If you read this blog regularly, you probably know that we live in New York, and we spend a fair amount of time going to see Broadway shows. And, if you're at all interested in theater, you were probably watching the Tony Awards last night. And if you tick both of those boxes, you might be wondering if we've seen one particular show: Come From Away.
Come From Away was nominated for Best New Musical this year. It tells the story of the residents of Gander, Newfoundland, and the stranded airline passengers this small town hosted in the week following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. With each actor playing multiple characters, and transitioning from one character to another on a dime, with just the change of a jacket or an accent, the audience learns about the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. The characters in the musical are based on real Gander residents as well as some of the 7,000 stranded travelers they housed and fed.
So, I have seen Come From Away, and it is a truly phenomenal show. In fact, I had a really emotional response to the number that the cast performed on the telecast last night. I've also been to Gander, though I didn't get off the plane.
A few years ago, I was flying back to the States from Europe, and after boarding the plane in Brussels, the pilot announced that because of headwinds, we didn't have enough fuel to make it all the way to New York, so we'd have to stop in Gander, Newfoundland to refuel. We wouldn't be allowed off the plane, but we were assured that we'd be off in no time. I managed to get the upgrade, so, since I was at the front of the plane, I asked if I could take a picture out of the open door as we sat on the tarmac. And I was allowed to do that. And this is that picture.
Later, someone told me that there weren't actually headwinds and that the only reason we stopped was that fuel was cheaper in Canada than in Europe. And I certainly didn't have a chance to meet the people of Gander, and to experience their hospitality, firsthand.
But, honestly, the experience of a brief stop in this remote town in Newfoundland, and wondering about the lives of the people who worked at the airport, and then a few years later, experiencing the profoundly moving musical, Come From Away--well, let me suggest that you could find a way to get to Gander, yourself, or you could come to New York and see Come From Away. Either way, we're happy to help you make that trip.