REVIEW: Come From Away

Come from Away she sings, in a soft and beautiful voice. I am here.

Here is Gander, Canada, just outside Newfoundland, where 7000 passengers have been diverted on September 11, 2001, in the wake of the terrorist attack on New York City’s Twin Towers. Over the course of two hours, people from around the globe, who speak different languages, have different religions, and perhaps different political views, are welcomed by the citizens of this small town, and looked after for five intense days.
Come From Away does not shy away. Issues of xenophobia and discrimination are spotlighted: a muslim passenger from the Middle East isolated and subjected to indignity in the name of international security; a gay couple hiding their orientation (unsuccessfully – laughter ensues), a young African American male who feels alone and out of place.
The audience is taken through a wave of emotions: confusion, anger, and fear…then compassion, relief, and joy. Every available building is turned into shelter. Blankets, food, clothing and toiletries are all donated; volunteers work round the clock to attend to a population of guests equal to its own size. Strangers become friends. Some visitors become residents.
The set is simple and the music is spectacular. At the finale, the audience is on its feet, dancing with the musicians: there is a soft drum, a guitar, perhaps a banjo, an oboe, and an accordion, too! It’s opening night and the Orpheum is packed. Come From Away exceeds expectations. The moment is unforgettable. Come from wherever you are. You’ll enjoy every minute.
Come From Away is here, at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, January 11-23, 2022.  Tickets start at $40.
DEAL ALERT: In-person student and educator rush available for Come From Away for all performances:
• Proof of vaccination required before purchase
• $30 per ticket — cash only
• The Orpheum Theatre box office will start selling in person at 2 hours prior to curtain
• Students/educators may purchase up to 2 tickets per valid school ID
• Subject to availability
Review by Kavita Battula