‘Come From Away’ at Orpheum Theatre, Review and Parent’s Guide

Come From Away is a Broadway musical that made its way to the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.  Thanks to Hennepin Theatre Trust, Minneapolis gets some of the hottest shows in the world.

“9/11 is kind of an odd subject matter for a musical, don’t you think?”  my husband asked.  And yes, I did think it was weird.

Honestly, the only reason I even made it a point to go was that I have a really great friend who told me that she and her girls had been listening to Come From Away‘s soundtrack and loving it.

So I knew that I needed to go.  And I knew Audra needed to come with me!

at Orpheum Theatre MInneapolis, Hennepin Theatre Trust

And I’m so glad I went.  Audra and I were sniffling messes and cheering our hearts out by the end of the production.  It made all the chaos of getting to the theater worth it.  Completely  and utterly worth it.

Most Photo Credits to Matthew Murphy, Courtesy Hennepin Theatre Trust and Broadway
FFTC received tickets in exchange for promotion.  This review is my own
.

 

What to Know Before You Go

This show is based on the events in Newfoundland, Canada beginning after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 9/11.  The focus of Come From Away is on the care that the residents of the small town of Gander showed to 7000 strangers who arrived on planes one after another into their tiny airport. The details of the events of the actual attack are not mentioned.  Just the fear, confusion, and disbelief of everyone involved:  the “Plane” people, the townspeople, and the aircraft crews.

  1. To be able to attend you must wear a mask, bring your ID, and show proof of vaccination or a negative test. To learn more about the Covid policy, click here. I’m so happy to be going back to the theatre, I will do what I need to return to enjoying the arts.
  2. Come From Away has amazing music. The live band itself makes the entire show worth the price of admission.  For most of the show, they are tucked off to the side in the trees, but there are a few times they come out and are front and center.  And even if you don’t dance, you will be kicking up your heels for this one.  I have to say, the only reason I didn’t leave the theatre a sniveling mess and could come home and emphatically tell my husband, “That was an AMAZING show. You would love it,” was because of the curtain call with the band.  Best curtain call I have ever experienced.
    The townspeople of Gander, NewFoundland
  3. Strong language is present as is two ladies flashing the audience. I can’t believe that I’m saying this.  The flashing was hilarious (and they were still wearing undergarments).  They were showing how the “Plane” people were stuck on the plane and how they coped.  With strong drinks, lots of movies, karaoke, and desperation to do anything to be let off the aircraft.  The strong language was a little more obvious at the start of the show.  As I got into the spirit of Come From Away,  I stopped hearing it.  I don’t know what that says about me. Take that for what it’s worth.
  4. Come From Away uses our imagination to create the atmosphere with the use of  a simplified set, basic costumes, and various accents.  It is a continuous show without an intermission and has a small ensemble cast of 11 or 12 people who are all on the stage for the majority of the time.  Everyone has a role as a townsperson and a “Plane” person if not more than that.  The playbill labels each actor as playing the character of _____ “and others.”  The set never changes, but it is transformed throughout the show with the use of chairs, hatch doors, and tables.
    Come From Away Pilot
  5. Age Recommendation for Come From Away:  Age 12 (if they are really mature) and older.  Orpheum Theatre invites kids ages 5 and older into their shows as long as they are respectful theatre-goers.  There is no WAY I would bring a 5 year old to this show.  The subject matter is a lot to take in. I recommend this show for adults and mature teenagers.

Come From Away

 

How to Take Come From Away With You

  1.  Listen to the sound track on Spotify. Here’s a link to the Broadway soundtrack.
    It’s labeled as explicit, so know that it’s because there is strong language.
  2. Read a book to learn more about Gander, Newfoundland. (this is an affiliate link)
  3. Take a road trip to the 9/11 Memorial in Marshall, Minnesota

    Our Memorial Park, located in downtown Marshall, is home to a beam acquired from the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York City by the Marshall Fire Department.
    -from Marshall, MN city website

  4. Visit MN Firefighters Hall and Museum in Minneapolis
    What is it like to be a firefighter?  What do firefighters experience.  Why were firefighters so important on 9/11.  You can learn so much at the MN Firefighters Hall and Museum.  The best time to is in the summer, but if you catch a day they are open, you will enjoy it.
    Come from Away
  5. Check out MSP Airport Aircraft Viewing Area.
    Watch the planes come in.  And discuss what it may have been like to see 38 planes land and park on the tarmac of a small town’s airport designed for just a few plans a day.

More About Broadway’s Come From Away

Come From Away in the Bar

Come From Away takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers diverted Gander during 9/11 and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them, volunteering to house, feed and entertain
the displaced travelers.

The show features Minnesota native Becky Gulsvig, who plays the real-life pilot Beverley Bass. She
originated the role on Broadway.

Newfoundland was named one of the top 10 friendliest cultures in the world and the community treats non-Newfoundlanders (known as “come from aways”) as family.

The small town of Gander has a population of just under 13,000.

According to the many eyewitness accounts, a member of a Delta flight crew received a message from its captain, “All airways over the continental U.S. are closed. Land ASAP at the nearest airport,” that destination was 400 miles away in Gander.

On 9/11, the world stopped.
On 9/12, their stories moved us all.

Come From AWay Band

Parent’s Guide

Things you may want to consider as a parent.

  1. The age of your child. I think my girls–ages 15 and 16–could handle it and would love it, but I want them to know some specific facts about 9/11 before they see it.  Times, places, rescue workers’ responses, and who the terrorists were are fairly important to know to be able to understand some of the dialogue and actions happening on stage.
    There is strong language throughout the show. (understandably so, but still present)
    Subtle inferences to actions or of history may make the story a little confusing to  younger audience members.
  2. Vaccine/Negative Test status. Most places  you go in Minneapolis will be asking this patrons.  Make your decision before you purchase your tickets.  It’s not the workers who make this decision.  However, they are the ones that need to enforce it.
  3. How to Dress.  In the actual house (where the show takes place), it was very comfortable–even a bit on the too warm side , though that is my preference in winter.  But the hallways and the skyways are pretty cool.  Dress in layers.

Come From Away

Show and Ticketing Information

Show runs: Now-Sunday, January 23, 2022

Tickets range in price: $40-$210

Parking Hint:  $5 event parking in the Hawthorne Ramp on 9th St behind the Orpheum.

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