When commercial jets gained the capacity to cross the Atlantic without refueling, an international airport at Gander, Newfoundland, became superfluous. Over the intervening decades, civic leaders contemplated closing the facility. Then came September 11, 2001, when the airport and the citizens of Gander made themselves a refuge for 38 international flights forced to ground by events in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
Come From Away creatively relates in dialogue and original music the true story of how the residents of this tiny Canadian city and surrounding area unselfishly rallied to provide food, clothing, shelter, and comfort to 7,000 stranded citizens of the world.
Canadian husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s work gives voice to passengers, civic leaders, and residents’ challenges, fears, pain, discovery, and quiet celebration of survival as they attempt to make sense of the events of that day and its aftermath. The couple’s words, book, and music portray factual events in a dramatic form that touches every base with intelligence and care.
Though I do not consider myself any kind of drama critic and often loathe musicals, I believe Come From Away deserves a long run on Broadway. Catch it if you can.