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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Hit Tony Award-Winning Musical 'Come From Away' Is Touring Australia in 2021

A smash on Broadway since 2017, it's based on the true story of 7000 air passengers who became grounded in Canada after September 11.
By Sarah Ward
December 09, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
December 09, 2020
  shares

Already an enormous success on Broadway, in London's West End and in Melbourne, Tony and Olivier award-winning musical Come From Away is touring its remarkable true tale around Australia's east coast. Based on real post-September 11 events, the acclaimed production will actually return to Melbourne in January 2021 for an encore season of kind-hearted charm, before heading to Brisbane in March and Sydney in June — visiting the Queensland and New South Wales capitals for the first time.

If you aren't familiar with the musical's plot or the actual events that inspired it, it's quite the exceptional story. In the week after the September 11 attacks in 2001, 38 planes were unexpectedly ordered to land in the small Canadian town of Gander, in the province of Newfoundland. Part of Operation Yellow Ribbon — which diverted civilian air traffic to Canada en masse following the attacks — the move saw around 7000 air travellers grounded in the tiny spot, almost doubling its population. Usually, the town is home to just under 12,000 residents.

To create Come From Away, writers and composers Irene Sankoff and David Hein spent hundreds of hours interviewing thousands of locals and passengers, using their experiences to drive the narrative — and, in many cases, using their real names in the show as well. The result is a musical not just about people coming from away (the term that Newfoundlanders use to refer to folks not born on the island), but coming together, all at a time when tensions were running high worldwide.

Since being workshopped in 2012, having a run in Ontario in 2013, then officially premiering in San Diego in 2015, Come From Away has become a global smash hit. After opening on Broadway in 2017, it was still running before the theatre district closed due to COVID-19. The musical wowed crowds in the West End, too — and, when it first opened in Melbourne in July 2019, it became the Comedy Theatre's most successful musical in the venue's 91-year history.

Along the way, the show has picked up a Tony Award for best direction of a musical, six other nominations, and four Olivier Awards out of nine nominations.

Come From Away was actually initially due to head from Melbourne to Sydney in 2020, but that's one of the many things that didn't happen this year.

COME FROM AWAY 2021 AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Melbourne: January 19–March 21, Comedy Theatre
Brisbane: March 26–April 18, QPAC Lyric Theatre
Sydney: June 3–July 21, Capitol Theatre

Come From Away will return to Melbourne's Comedy Theatre from January 19–March 21, then hit Brisbane's QPAC Lyric Theatre from March 26–April 18 and Sydney's Capitol Theatre from June 3–July 21. For further information — or to buy tickets — visit the musical's website.

Images: Jeff Busby.

Published on December 09, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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