Theatre Review

‘Come From Away’ warms PPAC audience on cold night

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The highly acclaimed musical “Come From Away” came roaring into Rhode Island this week, warming the audience with its positive message about “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The musical has a variety of songs and vignettes, sung and acted by a wonderful cast that doubles as hosts and guests – an effect that is both clever and seamless.

You remember the true story – over 7,000 airline passengers were stranded in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, when all U.S. airspace was off limits during 9/11.

“Come From Away” is a brilliantly structured musical that mixes small stories about real people with many of the cold, hard facts of the actual events.

Actors occasionally step out of their dual roles to tell us facts that we may have forgotten, or didn’t know.

It is an hour and 40 minute, intermission-less production that never slows down, beginning with passengers told that they will be landing far from their destination, but not told why.

The locals who are dealing with their own school bus drivers strike rise to the occasion, producing miracles to accommodate for more people than they have living in their rural town.
There is a bit of a culture shock, but nowhere near that faced by the folks in the recent “The Band’s Visit.”

The writers interviewed many residents and guests put this kaleidoscopic masterpiece together, including both humorous and poignant moments.

“Come From Away” is at the Providence Performing Arts Center through Sunday.

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