There have been many instances of a live stage play being broadcast on television from various Disney plays around the holidays to iconic musicals performed live on prime-time. Most of these have failed to live up to their own hype. That is until Hamilton debuted their amazing live performance on Disney+ during the pandemic that resulted in critical acclaim, phenomenal televised production, and millions of new people being able to finally watch the musical. Apple TV+ took those cues and now has the brilliant stage play Come From Away debuting on their streaming service so that many more people can enjoy the sheer happiness and perhaps best musical ever on television in the comfort of their own home. Come From Away exudes pure bliss and kindness at one of the world's darkest times that conjures up the biggest of smiles and the hardest of tears all in the span of two hours. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Watch Come From Away on Apple TV+
The idea for Come From Away was started by an attorney/theatre producer who hired Irene Sankoff and David Hein after he watched their 2009 musical called My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. The two writers and producers came aboard, did their research, and built perhaps one o the most satisfying musicals ever made with enough heart and emotion to transform anyone's bad day into the greatest days of their lives. As someone who has seen man musicals over the past couple of decades, Come From Away immediately became the front runner after a long list of quintessential productions, due to the fantastic message it conveys, the dual performances, and of course, the music. The reason this Tony-nominated play didn't win the big awards is that Dear Evan Hansen stole all the glory, but really - Come From Away is far better.
Come From Away follows the true story that is set in the week after the September 11th attacks and what unfolded in the very small town of Gander in Newfoundland, Canada. When President Bush ordered the closure of all US airspace, many planes full of millions of people were diverted to the closest airport. A total of thirty-eight planes that were carrying over seven thousand passengers and nineteen animals were forced to land in the tiny town of Gander, doubling the town's size for a week. After being forced to stay on the plane for a day or two, all seven thousand people were let off and allowed to view what had happened that terrible day. Shortly after this, the inspiration and remarkable people of Gander set in as the entire town comes together to house, feed, and get anything to these stranded passengers they might need.
The story showcases a fantastic bright spot of humanity during one of humanity's worst tragedies and attacks. These complete strangers put their lives on hold and regardless of color, religion, or sexual orientation - the town of Gander made these scared, stranded people make them feel at home. The story takes real people and their experiences and conveys their emotional turmoil and newly found happiness in the form of a song. Beverly Bass is one of the characters here who was the first female captain for American Airlines and tells her story of how this attack on 9-11 changed her thinking about planes and people.
And while two complete strangers on a plane found love through this tragedy, another couple who had been. together for years find themselves split apart due to the stress of the whole situation. People bond over drinking, karaoke of one Titanic movie, and two women's children who are firefighters. It's a brilliant cast of characters who all perform double and triple duty as different characters in the play. It's wonderful to watch unfold on screen and hear everyone's personal story and how the town of Gander made that horrible week bearable and even fun, even if it was just for a little while.
This televised version is just remarkable as well as it reveals just how simple the stage design is and focuses on the energetic performances of each actor. There is never a dull moment as the song list never stops with its impressive lyrics and toe-tapping beats. From the first upbeat song of "Welcome To The Rock" when passengers start to arrive in Gander to the excellent rendition of "28 Hours / Wherever We Are" as the people are stuck on the plane, all the way to the sad song about one of the character's missing son in New York titled "I Am Here" - all of these musical numbers hit close to home and are truly memorable that will have everyone singing out loud long after watching the play.
The comedy and sadness of the play blend extremely well together. Just when tears come rolling down, a big spot of laughter is given. Come From Away is never heavy-handed or overplays the melodrama. Instead, it takes a much lighter approach of tragedy but keeps itself grounded in the seriousness of the situation. Come From Away is one of the best stories about the kindness and bright displays of humanity out there. It will cause a transformation of the senses to have everyone who watches it come out glowing. Highest Recommendation!
Watch Come From Away on Apple TV+