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Review: COME FROM AWAY brings an exhilarating and heartfelt show to the San Diego Civic Theatre

Playing through Sunday, May 22nd

Review: COME FROM AWAY brings an exhilarating and heartfelt show to the San Diego Civic Theatre

COME FROM AWAY tour brings a wonderful cast and the heartwarming show back to San Diego. Playing at the San Diego Civic Theatre through Broadway San Diego this show offers irresistible Celtic-inspired music, a strong ensemble playing multiple roles, and a reminder that even in the darkest of moments light can be found. COME FROM AWAY is playing through May 22nd.

COME FROM AWAY made its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, before heading to Broadway, the west end, and beyond. While the cast has changed, the show is based on the true story of how the residents of Gander in Newfoundland had to unexpectedly take in thousands of travelers when US airspace closed immediately after 9/11. The show opens in GAnder, where their morning has started as usual, and then quickly escalates as they find out that 38 passenger jets will be landing there without any idea of when they will depart again.

Amidst the shock and processing of the events that caused this to happen, the show chronicles how the residents welcome the scared passengers, into their homes, schools, churches, and beyond. The passengers are from all over the world with a mix of cultures, languages, and beliefs, all of whom process the events in their own way. The show doesn't shy away from showing the darker side of prejudice at passengers who "look like a terrorist" or the guilt, relief, and anger of being unable to do anything with no way of knowing what will happen next.

The show is not only incredibly entertaining but also a nice reminder even in the wake of the tragedy and people were paralyzed in fear and grief, that generosity and faith in humanity can still shine through. It was a nice message when the show premiered and is still relevant today, in the wake of continuing social, racial, and judicial unrest.

Review: COME FROM AWAY brings an exhilarating and heartfelt show to the San Diego Civic Theatre

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.

The ensemble includes Marika Aubrey, Kevin Carolan, Harter Clingman, Nick Duckart, Chamblee Ferguson, Christine Toy Johnson, Julie Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Julia Knitel, Sharone Sayegh, Danielle K. Thomas, Jeremy Woodard, Jenny Ashman, Jane Bunting, Amelia Cormack, Aaron Michael Ray, Kilty Reidy, and Brandon Springman.

The music takes its inspiration from the Newfoundland folk band sound, inspired by Celtic traditions, with lots of energy, percussion, and violins, and you will want to get on your feet. Some standouts include the rousing "Welcome To The Rock," "Me and the Sky" which offers a touching moment for the pilot recounting her love for flying and how she got to this moment, and "Prayer" which is a beautiful multi-faith moment.

By the end of the show, when the band came on stage to play the final number, members of the audience were jumping up and down, clapping, and cheering, and you'll be too.

How to get Tickets

You can see COME FROM AWAY at the San Diego Civic Theatre from Broadway San Diego through Sunday, May 22nd. For ticket and showtime information go to

Photo Credit: The cast of the North American touring production of "Come From Away," which is now playing at the San Diego Civic Theatre.(Matthew Murphy)

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