Friday night I receive a text from TMJ/CG&MP (translation: The Movie Judge’s Computer Guy and Math Professor aka Dan and Kinga) that “Come From Away is a 10 out of 10 highly recommend you see it.” Somewhat surprised at the ready availability of good seats to a seven-time 2017 Tony Award nominee, off we go to the Sunday matinee. In a word, this musical is “infectious.” From the anxiety of the passengers, to the goofiness of sixteen thousand people thrown together, to the genuine kindness of of the residents of Newfoundland, somehow the writing team captures it all. For those of you near Cincinnati this week, there are plenty of tickets to be had. I give Come From Away 4.5 Gavels.
Seven thousand airline passengers arrive in a town of nine thousand on 9/11. It just so happens that Gander has a bus strike and a major storm is approaching. So how do you house, feed, and transport all these “guests,” some of whom speak no English? Without the prevalence of cell phones, communication is problematic. When will the FAA open American airspace? When can I go home? What will I find when I get home?
Truly an ensemble cast, each plays several roles, consistent with the theme of telling as many stories as they can in 100 minutes, no intermission. Further, each gets their own solo; none disappoints. But, singing as a company, this group rocks, song number one being a catchy “Welcome To The Rock.”
Listen as a pilot worries about her peers, as a mother fears for her NYC firefighter son, as a man from England and a woman from Texas wonder if they should find love during a tragedy, and as the SPCA cares for animals. Some worry about how they will be treated in such a backwards place; none will forget how they changed. Ten years later, many return to say thank you; they will never forget. Come From Away is like that. Ten years from now, maybe earlier, you will want to see it again. Why 4.5 Gavels? Not the equal of Hamilton, but with similar rapid-fire “dialogue,” it’s still very good. This emotional roller-coaster will takes you from gales of laughter to tears in your eyes. Thank you, Gander, Newfoundland!