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Come From Away Musical - Helpful Information
Beautiful things can happen in the most unlikely of times and this is exactly what the Come From Away Musical shows in a captivating and utterly interesting way! In the confusion and despair that followed the September 11th attacks by terrorists on the USA, a small town in Newfoundland, Canada would extend the most humane gestures to passengers who found themselves caught up in the situation.
As you probably remember, the attack was waged on flights and thousands of people lost their lives. To contain the situation, airports across the USA were on lockdown and incoming flights were deflected to different locations for security purposes. About 38 planes were directed to the small, generally quiet town of Gander in Newfoundland. Clearly, this came with the pressure of accommodating the passengers in the town whose population increased at once.
What followed is a slew of kindness to strangers of different backgrounds, races and religions by the inhabitants of the town whose facilities were overstretched. From letting them into their homes to feeding, clothing and entertaining them, the town played host to people numbering well over 60% of its population! In what became to be famously referred to as Operation Yellow Ribbon, the incident has continued to gather media attention more than a decade later.
Come From Away Musical was written by David Hein and Irene Sankoff who travelled to Gander on the tenth anniversary of the terror attack. They collected stories and interwove some for the purpose of mainstreaming them into the play. Some stories, though, made it to the musical as they had unraveled.
While it was not immediately able to attract a professional producer, it recorded successes at the Canadian Music Theatre Project of the Sheridan College and at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre in New York where it was used as a showcase presentation.
The Seattle Repertory Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse collaborated in giving the musical its first professional production in 2015. It premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in June 2015 under the direction of Christopher Ashely and featuring Jenn Collela, Joel Hatch as well as Chad Kimball. It would break box office records in Seattle by grossing the highest amount of ticket sales in a day as well as in cumulative earnings at the Repertory Theatre.
With these successes in Seattle and San Diego, the show was staged in other places like at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC between September and October of 2016. It was also staged in Toronto, Ontario at the Royal Alexandra Theatre where Come From Away tickets were virtually sold out by the second week, breaking the records at the theatre at the time. While the show was in high demand, its stagings could not be extended due to Broadway commitments. Nevertheless, additional box seats and standing room was provided over the course of its run.
For 2017, the show opened for previews in February at the New York Broadway and has been performing for standing-room-only audiences. It had an opening show in March at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The musical is directed by Christopher Ashley with its choreography being handled by Kelly Devine. The Come From Away Broadway staging of 2017 has been attended by Canadian leader Justin Trudeau, Nikki Haley who represents the US at the UN, as well as Ivanka Trump amongst other Canadian leaders.
The musical is appropriate for audience members ranging in age from ten. It shows a rich mix of the stories of the 7000+ stranded passengers and the town’s natives who became hosts in an unplanned instant! It depicts the fear and tension felt by the passengers as they worry about the safety of their loved ones back home and the effort by the hosts to comfort and make them feel comfortable. When the passengers are able to proceed with their flights home, they recount to each other the gestures of kindness that had been shown to them by the people of Newfoundland. As the play ends, the passengers and crew are taken back to Gander where they celebrate the relationships of friendships that were created at a moment of despair.
So riveting is the plot that the musical has won a fair number of nominations to this year’s Tony Awards!
Come From Away
The brilliant musical taking Broadway by storm is Come From Away. 2017 continues to be a banner year for the hit musical that has not even been on Broadway for that long. The audience is jammed pack for every performance and critics and patrons alike are universally praising the work.
Come From Away left the Tony Awards weekend winning the Best Director award with Christopher Ashley. The musical was nominated for Best Musical, and favored to win it by many, but ran 2nd to the powerhouse success Dear Evan Hansen.
Come From Away, which only saw sold out and emphatic patrons filling venues in Toronto, is witnessing the same thing on Broadway. The show is now said to be in the $1 Million/week club in terms of ticket sales. This tremendous success is leading to a touring run where the show will make stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa, and back to Toronto.
