“Come From Away” was a show I was scared to see. What scared me was that this show is about the 9/11 plane crashes in New York City. I thought this show would be dreadfully sad and disturbing, but the show I watched was the opposite. Come From Away isn’t just about 9/11, it’s also about an act of human kindness and goodwill.
This show is a true story that takes place in the town of Gander in Newfoundland, which was the place where any United Airlines plane headed to the USA rerouted to when 9/11 happened. All the people on the planes were scared, confused, upset, and felt out of control of the situation they were in. They weren’t even told what the situation was or what the plan was. They had to wait two days stuck on the planes before they could get out and then stay at Gander for another four days until the planes could take them all back. The towns folk welcomed everyone with open arms and tried their darndest to make sure everyone had food, water, shelter, entertainment, communications, and internet. It’s a heartwarming tale of kindness and can still be used today to remind everyone that there are people who are ready to believe in goodwill.
I think what helped me understand this message the most was the cast. This show is definitely made entirely of an ensemble cast. Everyone’s character bounced off of each other like rubber and seeing it made it stick to my head like glue. So perfectly acted, so perfectly sung. I loved their interactions, their gestures, their sense of human kindness and respect for the awful things that happened in 911. It’s rare to see a cast of people this caring and thoughtful into their performance. They perfectly embodied fear, anger, and calmness. It was perfect.
However, acting and singing does not make up the entire show: The set design was particularly simple. It’s just a bunch of tables and chairs, sure there are trees around but the cast hardly even touches them. The way they arranged the chairs into a plane or a bus or a giant festival was all believable because of how well done the cast did it. But that’s not all, a part of the stage spins like a record player. This lets the cast make the illusion of transition, walking on it while it’s spinning to make it look like characters are going somewhere, using it to change the scenes at a constant pace, and even using it to do rock climbing (YES, REALLY!). Set design is an A+ for me.
The last thing I want to talk about is the band that played the songs. It was superb! It wasn’t too loud, I could still hear the lyrics loud and clear, and it sounded amazing! Some of the members even got to play as musicians in the show and had their own time in the spotlight at the end of the show. Very expertly played and very nice.
Come From Away was a show I was scared to see, but as I watched I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. We could use more kindness this show represents. And you should see it too. GO SEE IT, WHAT ARE READING THIS FOR? IT’S AMAZING!!!!