‘Come From Away’ is a heartfelt celebration of kindness

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Mathew Murphy/https://broadwaysanjose.com/shows/come-from-away/ public domain

The Newfoundlanders passionately sing the opening number, “Welcome to the Rock.”

Despite happening nineteen years ago, the amazing story of kindness in the face of fear and uncertainty following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks could not be more relevant today. 

“Come From Away,” a musical that first debuted on Broadway in 2017, tells the true story of the 7,000 passengers on 38 planes who were forced to make an emergency landing in a tiny town on the island of Newfoundland in northeastern Canada because of the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. The Newfoundlanders welcomed the thousands of passengers and immediately sprung into action, cooking meals, donating clothes, and making them feel at home, the original population of the town just 9,000 people.

The musical is a heartfelt, genuine, unique, and truly touching story with beautiful songs and innovative staging.

The fun and unique Celtic style of the music sung by the Newfoundlanders perfectly contrasts the more contemporary style of the passengers’ songs. Every song is memorable, while still making the story feel cohesive.

Although “Come From Away” is a happy and uplifting story, it does not shy away from raw and emotional moments. For instance, a mother sings about her son, a firefighter in New York, that has gone missing in a heartbreaking song. Furthermore, a Middle Eastern man faces racism from some of the other passengers, and many passengers struggle to contact their loved ones as well. 

There are also many heartwarming moments throughout the musical. The Newfoundlanders take the passengers to a bar where they hold a ceremony to make the passengers “honorary Newfoundlanders.” It is incredible to see all of these different people from around the world come together despite their differences and fear by singing and celebrating in unison. For instance, a British man and an American woman fall in love, and another character featured is the first female American captain, who sings an inspiring song about her struggles with sexism.

Moreover, if you enjoyed the YouTube series that blew up the internet, “Some Good News,” you’ll enjoy “Come From Away.” And what seems to have drawn so many people to “Some Good News” was the premise of kindness and optimism emerging from a devastating time. Through this series, John Krasinski inspires the viewers to have hope despite the fear and loneliness gripping America throughout quarantine. In comparison, “Come From Away” encourages the viewers to have hope and believe in human kindness. It shows that no matter how terrible things may get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Everyone has experienced fear, loneliness, and uncertainty in some way, and, especially in this challenging time, generosity and kindness are more important than ever. Hopefully, we can learn from the Newfoundlanders and come together (six feet apart) to help each other get through it.

“Come From Away” is a truly unique and incredible experience. I would highly suggest getting tickets to see it in San Jose in July of 2021, as it’s definitely worth the wait. The tickets are on sale at broadwaysanjose.com. But, if the theater isn’t your thing, maybe give the cast recording a listen.

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