas (Avenue Q), Emily Walton (August Osage County), Marika Aubrey, Jane Bunting, Michael Brian Dunn, Julie Garnyé, Adam Halpin and Aaron Michael Ray. It was with delicate care this ensemble brought their characters to life as individuals but most importantly, as a unit. It was a thing of beauty.
If the acting was a gift, then the creative team was the bow on top. Come From Away is directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), musical staging by two-time Tony nominee Kelly Devine (Come From Away, Rocky). The storytelling was so clean and crisp. It was absolutely amazing the story a few chairs and tables were able to tell. Through the actor's connections to the clear storytelling, Ashely and Devine's brilliance could be witnessed. Every moment felt motivated and integral to the story.
Every piece of this masterful production was perfectly crafted. Come From Away features a book, music and lyrics by Olivier, Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Award winners and Grammy & two-time Tony Award nominees winners Irene Sankoff & David Hein, direction by Tony Award winner & Outer Critics Circle Award winner Christopher Ashley, musical staging by Olivier Award winner and two-time Tony Award nominee Kelly Devine, and music supervision by Olivier Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Ian Eisendrath.
The design in the production is beautiful. I remember entering the theatre and audibly saying, "Wow!", while staring at the stage. It was a feast for the eyes: each mismatched chair and wooden piece of furniture in communion with the beautifully lit brick walls. Come From Away features scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley, sound design by Olivier & Outer Critics Circle Award winner and Tony Award nominee Gareth Owen, orchestrations by Olivier Award winner and Grammy & Tony Award nominee August Eriksmoen, and music arrangements by Olivier Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Ian Eisendrath.
Broadway showcased its finest for Miami with the national tour of Come From Away. This production has cemented itself in the top five shows I have ever seen. Don't miss Come From Away. We could all use a little reminder of the glorious power of kindness.
For more information, please visit www.comefromaway.com.
COME FROM AWAY tickets are on sale now! Tickets may be purchased through the Arsht Center Box Office in person at 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132, by calling 305.949.6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org. Ticket prices start at $34*. Ziff Ballet Opera House, Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132
*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Additional fees may apply. Visit www.arshtcenter.org for up-to-date information, details and performance schedules