Come from Away is a musical with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. It is set in the week following the September 11 attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon. The characters in the musical are based on (and in most cases share the names of) real Gander residents as well as some of the 7,000 stranded travelers they housed and fed.
More About Come From Away musical
The musical has been received by audiences and critics as a cathartic reminder of the capacity for human kindness in even the darkest of times and the triumph of humanity over hate.
After being workshopped in 2012 and first produced at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario in 2013, it went on to have record-breaking runs at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2015, at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto in 2016. It opened on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on March 12, 2017, and became a critical and box office success, routinely playing to standing-room-only audiences even during previews. In October 2018 it became the longest-running Canadian musical in Broadway history, surpassing The Drowsy Chaperone’s previous record of 674 performances.
Baz Bamigboye announced on Twitter on June 7, 2018 that a London production of Come from Away would be coming in February 2019. He said the show will first premiere in The Abbey Theatre in Dublin in December and then would transfer to The Phoenix Theatre. He also stated that an official announcement would come on Canada Day. At the 71st Tony Awards, it was nominated for seven awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jenn Colella, ultimately winning for Best Direction of a Musical.
The professional production was a collaboration by the La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2015. The play had extended runs in each location. The musical opened at the La Jolla Playhouse in June 2015, directed by Christopher Ashley and featuring Joel Hatch as the Mayor of Gander, Jenn Colella as Beverley, a pilot, and Chad Kimball as Kevin. In Seattle, it broke all box office records (including highest grossing show and largest single ticket sales day) at Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Following its runs in San Diego and Seattle, the show played out-of-town engagements at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. from September 2, 2016 to October 9, 2016 and then at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, from November 15, 2016 to January 8, 2017. The entire run of the Toronto production sold out during its second week of performances. The show’s ticket sales set a record for the then 109-year-old Royal Alex Theatre, selling $1.7 million in tickets in a single week. The show could not be extended due to its Broadway commitment but, as a result of the strong demand, Mirvish Productions announced on December 2, 2016, that it was adding an additional four box seats and 12 standing-room locations for the duration of the show. An additional show was also added on the evening of December 18, 2016.
The musical opened in previews on Broadway on February 18, 2017 and officially opened on March 12, 2017 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The show has been playing to standing-room-only audiences. Direction is by Christopher Ashley, choreography by Kelly Devine, scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Gareth Owen, and music direction by Ian Eisendrath. The performance of March 15, 2017 on Broadway was attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (who addressed the audience before the show), other current and former Canadian federal politicians and provincial politicians from Newfoundland and Labrador, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and Ivanka Trump.