High profile Canadians such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Kevin Spacey, Cindy Crawford, Hugh Jackman, and Bryan Adams are just a few of the many Canadians and people in general rooting for and supporting this great musical. The story about a plane diverted to Newfoundland in the 9/11 terror attacks is both able to bring folks back to that horrible attack and send them out with an uplifting message and embrace.
Many of the songs from the musical are also gaining in notoriety. “Welcome To The Rock” is perhaps the most popular song from the musical currently but there are many more that fans love as well. Other songs include “Me And The Sky”, “Lead Us Out Of The Night”, “Darkness And Trees”, “Phoning Home”, and “Something’s Missing” among a handful of others. Irene Sankoff and David Hein are the creators and producers of all the music, lyrics, and books.
The show of course features outstanding performances from the actors. Jenn Colella was nominated for a Tony as Best Actress. Chad Kimball, Joel Hatch, and Rodney Hicks consistently receive rave reviews for their efforts and performances.
Make sure you reserve your tickets to see this wonderful musical on Broadway or at one of the upcoming stops in Canada.
Come From Away
Interesting Facts and History
Come From Away is a breathtaking and remarkable new musical on Broadway that takes patrons on the true story of how a very small town in a faraway land welcomed the entire world. Irene Sankoff and David Hein wrote the musical and Tony Award Nominee Christopher Ashley is the Director. Ashley is noted for his work with Memphis.
Come From Away is 100 minutes long without intermission and is appropriate for ages 10 and up. The show appears at the following location:
Gerald Shoenfeld Theatre
236 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036
The Canadian Music Theatre Project originally developed Come From Away in 2013 in Ontario, Canada. The musical was under further development at the Godspeed Musical’s Festival of New Artists in East Haddam, Connecticut. From this point the musical appeared in La Jolla, California and at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. It was in La Jolla and Seattle where Come From Away enjoyed absolutely massive success leading up to its emergence on Broadway. During the late fall and winter of 2016 in Toronto, the musical shattered ticket sales records at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
Come From Away tackles the experiences immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. However, the musical does this from an extremely clever and interesting angle. Following the attacks the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration shut down its airspace and subsequently forced about 4,000 aircraft to find a spot to land at the nearest location. Gander International Airport in Newfoundland at that time learned it would soon become the home to 18 unexpected aircraft. By the end of Tuesday, 9/11/2001, Gander would welcome 38 planes with almost 6,600 people in terms of the crews and passengers. This was quite an avalanche of folks for such a small community. In fact, Gander only had about 10,000 residents total so this sudden infusion increased the population by almost 70% instantly.
The musical incorporates modern rock and other styles as it chronicles those highly intriguing days just after the 9/11 attacks. Almost seven thousand people were stranded not entirely sure what to think of what just happened and if and when the airspace would again be cleared for travel. Numerous themes and stories develop and evolve around how the existing citizens of Gander interact with and welcome the highly diverse and colorful group of folks unfortunately stranded under these circumstances. Feelings and relationships build and grow and there are lasting effects that carry on even many years later.
Come From Away is certain to have an immense effect on audiences and bring the riveting success it has seen elsewhere to Broadway and the big spotlight of New York City. Enjoy the show.
For anyone that watches stage or musicals, Christopher Ashley is certainly not a new name. Ashley is a renowned stage director who captivates audiences with his amazing skills and unique directing talents. The Broadway Musical Come from Away is the most recent project that Christopher Ashley is working on. Come from Away is a new musical that tells an interesting story of a small town that welcomes the world. The show has generally been a success and won the hearts of many.
Come from Away is a musical whose events are set in Newfoundland, an island situated off Canada’s east coast. The events take place soon after the September 11th attacks. It involves the town of Gander but also shares stories from the neighboring towns such as Lewisporte, Glenwood, Appleton, Norris Arm as well as Gambo.
