Review: Come From Away

The day after my birthday in April, my parents and I celebrated by seeing the matinee of the new, immensely popular Broadway musical, Come From Away, with book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. I’d been watching this piece come to life through a friend’s Instagram posts and I thought it looked cute, but I wasn’t really dying to see it. But once my parents heard about it and it’s popularity spiked just before their opening night, I finally stopped finding reasons to not get around to see it and I’m certainly glad I did.

A lot of the music sounds very Once-esque, which I was immediately annoyed by (despite being a big fan of Once because that is music for Once and not this, etc. etc.) but I warmed up to this folksy music as well as the rest of the score over the next 100 minutes. (Yes, it’s 100 minutes, no intermission. #best)

I’m pretty resistant to anything and everything that co-ops 9/11 which is probably responsible for some of my resistance to sit down in the Schoenfeld, but Come From Away doesn’t do that. They barely mention what happened and they never say “9/11” explicitly. It’s purely about humanity and this tiny town in Newfoundland named Gander and how it’s citizens come together to host these ~7,000 strangers who are stranded there for a week-ish) by this catastrophic event.

The cast is amazing – filled with some of my favorites from my teenage years as a Renthead, among others – Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kassebaum, Chad Kimball, Jenn Colella, etc. The cast uses very subtle costume adjustments to change characters in an instant when they flip-flop between planes (people were trapped on the plans for 28 hours!). I’m pretty sure this is no easy feat and I’d 100% screw up what character I was when if I had to do that.

My favorite subplot line was the one about the SPCA director in Gander, Bonnie Harris (played by Petrina Bromley) and how she basically forces her way into the cargo holds on the planes because she has the foresight to suspect that there are animals onboard and they need to be taken care of (#squee!). She’s right. There were 19 animals on all the planes – something like 7 cats, 9 dogs, and one pair of rare Bonobo monkeys, among others, all of whom she takes care of while they’re there. This obviously warmed my heart. She deserves a medal.

There are many other touching and tear-jerking story lines which I won’t give away, but you should get yourself to the Schoenfeld and see this heartwarming little show as soon as you can (if you can, because tickets are selling out at each performance).


Enjoy 9/11

I’m not sure I’ve ever agreed with anything written on Gawker more than this article right here. Quite frankly, I forgot it was 9/11 because I didn’t go online this morning, I don’t have cable, and I didn’t look at a paper. 

I lived a few blocks away from Ground Zero for 3 years in college and I avoided it like the plague. I didn’t need to see obese midwesterners taking photos in front of it like it was fucking Disney World. That site should’ve been a memorial park but instead they built the Tin Penis on it and it’s so ugly, IMO. In a way way it represents everything that’s wrong with this country. I’ve never been up into it and I will never go as long as they’re collecting an entrance fee. 

I avoided Facebook a lot today. I didn’t want to see the grief porn and the co-opting of the tragedy from people who weren’t in the city on that day, may have never been to the city ever, and probably didn’t know anyone in the towers or on the planes. The #neverforgets usually come from those kinds of people, not those with anyone who have someone they want to remember. They don’t need to say #neverforget because they actually won’t forget. 

But everyone who had no connection to this day whatsoever continue to use this day to mourn a tragedy that isn’t theirs. It’s so annoying. So, no, I don’t care where you were when the planes hit or what you did for the rest of the day. Unless you were in those towers, or this city, or lost someone close to you on that day, sit down. Because this isn’t your day. 

Go have a drink and be grateful that you’re still alive. 

/end rant

Enjoy 9/11

Green Day Song of the WeekWake Me Up When September Ends, from Green Day’s 2004 American Idiot, was an obvious choice as the song this week.  Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this about his father dying when he was a kid, but American Idiot, onstage, portrays this very much as being about 9/11.  My friend once said to me, “I had an epiphany last while I was watching the show, I finally figured it out. I think Mayer [the director] told them to walk on stage and look [into the house] like they’re seeing the towers fall.”  I think it makes sense.  I don’t have anything deep or meaningful to say, I’m just happy/thankful that I get to live in the center of the universe.