REVIEW: Come From Away, Broadway Cast Recording ✭✭✭✭✭

Review of Come From Away Cast AlbumCome From Away
Original Broadway Cast Recording
Concord Jazz Recordings/UMG Records
5 Stars
Get a copy of Come From Away

September 11, 2001 and for the first time ever all American airspace is closed due to the horrific happenings of that day. Planes from all over the world were diverted and 38 of those planes ended up landing in a little-used airport in a place called Gander Newfoundland.

Over a few days 7000 were taken in by an extraordinary community, who with no warning opened their hearts and gave everything they had to help. Now imagine turning all of this into a Broadway musical. You'd probably think it mad just as I did when I first heard a plot outline, but what Irene Sankoff and David Hein have created is a piece that has incredible heart and is one of the most compelling new musicals I have heard of late.

I have not seen the show and know little about how the show is staged so I am working purely from listening to this extraordinary cast album. The theatricality of tracks including 28 Hours / Wherever We Are, Darkness and Trees, On the Bus and Phoning Home are evident and have me wanting to see the show.

This true story is told from the point of view of the locals of Gander and from that of the stranded travellers. Characters are vividly bought to life and the emotion associated with this extraordinary meeting of human beings permeates throughout. The score's pace ebbs and flows as events develop and the lives of this group of people change forever.

To highlight any particular performance from this recording is impossible. Come From Away is performed by an ensemble of actors of the highest calibre.

Having written this review I am about to go and find out more about this story.

Get a copy of this recording, clear some time from your day and listen from start to finish. I dare you not to be moved!

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  • Don Quixote 109

    Mr. Mayo,
    You have done a good service for the cast and crew of Come From Away.

    It is 100 minutes of tightly choreographed, compelling drama that is a sucker punch to the gut that will leave you feeling uplifted. (No intermission) Each member of the ensemble cast plays multiple characters – both from the town folk and from the “come from aways” (the plane people). They do so on the turn of a Canadian Dime (what small diameter coin is similar in the UK – shilling?) Sometimes it feels like on the head of a pin. And while shifting personas also shifting accents seemlessly.

    We have been fortunate enough to see them early days at La Jolla Playhouse 7/15 and again at Ford’s Theatre 10 Sept 16. The *normal* reaction of the audience to each and every performance is a syncronized LEAP to their collective feet for the most heart-felt and enduring standing ovation I have ever seen.

    There are You Tube videos of some of the songs so you can see the stage – it is spartan – a feeling of being in the Newfoundland woods, with a dozen chairs for the dozen actors to use as:
    Airplane,
    Bus,
    Tim Hortons,
    Cafeteria
    Cascade walk along the cliffs of Newfoundland

    If any of your readers is able, I heartily recommend a trip to see it – better yet, stay a few days and see it several times. It it truly that good.

    • BritishTheatre.com

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve heard amazing things about this show in the last 24 hours and look forward to seeing it. I can at this stage only comment about the stunning cast recording which tells the story and captures the imagination so well. I found it an uplifting story that affected me deeply. When theatre does that it should be celebrated.

    • Dennis

      Tom Brokaw did a hour long documentary about Gander and the unexpected visitors, I believe it’s called “operation yellow ribbon” and can be easily accessed on YouTube. You get to see most of the locals portrayed in the show as well as some of the “Come From Aways”. It’s gives some insight on the story. Mayor Claude Elliott of Gander and Mayor Derm Flynn of Appleton are every bit as nice and helpful in real life as they are portrayed in the show. It’s worth a “Gander”, pardon the pun!! The show is amazing, I seen it here in Gander when they were here for a 2 show benefit concert and it’s very accurate.

      • BritishTheatre.com

        Hey Dennis, found it and will be sitting down to watch it tonight. Got to say I love this cast recording. Doug
        https://youtu.be/jXbxoy4Mges

  • wahnsinn

    Has this got anything to do with David Macfarlane’s 1991 modernist novel of the same name, which is also set on Newfoundland, and that I am currently reading?

    • BritishTheatre.com

      As Come From Away is the story of people bought together on September 11, 2001 I don’t think they are related. Good read?