*Come From Away,* 8/29/18
I saw *Come From Away* on 8/29/18. It’s a Broadway musical, a dramatization of the true story of the over 7,000 passengers and crew members whose planes were grounded in Gander, Newfoundland on September 11th and the week following. Richard and our friend Claire saw it last summer. He is no pushover, but was moved to tears by the show, so I was very curious to see it.
Sure enough, I spent two thirds of the show either crying or on the verge of tears. The audience was crazy for it, in a way that I haven’t seen since *Hello, Dolly!* The difference is (actually, one of many differences) that *Dolly* creates a sublime, theatrical phoniness while *Come From Away* taps into the deep and powerful feelings we all have about that time. It had an added impact, of course, seeing it in New York City.
It’s a feel good show, but the creators of the show (music, book, and lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff) didn’t shy away from the ugly parts of the story, the racism and xenophobia. I did wonder if it would be richer and more powerful as a play. It made me think of *The Laramie Project,* and I wonder if it would have more impact in that kind of format. But of course more people go see musicals than plays, and good musicals have longer runs than plays, so I’m happy to see this story reaching a wide audience.
I looked up the tour information on the website the next day and encouraged my mother to see it when it plays Milwaukee next May. She will be totally nutty for this show, she’s the target audience.