For a show that has minimal sets, costumes, and cast, Broadway Across Canada’s 18/19 season closer, Come from Away, did not fall short of being spectacular, remarkable, and just simply being an incredible theatrical experience. From anxiety to sadness, pride to happiness – Come From Away is a show that taps into your different emotions within its 90-minute intermission-less run, but then makes sure you leave the theater feeling uplifted.
The North American touring company makes it first Canadian stop in Vancouver and the sense of pride can truly be felt, even though we are at the opposite end of Gander, the town who is the central character of the musical.
Fronted by that evening’s cast of twelve are Broadway’s finest: Kevin Carolan (Newsies), Harter Clingman (Peter and the Starcatcher), TV and film personalities Nick Duckart and Chamblee Ferguson, Becky Gulsvig (Legally Blonde), Julie Johnson (Candide), Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), James Earl Jones II (Porgy & Bess), Megan McGinnis (Daddy Long Legs), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Danielle K Thomas (Avenue Q), and Emily Walton (Peter and the Starcatcher), each playing various characters with great mastery they seamlessly switch personas with such effectiveness that the scene pretty much just follows their lead. Backed by the visible Come From Away band who at one point takes centre stage, the storytelling style locks in your attention as soon as the first beat fills the theatre and until the last note is played in the encore screech-in.
Written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and directed by acclaimed Broadway director Christopher Ashley (Memphis, The Rocky Horror Show, Xanadu), Come From Away is surely not one to miss. It is truly a one-of-a kind story that will not only make you see the good side in humanity but also encourage to do the same.
Currently playing on Broadway, Toronto, London, and soon in Melbourne, the North American tour of Come From Away plays at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until March 10, continues the Canadian leg into Edmonton and Calgary, AB, then back to the United States. Good luck getting tickets for the rest of the Vancouver run, though I’m pretty sure this will not be the only time we’ll see this masterpiece.