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Review: COME FROM AWAY Lands in Vancouver This Month!

Review: COME FROM AWAY Lands in Vancouver This Month!

Playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until August 28th!

COME FROM AWAY is a musical that reflects on what it truly means to be Canadian. It has heart, humor, and a unique story, telling the events a week after 9/11 when 38 planes were rerouted to a small town in Newfoundland called Gander following the attacks. Presented by Broadway Across Canada, the show will be playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver from August 16th to 28th. Based on true events, this musical is unexpectedly humorous while tackling a very serious and emotional time in history. Not only does Come From Away exceed expectations, but also unites audiences emotionally by reminding us that there is still good in the world.

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.

Telling the story of both the people of Gander and that of the passengers of the planes that landed there was interesting. The juxtaposition of people in familiar and unfamiliar territory was very meaningful. It really highlighted how people can come together in times of crisis, especially Canadians. The musical showed that amidst the chaos, uncertainty, panic, and emotions people were able to find the good in the situation they were given. The relationships formed, the sensitive subjects addressed, and Canadian traditions put forth on stage really made this musical worthwhile.

The book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein were very fitting for the story. The songs helped transition the musical steadily and had a real Canadian feel! With the song, "Welcome To The Rock," the musical started on a high note and increased in trajectory from there. One of my favorite songs was "Screech In" giving a glimpse into Newfoundland's screech in ceremony involving the kissing of a fish. Furthermore, the song, "Me and the Sky" was also a crowd favorite telling the story of Beverley Bass who was one of the pilots forced to land in Gander following the 9/11 attacks. It was powerful, emotional, and uplifting. The story of the song was inspirational and Marika Aubrey, playing the role of Beverley, sang it beautifully.

COME FROM AWAY presented by Broadway Across Canada was truly one of a kind! From the songs, to the story, and the message of the show, it is definitely worth the watch! Come From Away plays at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver until August 28th. Tickets can be purchased by clicking the link below!

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

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Once in a while, an event occurs that is so viscerally powerful that you will always remember exactly what you were doing when it happened.  Most people over 70 will remember what they were doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  People my age remember the Challenger disaster vividly (I was in my 6th-grade classroom watching the launch on t.v.).  Arguably even more tragic are the events that transpired on September 11, 2001.  From the dust of the wreckage, though, came hope and a unified country.  Come From Away is a story of that hope and unification.  It makes its Sacramento premiere this week in a special engagement that had been postponed since 2020. 

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Alyson Eng is a General and Cardiac Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. She is a graduate from the sonography program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a graduate from the&n... (read more about this author)

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