Photo courtesy of Matthew Murphy

Sacramento Welcomes COME FROM AWAY

I was at home asleep. I had had a long night with my toddler and was exhausted from my second pregnancy. It was six-something in the morning, California time, and I was awakened by someone…

I was at home asleep. I had had a long night with my toddler and was exhausted from my second pregnancy. It was six-something in the morning, California time, and I was awakened by someone pounding on my front door. My brother-in-law, who lived nearby was standing there, pale as a ghost, and told my husband and me to turn on the television. That was where I was when I learned of the tragic events of 9/11.

COME FROM AWAY opens with similar stories from people from the small community of Gander, Newfoundland, who had no idea that when they woke up that morning, their isolated community would end up playing host to the world, which would include an international five-day sleep-over. With several culture and language barriers, the community came together to welcome 38 diverted planes, 19 animals, and 7,000 “strays” to their town – all of which who became family.

Although this musical is based from a result of a terrible act, COME FROM AWAY is engaging, heartwarming, and so incredibly funny. There were many belly laughs to be had alongside the tears. The cast was surprisingly small with each member playing multiple roles. It was fascinating that despite a minimal set and a minimal cast, I knew at any given time whether the characters were townspeople or passengers, or if they were flying in a plane or riding on a bus. Perhaps one of the most captivating things was how in sync the actors were with each other the entire show. The choreography, although simple, was impactful and hypnotic to watch. Quite frankly, it was some of the best choreography I’ve ever seen.

The show was very quick-paced, which didn’t allow for many applause breaks after songs were sung. Honestly though, the cheers would have ruined the rhythm of the show. There were many times where silence grew over the crowd after very hard and honest scenes. This not only allowed me to reflect on my own 9/11 experiences but opened my eyes and my heart to many other people’s experiences being acted out on stage.

COME FROM AWAY celebrates humanity, community, and is a reminder that compassion, kindness, and love towards our fellow man (and fur babies), still exist in the world.  You won’t want to miss this captivating and heartfelt production now performing at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center through September 25, 2022. And don’t be surprised if you decide to book a trip to the little town of Gander, Newfoundland after the standing ovation is over.