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Come From Away

Come From Away is as improbable a Broadway hit as one might dream up: it’s a Canadian-born musical about the aftermath of 9/11, designed with a stripped-down wooden set and powered by a folksy band. Well into the era of spectacle-driven mega-musicals such as Wicked and Frozen, this concept could come off as quaint — not to mention a box-office loser. But Come From Away has an ace in the hole: it’s not only well-crafted and moving, but timely. The plot demonstrates the hospitality Newfoundland residents offered to passengers on diverted airliners after 9/11 — in a town so small the 7,000 passengers nearly overwhelmed the number of residents. It’s a musical, then, about generosity and kindness to strangers, and a gentle, salutary reminder that borders need not be barbed and that people need not be cruel. Come From Away is still playing to packed houses in Manhattan, so we’re lucky that it’s coming from far away to us now.

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