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Come From Away

Last night, on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Apple TV+ released their beautifully filmed-on-Broadway capture of COME FROM AWAY. It’s a musical that’s been on our radar for a while, but I couldn’t wrap my head around how you could make the story interesting.

It’s the based-on-a-true story tale of the 38 planes that were diverted from the USA to the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland.

Using a nearly bare stage, a couple tables and a lot of chairs, the story takes flight as we see the passengers on their planes, panicked air traffic control teams and the population of the very quiet town folk.

It shouldn’t work, but it does. Beautifully.

As the town’s population goes from 9,000 to 16,000 overnight, Gander becomes representative of how we all treated each other in the days and weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

Using humor, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and heart-breaking scenes as well, the musical builds for over two hours to a powerful and moving ending.

The talented cast plays many roles, popping in and out of all their characters with effortless ease.

Joel Hatch is a standout as the Mayor, as is Jenn Colella as American Airlines pilot Beverly. As more of her career is unveiled during the play, it’s fascinating to see who was among the 7000 strangers that descended on the town.

This is David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s first musical and it does a great job conveying a lot of information while weaving in some of the traditional Newfoundland music that gives it an authentic feel.

“Welcome to the Rock”, “Screech In” “Me and the Sky”, ‘Stop the World”, “Prayer” and “Something’s Missing” are all memorable tunes that will get stuck in your head.

Filmed in May 2021 at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, the camera work is terrific, pulling you into the stage performance the same way that the filmed version of “Hamilton” on Broadway did.

The Dolby Atmos sound mix and 4K capture looks and sounds amazing on Apple TV+, it’s like having the best Orchestra ticket for the show imaginable.

Funny and moving, COME FROM AWAY perfectly captures the spirit of love and support that we all felt in America (and beyond) after the attacks of 9/11. It’s a powerful tribute to that time in our history and gets an appreciative A.

Stay tuned for the end credits and see photographs of the real people portrayed, along with the actors you just saw play them.


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