Sept. 11, 2019 | Josh Rogosin -- Sixteen performers from the Broadway production of Come From Away recently climbed out of a chartered bus in front of NPR and crammed behind Bob Boilen's desk. They condensed their nearly two-hour show about the days following 9/11 into a relatively tiny 17 minutes. By the end of the diminutive set, there were more than a few tears shed.
Where were you on Sep. 11, 2001? Anyone who is old enough to remember can probably answer that question. Perhaps that's why the stories told in the Broadway musical Come From Away are so relatable.
In the aftermath of the Sep. 11 attacks, 38 planes carrying thousands of passengers were grounded in remote Gander, Newfoundland in Canada for five days. The creators of Come From Away traveled to Gander 10 years later and collected the tales that make up the musical.
In Gander there's an expression that, if you're visiting, you've "come from away." The people of Gander took in the come-from-aways, and their stories have resonated with audiences worldwide. The Broadway cast recently celebrated 1,000 performances and there are simultaneous productions running in London, Toronto, Melbourne and a national tour.
As one of the actors explains, "The story we tell is not a 9/11 story, it's a 9/12 story. It's a story about the power of kindness in response to a terrible event, and how we can each live, leading with kindness, everyday."
SET LIST "28 Hours/Wherever We Are" "I Am Here" "Me and the Sky" "Something's Missing" "Finale"
MUSICIANS Chris Ranney: keys, accordion; Caitlin Warbelow: fiddle, fiddle in Gb; Ben Power: high whistles, low whistles, flute; Romano DiNillo: bodhran, cajon; Alec Berlin: acoustic guitar; Petrina Bromley: vocals; Holly Ann Butler: vocals; Geno Carr: vocals; De'Lon Grant: vocals; Joel Hatch: vocals; Chad Kimball: vocals; Kevin McAllister: vocals; Happy McPartlin: vocals; Julie Reiber: vocals; Astrid Van Wieren: vocals; Jim Walton: vocals
CREDITS Producers: Josh Rogosin, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Andy Huether; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Jeremiah Rhodes, Maia Stern, Bronson Arcuri; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Shuran Huang/NPR