On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial jet planes and use them as a weapon against the United States, killing nearly 3,000 people and injuring more than six thousand others.
A majority of those 3,000 people were killed in New York City, where two planes crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Ultimately, the damage and firefighter’s inability to reach fires that were more than 75 floors above the ground eventually caused both the North and South Towers to collapse.
During the 102 minutes that would change history, the FAA closed American airspace to all international flights, thus forcing nearly 500 flights to detour to anywhere they could.
Thirty-eight of those planes, carrying close to 7,000 people, landed in a small town on the coast of Newfoundland, Canada called Gander.
And that is where the story of “Come from Away” begins.
This show was encapsulating from the moment the drums begin to bellow throughout the Schoenfeld Theater on Broadway. Throughout the performance, the company kept the engaged with light-hearted comedy, captivating characters, witty one-liners and telling the side of a story that many had no knowledge of.
“Come from Away” gives the audience a chance to see that horrific day through a different perspective. There were several moments in this performance where the stories that were being told reeled the audience in to a point where you were so caught up in the storylines that it took you a minute to snap back and realize that these were the stories of real people.
David Hein and Irene Sankoff, the astounding creators of “Come from Away”, dedicated an immense amount of time, putting in countless hours of work, interviewing locals and people that were on those 38 planes that landed in Gander on 9/11 to create this masterpiece of a story.
One of biggest highlights of this show was the performance of Q. Smith, who portrayed Hannah O’Rourke. O’Rourke was a mother of a New York City firefighter who struggled to get in touch with her son back home throughout her entire stay. Smith’s performance was incredibly moving and she was able to bring the audience as close to what anyone who had a relative that worked for the New York Fire Department or New York Police Department was going through on 9/11 and the days and weeks after.
If you are in New York, this show is a must-see. However, if you are not planning on going to the Big Apple any time soon, “Come from Away” is currently on tour in the United States.
The show is planning on making a stop in Greenville, South Carolina at the Peace Center from Apr. 16-21.