Come from Away
June 9, 2021
Now, what are the ingredients for a great musical? The cohesive progression of the story via integration of dialogue, an effective musical score with leitmotifs, a sharp choreography and believable characters are integral components.
The feelgood Canadian musical Come From Away has all of the aforementioned in spades. With the narrative centred around strangers coming together during an emergency, i.e. the aftermath of 9/11, when thousands of travellers were stranded for close to a week on the island of Newfoundland.
With an omnipresent cast of twelve representing a variety of backgrounds with each playing a number of different roles and a minimal yet clever and strategic set design, the lighting contributes significantly to conjure dramatic atmospheres, realities and moods against which the emblematic stories are played out.
What could be bland and dull in theory is actually a richly diverse tour de force of enjoyment courtesy of the well-oiled ensemble and the nuanced and fast-paced way they navigate through culture clashes, accents, costume changes galore, tumultuous scenes and skillfully portray how trust and friendships are forged.
Musically, the experience is enhanced by an excellent live band, which in view of the audience channel their passion, swap instruments and seamlessly switch from genre to genre.
In essence, Come From Away is a well-written, engaging ode to kindness, empathy and compassion – and one of complex simplicity that could not be more on point as far as technical synchronisation is concerned when it comes to character changes – it takes clever and joyful musical experience to the next level.
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