“Because we come from everywhere, we all Come From Away.”
One of my best friends, Amber, went to see the hit Broadway show “Come From Away,” about a year prior to this trip. When I saw she went, I looked up the show. After reading the plot, I knew one day I would have to get to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre to see it.
I guess I have my non-premium Spotify plan to thank for my Come From Away obsession. Spotify plays suggested tracks based on what you’re currently listening to. My freshman-year-of-high-school-constantly-listening to contemporary-Broadway-musical-soundtracks-in-their entireties obsession was at its peak. I probably had Dear Evan Hansen playing, since that was my favorite musical at the time (go see that show if you haven’t, seriously). After only a couple songs from the soundtrack, Spotify began playing random suggested tracks. So, I started skipping. Did I mention free plan of Spotify also gives you a 6-skip limit?
I already used up my skips, and so I was just ready to get back to my regular soundtrack. Then, the fast-paced guitar started. “11:53 AM. Tuesday, September 11, two thousand and one…” blasted through my ears. I looked down at my phone screen and saw “Blankets and Bedding: by Come From Away Original Broadway Cast Recording.” I instantly recognized the artist name, but didn’t know where I knew it from. A quick Google search made me remember it was the one that Amber had seen and raved about. So, I listened to the song in full. After realizing I wanted to listen to more, I went onto YouTube and found audio recordings of the entire soundtrack. So, I listened, and listened. I was hooked. On the 40-minute car rides to theatre camp for that summer, I played that soundtrack and forced my family to listen with me.
A short few weeks later, we decided to book a trip to NYC for Christmas, and had Come From Away tickets for Christmas night. I was elated! I began counting down the days until Christmas…until it was finally here. All in the blink of an eye, I had woken up, opened my Christmas presents, and gotten on the train. Before I knew it, I was stepping into the hustle and bustle of New York City.
Hours later, after we had eaten and walked around for the day, we got in line, got our tickets scanned, and filed into the blue velvet seats in the theatre.
Soon enough, the lights dimmed, and the drums boomed and echoed throughout the theatre. The opening, “Welcome to the Rock,” was beginning as the cast filed onstage.
The story of a small midwestern Canadian town that took in thousands of “plane people” as they’re known after the closing of the US airspace due to 9/11 is told in the captivating, emotional story of this show. Thousands condensed down to a cast of 12, I must have felt every emotion throughout this show. The anxiety and of the plane people in this new, small, town, in “Darkness and Trees,” the nerves of an anxious mother, Hannah, is frantically doing what she can to find her firefighter son, who was helping during the attack itself in New York in “Phoning Home,” and the sympathy for the pilot of 1 of the 38 planes in “Me and the Sky,” as Capt. Bevereley Bass tells her story of how she got through sexism and discrimination to get to where she was then: “the first female, American, captain in history.”
By the end of the show, I was feeling so many emotions. I can’t find the words to describe just how I felt at the end of the show. Absolutely speechless, I headed outside to the stage door to get my Playbill signed.
Lucky for me, I was able to catch the actors who played my 2 favorite characters: De’Lon Grant, who played “Bob and Others (the “and others” is how they were able to have such a low cast size),” and John Jellison, who portrayed “Nick and Others.” Playbills were signed, photos were taken, conversations between actor and theatre-goer were had, and the actors walked straight from the stage door home.
Come From Away is a theatrical masterpiece and is my all-time favorite show. For tickets whenever Broadway reopens, or for more info, go over to comefromaway.com .