Recently “Come From Away,” a feel-good musical about 9/11, opened at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on Broadway to rave reviews and standing ovations. Canadian Prime Minister #justin trudeau and #Ivanka Trump, daughter of American President Donald Trump, attended the official opening night’s performance. Trudeau made a speech before the performance touching on how the events that the play depicts illustrate the special relationship that the United States and Canada, two nations who share the same continent, have.
Most everyone who was alive on September 11, 2001, remember where they were when the planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center. For about 7,000 airline passengers that place was in the air, where they were suddenly being diverted to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland which had an airport capable of handling 38 airliners as all airspace in North America was closed. How a small community of fewer than 10,000 souls managed the sudden arrival of who were, in effect, the first refugees of the long war on terror was a testament to the magnificence of the human spirit.
While the twisted rubble of Ground Zero still smoldered, people mourned their dead, and young people prepared for a war that still rages to this day, people in Gander and other Canadian communities performed acts of generosity and forged friendships that persist as well. From the act of ultimate evil came an even greater good.
People of the formerly sleepy town at the far eastern part of North American opened their homes and shops to strangers who, by fortunes of war, found themselves in their midst. What followed was a week of beauty and human kindness that followed the worst day of the 21st Century, a day that has touched off horror that cannot now be accurately evaluated. “Come from Away” celebrates that time in song and story.
“Come from Away” was created by two Canadian playwrights, David Hein and Irene Sankoff. The musical underwent runs in Toronto and Washington D.C., was well as special performances in Gander. The musical is currently starting what appears to be a long series of performances on Broadway.