Student Review: Come From Away

January 2, 2019


In November, Professor Butchy’s and Dean Loffert’s arts classes attended the Broadway musical Come From Away. Student Aisha Bennerson reviews the production below! 

Come From Away takes place in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, 38 planes were sent to this small town when U.S. airspace closed. As you sit in your seat wondering how this will play out, you are greeted with the song “Welcome to the Rock” and there is no doubt you are in for a theatrical treat.

Upon landing in Gander, the passengers and the townspeople are in for a culture shock. There are people from all over the world stranded in this distant land. The townspeople do not hesitate and quickly gather everything from clothes to food for their new guests. The passengers, amongst the confusion, try to get in contact with their loved ones. The townspeople and passengers are also challenged with language barriers and preconceived notions.

Come From Away is a play in which it is hard to have just one favorite character. Each character brings joy and enchantment to the stage. The cast does an amazing job taking the audience on an emotional journey. Q. Smith, who plays Hannah, draws you in with her passion. Jenn Colella’s ability to play the no-nonsense pilot Beverly and then seamlessly switch to the comedic character Annette was a delight to witness.

The costume designer Toni-Leslie James does a phenomenal job. It was a pleasure to witness how she was able to use an item as simple as a well-placed jacket or a strategically hidden hat   to alter a character’s costume from townspeople to passenger. It was brilliant. Her costumes may not have been elaborate, however, they created a visually stunning affect.

Come From Away expertly wove a serious subject with humor and music. The play showed the audience how friendships can blossom during difficult times. After such a spectacularly entertaining show, the audience was treated to mini concert by the remarkable band. You walk away humming one of the many captivating songs, with a sense of pride and renewed faith in humanity.

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