Come From Away impresses critics and theatre goers on Broadway After a record-breaking run at The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, the Sheridan-incubated musical Come From Away officially opened on Broadway on March 12, 2017 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. It’s garnering positive reviews and buzz from critics and theatre goers alike including being named a New York Times Critics’ Pick.
Written by Toronto’s Irene Sankoff and David Hein (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding), Come From Away was originally developed and produced by Sheridan’s Canadian Music Theatre Project in 2012. It was optioned by Tony Award-winning producers, Junkyard Dog Productions (Memphis, First Date), which toured the show to regional theatres including La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC, before its Toronto engagement last fall.
The Washington Post called it an “an antidote for what ails the American soul” and wrote “the Tony race for best musical of the year just got interesting.” The New York Post called the musical “Justin Trudeau’s ‘Hamilton’”, The Stage in the UK gave it a five-star review and lauded it as “a musical that tells an unusual, unfamiliar 9/11 story with tact and tremendous feeling.” A Broadway World critic noted: “As long as Come From Away is playing on Broadway, I will recommend it to everyone.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took in the show with his wife and hundreds of other government officials on March 15, including “first daughter” Ivanka Trump, Phyllis Yaffe, the Consul General of Canada in New York, over 100 UN Ambassadors, and scores of Canadian Ministers, MPs and MPPs.
Come From Away is based on the true story of how Gander, Newfoundland welcomed 6,579 people who arrived on their doorstep after 38 planes were forced to land on September 11, 2001. The hospitality shown by the residents of this tiny Canadian town restored the faith of these stranded travelers. The idea for the musical originated with Michael Rubinoff, an entertainment lawyer and theatre producer who also serves as Sheridan’s Associate Dean of Visual and Performing Arts.
The Canadian Music Theatre Project was established at Sheridan College in 2011 and is Canada’s first incubator for the development of new musical theatre works by Canadian and international composers, lyricists and book-writers. Working with a cast of students, writers bring their new musical to life through workshops and staged readings. To date, 15 musicals have been workshopped by the CMTP including Brantwood, which won the 2015 Dora Mavor Moore Audience Choice Award. The CMTP Festival of New Musicals is held every year in October at Sheridan’s Oakville campus.