Three blocks from the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, fifteen minutes before show time, my husband and I clumsily shuffled our way out of the taxi. At that point, we knew that if we stayed in the car and caught one more red light, we'd never make it to the performance. We were on our way to see Come From Away, a new touching Broadway musical that beautifully recounts the true story of "7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that put their lives on hold to open their homes to this world of strangers." I had no idea what to expect about the performance, but the story alone got me very excited. And I love Broadway!
We got out of the taxi and weaved through crowds of families and lovers whose excitements could be felt through their loud chitter chatters and smiles. But we didn't have time for that. We had places to be and a show to see! When we finally made it, time was on my side because the line at the box office was surprisingly short, and my two tickets were handed to me promptly. We were led to the very first row and sat next to an older couple. I'd never been this close to the stage and actors before! The night just kept getting better and better.
A few seconds after we were seated, I did a quick glance around, admired the high, elaborate ceilings, turned off my mobile, and just like that, we were transported to a remote town in Newfoundland. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, America and the world came to a halt. The beginning of the show immediately brought me back to math class in the 10th grade, in my little world in Newark, NJ. A shy, skinny Haitian girl, still trying to hide my Kreyol accent when I spoke, I sat there quietly as we heard the news. Ms. Laurence, our loud teacher who always had a lot to say about how young and silly we were stood there silently, waiting for directions and more news. It was no longer about me, my teenage struggles, nor my daily dramas. Bigger and scarier things were happening. The following days were a blur.
The musical takes us to September 12th, when 38 airplanes and over 6,500 passengers were stranded in a giant airport in Newfoundland. The small town of only 3,000 opened their homes to these passengers. Town officials started collecting all necessary items to welcome their new guests, and the entire town came together to provide relief efforts. Townspeople utilized all public spaces, as well as private establishments, in order to provide their new guests with shelter and food. Human kindness could not have been displayed in a more phenomenal and heart-warming way.
My favorite parts of Come From Away are the brilliant individual stories told of a lot of the stranded guests and their hosts. I don't want to give too much away, but I love how the story touches on different religions, races, cultures, and sexual orientations. I love that there's a love story between two older characters. I admire the female pilot's personal story about being the first woman to fly with a big commercial airline. The personal friendships, the interactions, judgements, and the humor were all highlighted beautifully. I fell in love with every character in the story. They gave me hope.
When the show was over, the entire auditorium stood up for a standing ovation. I've never seen my husband so excited and happy after a musical. Even during dinner, he wouldn't stop talking about how amazing the show was. We talked about all of our favorite parts. It sparked so many great conversations during the evening and the entire week after. This is why I've partnered with my friends from Come From Away to gift two tickets to one lucky follower!
To win two tickets, tag a friend that you'd like to bring on my recent Instagram post and comment below (on the blog with your email address) with why you want to bring them. Winner will be announced on Monday, April 4th and contacted via email!