Last week, I “splurged” a little to get tickets to see the Broadway Musical – “Come From Away.” I knew very little about the play except that a friend had recommended I see it based on the story. I knew it had a name that I couldn’t quite remember and I knew it had something to do with events that had occurred on September 11, 2001.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the play. Here’s a little recap: Gander, Newfoundland, population 10,000, suddenly finds themselves with over 7,000 “plane people” descending on their city when the planes are no longer able to land at their destination after the events of 9/11 close the American Air space. That’s all you really need to know. The play details what happened in that town with terrific lyrics and a dynamic cast, made up from composites of the real people of Gander, who opened their hearts and homes and lives to help thousands of strangers. It’s incredibly moving! The stories of the kindnesses that occurred and the magnitude of the creative ways the locals helped tend to the displaced strangers was powerful. And I don’t want to spoil anything but the recipients were equally as generous and grateful for all the kindness they received and over the years have given “a little something” back to their kind and gracious community hosts.
I was moved to tears (happy ones) several times throughout the play. Just envisioning the true selflessness that these Canadians showed. It was powerful stuff. Honestly, I am shocked that I really didn’t know much about this story sooner, so much kindness, kindness that engaged a city, that touched thousands of peoples lives, kindness that was celebrated at a reunion on the 10th anniversary in September 2011, when many of the “plane people” return to Gander with spouses and family members. I haven’t been able to think of one other Broadway musical that was inspired to tell the story of so much kindness.
It was uplifting, heart warming and honestly a breath of fresh air. If you get the chance definitely go see Come From Away! I think this story will stay with me forever, as I think of the the songs and the people that through their simple and generous acts of kindness made that difficult time so much better for those folks who found themselves on that Rock.