29 October 2019 – Come From Away – Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, New York
The 11 September, the world stopped. The 12 September, their history has given us life. That begins by what the press release of the show. At the top of the box office since its launch in 2017 and acclaimed by the press and spectators, "Come From Away" is to some the jewel of Broadway. Very different from its counterparts Theater District, musical opts for simplicity and emotion.
"Come From Away" is inspired by a true story. The show tells the events that shook a small city in Canada, Gander, or 38 aircraft crash-landed after the attacks of 11 September 2001. 7000 passengers were gathered, housed and fed by the inhabitants of the island for nearly a week, pending to return home. The show shows how they have learned to know and how did a solid friendship that still endures today 😊.
Far from being a dramatic spectacle as one might imagine : the text is funny and the script has its share of funny situations ! When a gay couple landed in the only bar in town, in 2001, it is expected that not everything goes as planned 😅. The fact that the music is inspired by a true story the harder emotionally makes and inevitably became attached to the characters. The actors play several roles, but we understand pretty quickly who is who. On the other hand, it took me well 10 min to adapt to the speed and accents - it's also one of the very first song themes : « You probably understand about a half of what we say ». It was not far 😂
The original band, let's talk about it! There is a scent of Ireland in music, reflection of & rsquo; legacy Gander. The songs are catchy and interpreted choir by the whole troupe. I will remember mainly : « Welcome to the Rock », « On the Edge » and « In The Bar / Heave Away ». Unlike other shows District, there are few solos, but they are successful; especially « Me And the Sky », which is one of the evening's climax. There is 8 some musicians interact directly on the stage during the performance. At the end of the show, they offer the public a jam session which closes the festival in the energy and good humor!
The show won the Tony Award for best director - which is one of the highest honors that a musical can have 🏆. And for good reason, it takes to reverse everything that is done and what is expected of a Broadway musical! Right here, not huge sets or video screens : everything rests on twelve chairs and a few tables. This is probably the most refined show that I have ever seen in my life! These are the actors and how they place some elements that make the scene; one is alternately in a bar, a bus or a plane. And it works 👍.
The scene is still dressed : we can see a few tree trunks here and there and the background is a huge wood panel through light rays that create different moods as needed. Nothing to say about the costumes that are, in most cases, outfits everyday : the actors in change regularly for switching from one character to another.
In total, there is 12 artists on stage if you do not count the musicians. each interpreter 2 characters : a resident of Gander and a transit passenger. It is difficult to tell if a particular one is alienated, because the performance is more or less equal ; but what strikes most, it is their tremendous energy.
I loved the fluidity of the show, that is played without intermission. The story keeps us in suspense for nearly 1 h 40 and meanwhile : dialogues and songs keep coming, there is no time to death. And it is rare enough to be stressed !
If I were to keep only the evening image, it is the public enthusiasm that rose as one man at the end of the show to applaud artists 👏. It was a gamble to offer a show the opposite of what is usually done on Broadway. We did not need anything else than a good story (real) and good songs after all! I left the theater with a smile : this is a show that does good by his energy and showing the nice things that people can accomplish with a little bit of solidarity. Nevertheless, I recommend you to choose "Come From Away" if you do not trust your English… The characters speak quickly, often with different accents, and as everything is based on the text : you risk being dropped. There are things more accessible.
On this subject, I think autumn is the perfect time to skim the Broadway Theater, non ? 🍂 I asked you a few days ago what musicals you advise me. You answered me : « Waitress », « West Side Story », "Jagged Little Pill" and "Moulin Rouge". I have before me a few months to make a return on these shows, so, waiting : I invite you to join me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to discover the other shows I've been fortunate to attend! And if you like Broadway, click here : #Broadway - there are many things that await you!
Trailer " Come From Away »