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‘Come From Away,’ Canada’s most successful musical, concludes record-breaking Broadway run

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‘Come From Away,’ Canada’s most successful musical, concludes record-breaking Broadway run

Theatregoers on the Great White Way were welcomed to The Rock one final time this weekend.

“Come From Away,” the most successful musical in Canadian history, took its final Broadway bow Sunday, concluding a record-breaking and award-winning run at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre after five years and nearly 1,700 performances.

The musical, co-written by Canadians Irene Sankoff and David Hein, is based on true stories and follows the residents of Gander and the surrounding towns in Newfoundland as they welcomed the 7,000 passengers on 38 planes who were grounded in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Come From Away” was initially presented at Oakville’s Sheridan College in 2012 as part of the internationally renowned incubator, the Canadian Musical Theatre Project. Just a year prior, Sankoff and Hein, a married couple, visited Newfoundland for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, where they interviewed residents and the “plane people,” on whom they based the musical’s characters.

The show received its first professional production at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in 2015. It also played in Seattle, Washington D.C., Toronto, plus two sold-out benefit concerts in Gander, before transferring to New York City.

The production was initially met with scepticism when its Broadway run was announced, with some labelling it the “9/11 musical.” But it opened in March 2017 to critical acclaim and soon became known, among those in the industry, as “the little show that could.”

That year, “Come From Away” earned seven Tony Award nominations, ultimately winning one for director Christopher Ashley. The musical is now the 49th longest-running production in Broadway history and the longest resident of the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in its 105-year history.

The show’s success on Broadway helped spawn numerous replica productions worldwide. It continues to play in London’s West End, Australia and on tour across North America. A Toronto production closed last December due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following a three-year run, but a new production will return to the city in 2024 after a short run at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.

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Credit: ‘Come From Away,’ Canada’s most successful musical, concludes record-breaking Broadway run