A week after the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States, the US airspace is closed and no planes are allowed into the country. There are a number of planes inbound, 38 to be exact, but they are forced to find an alternative landing spot as they cannot get into the United States airspace. The planes are unexpectedly ordered to land in a small town in Newfoundland, a town known as Gander as part of an operation known as Operation Yellow Ribbon. The characters included in the musical are based on real people, the residents of Gander and some of the almost 7000 stranded travelers. Some of the characters even share names with the real residents and travelers.
A Broadway production of Come from Away is directed by the seasoned Christopher Ashley. It features Joel Hatch who plays the town’s mayor and has Jenn Colella in the role of Beverly who is a pilot of one of the planes redirected to Gander. The musical also features Chad Kimball who is cast in the role of Kevin. Christopher did a pretty amazing job in the direction of the musical.
Christopher Ashley was born on the 6th July, 1964. In 1984, Ashley graduated from Yale University where he had been studying English and Math. He finalized The Drama League director’s program in 1997. In 2007, Ashley got appointed La Jolla Playhouse, California’s artistic director, a position he has successfully held to date. He has worked on a number of projects as a director. Memphis for instance, is a musical that was directed by Ashley. The musical opened on Broadway in October of 2009. He did an amazing job in the direction of the musical that earned him a nomination for the Outer Critics Circle Award in the category of Outstanding Director and a Tony Award Nomination in the category of Best Direction of a Musical.
Before his work on Memphis, Ashley directed the 2007 musical Xanadu on Broadway. For his performance, he got nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Christopher Ashley’s career as a director has spanned several years and has seen him work in a number of projects both on and off-Broadway. He has actually directed several Off-Broadway stage acts. An example is his direction of Manhattan Theatre Club. In 1993, he directed Paul Rudnick’s Off Broadway Jeffrey at the WPA Theatre. He was awarded the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director. He also directed the 1995 film version of the same. Other direction roles include 2002’s Merrily we Rode Along and Sweeny Todd of the Sondheim Kennedy Center Celebration Productions.
Come from Away is among his latest directions. The musical premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in June of 2015. It later opened on Broadway in 2017, February at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The musical has been received pretty well by both critics and audiences. It has been a really successful piece that sentimentally brings out the story of a small town off Canada’s East Coast that opens its doors and welcomes the world into it when the United States faces challenges after a terrorist attack. The town, Gander, welcomes close to 7000 travelers bound for the United States after they are forced to an alternative landing spot with the US airspace locked. Christopher Ashley’s brilliant directing skills are echoed in this musical. For the amazing direction, he wins a Tony Award in the category of Best Direction of a Musical.
Come From Away – “Me And The Sky”
The song “Me And the Sky” is an emotional roller coaster that takes the author through a wild and rewarding ride of a lifetime . . . . . only to find herself in a way right back where she started as a young girl. The song starts with a young girl describing her aspirations to become an airline pilot one day much to the doubt of her parents and those around her. Her father doesn’t tell her no or to stop but he essentially politely observers what he considers a far-fetched dream scenario. At that time there simply were not female pilots.
The author describes the contentious experiences of interacting with current male pilots and predominantly female stewardess labor pool. The author desperately wants to become a pilot and is rebuffed by existing male pilots that suggest she should be fetching drinks for them. Rather than encourage her the female stewardess’ simply question whether she thinks she is superior to them.
She does indeed go on to become a successful pilot indeed. Not only that, she also becomes an instructor of other pilots thus shaping the future of the profession. She finds herself with a very rewarding career and taking passengers across the nation and also across the globe. Everything seems to be going wonderfully as she enjoys her dream and an enriching life in the skies. All of that stops when the woman sees that the very thing she dreamed about was used as a weapon in the worst terrorist attack in the history of the planet.
At this point, just like in the beginning, there seems to be everything standing between her and the sky. “Me And The Sky” wonderfully depicts this journey.
More great information on Broadway Musicals and Plays plus ways to support theatre found here: https://www.tdf.org/
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