The Phoenix Theatre has hosted the hit musical Come From Away for a year now and it’s celebrating with a brand-new cast! The raw emotion and story that pull at your heartstrings are still all there, but this time there are different faces and voices delivering the performance. Although the previous cast gave a wonderful show, the newcomers may be even stronger. If you’ve never seen this heartwarming musical, the cast alone makes it worth attending, but even if you’ve seen it before, you’re likely to be amazed by the updated performances.
Come from Away focuses on true events that happened in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. With 38 planes diverted to the quaint Canadian town of Gander, residents and travellers were forced to coexist during a terrifying and stressful time for all. The musical is a refreshing reminder of the humanity and generosity that can be found in even the darkest of moments.
The wonderful writing and fantastic script have not been changed, but the actors have. Alice Fearn takes the stage as airline pilot Beverley Bass and others, putting forth a genuine and emotional performance that will leave any audience simply stunned. Tarrin Callender’s masterful performance as Bob and others may just top that of his predecessor, and James Doherty perfectly complements him as Claude and others. Kate Graham takes on the role of Diane, while Alasdair Harvey puts in work as Nick, Doug, and others.
Some principal characters remain – Jenna Boyd as Beulah, Mary Doherty as Bonnie, and Mark Dugdale as Kevin are all still cast members amongst others. What’s impressive is that the veteran and newest members have already developed an on-stage chemistry that seems impossible. The way these players interact with each other feels incredibly real and is sure to have audience members drawn in throughout the performance.
The subject matter is not a lighthearted one, but heartwarming moments abound in Come from Away, and the cast and crew are heavily responsible for them. The elite ability of the actors to portray sadness, despair, fear, grief, and friendship must be commended and celebrated. Tragedy and fear can often bring strangers together in times of distress, and audience members will feel as though they are sitting right there in Gander, coping with uncertainty and potential devastation.
Ultimately, Come from Away is a story about togetherness and faith in your fellow man. It takes a talented cast to put on a captivating performance in such a musical, and this one gets the job done with high accolades. The pure emotion shown by all the actors is unmatched, and the newcomers seem to elevate the performances of the previous players. Come from Away is not an action-packed adventure, nor is it a show that elicits much laughter, but despite the heavy content, the audience can expect to leave this performance not only being wowed by the cast, but also feeling better about humanity in general.