A little over a year ago, I decided to listen to the Come From Away album, knowing nothing about the Broadway musical. I put it on in my car and was immediately like, “woah, this is good.” I literally hadn’t known the topic of the play or anything and found myself getting emotional. Each year, my sister and I look at the list of Broadway shows coming to the Saengar Theatre in New Orleans. We pick our top shows to attend, knowing that we cannot afford to see them all. We are fortunate that we are usually able to attend about half of the shows each season. My sister had never heard of Come From Away, but I told her that we needed to add it to our list.
Last night, we saw the show. It was amazing. If you ever get the opportunity to see it, I highly recommend it. Come From Away is about the terrorist attacks on 9-11. Super cheery subject, right? But it is a story of hope, community, the goodness of people, and how we are more alike than we are different. It is funny, uplifting, and touching. The musical tells the true story of the 7000 people whose planes were diverted to a tiny town in Newfoundland when the airspace was closed following the attacks on the twin towers. These people from all over the world are forced to come together. The welcoming Newfoundlanders took care of them. Friendships were formed in a time of crisis.
Twelve actors play all of the different roles. The scenery is simple as the actors move a few tables and chairs around the stage in each scene. But it is powerful. It is powerful because it is a story about the goodness of people. It is a story about how we are more alike than we are different. It reminds me of that famous quote from Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”