Last night, I watched Come From Away, the musical, now showing at the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne in its Australian premiere. Oh my goodness. Pure magic. It’s surpassed Lion King as my favourite musical. I think everyone should go see it, so there’s a ticketing link at the bottom of the review.
12 cast members (playing at least two main characters each, towns- and plane people), 6 standbys (understudy for four roles each), 10 band members (most playing at least three instruments each). A beautiful musical score and lines that delivered. One hell of a show. Go check it out!
For those who don’t know, Come From Away is the based-on-truth story of the locals from of Gander, Newfoundland and the “plane people”. Gander coordinated the billeting and care of 6,579 people on 38 planes, diverted there when American airspace was closed for five days on September 11, 2001. The musical tells the story of some of the townspeople and “plane people” (what the locals called the plane travellers) stranded there. The musical gets its name from the words used to describe any visitors to Newfoundland – “Come from aways”.
I have been anticipating watching this show for months and it did not disappoint. The show was poignant and humorous and demonstrative by turns. Full of pathos and sheer humanity. It handles difficult subjects sensitively and meaningfully. I would watch this again, definitely (and I just listened to the soundtrack today actually). All the feels!! I laughed, I cringed, I teared up…and at the end of the show I burst into tears and leapt to my feet applauding. It was amazing!
The songs are all pretty good. Welcome to the Rock is a great intro. There are so many poignant songs – singing of people’s desperation, fear and hope. Blankets and Bedding; Darkness and Trees; Prayer; Something’s Missing, to name just a few. Just when you feel like you can’t take any more of it, some humour is inserted (e.g. Screech In) or a solution found. They’re still giving me goosebumps, tears and/or excitement today.
I also enjoyed Nick and Diane’s song, Stop the World. I believe my favourite song, amidst stiff competition, is Captain Beverley Bass’ power song: Me and the Sky. Her story is awesome. (If you want to hear her tell it, listen to this: This is your captain speaking, from ABC Conversations.) The other favourite would be Blankets and Bedding.
Go get tickets to see the show. Do it now, you will not be disappointed. Come From Away Melbourne.