Global hit Come From Away has been named the most successful musical in the Comedy Theatre’s 91-year history, this week surpassing the box office records of all other musicals staged at the theatre since it opened in 1928.
The inspiring and heart-warming production has sailed passed some extraordinary musicals in history including: The Sentimental Bloke (1961) Man of La Mancha (1967-1968), Canterbury Tales (1969), They’re Playing Our Song (1981), Chicago (1981), The Rocky Horror Show (various productions) and Rock of Ages (2011). The Australian production of Come From Away opened in July 2019.
Come From Away is based on the incredible real-life events in the wake of the September 11 tragedy. Set in Gander, Newfoundland where 38 planes carrying nearly 7,000 people from over 100 countries were redirected during this traumatic event, almost doubling the population of the remote Canadian town.
Capturing the generosity and hospitality of the small community of Gander who invited the “come from aways” into their homes, it is an inspirational story of hope and humanity.
“Melbourne and people across Australia have taken Come From Away to their hearts at the refurbished Comedy Theatre that will leave a lasting legacy well beyond our stay positioning the venue as one of the finest theatres in the country” said Producer Rodney Rigby.
Come From Away opened on Broadway to rave reviews in 2017 and has continued its record-breaking triumph with a second production in Toronto, a third production touring North America, a West End production and the recently opened Australian production in Melbourne.
With book, music and lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff, Come From Away is directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, choreographed by Olivier Award Winner Kelly Devine (Rock of Ages, Diana), with music supervision by Ian Eisendrath (A Christmas Story, Diana), scenic design by Beowulf Boritt (Rock of Ages, Be More Chill) costume design by Toni-Leslie James (Jelly’s Last Jam), lighting design by Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys, Hamilton), sound design by Gareth Owen (Diana, A Bronx Tale).
Come From Away has won numerous awards including the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Christopher Ashley), Winner of five Outer Critics Circle Awards (New York) including Outstanding New Broadway Musical. On top of this, the musical has received three Drama Desk Awards (New York) including Outstanding Musical, four Helen Hayes Awards (Washington, D.C) including Outstanding Production of a Musical, four Gypsy Rose Lee Awards (Seattle) including Excellence in production of a Musical and six San Diego Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Musical.
In February 2019, the musical added to its international award tally with four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Theatre Choreographer (Kelly Devine), Best Sound Design and Outstanding Achievement in Music.
Following on from its Australian success, Come From Away producers Junkyard Dog Productions, Rodney Rigby and ACOrange recently announced the show will tour to China in 2020. The critically acclaimed musical will open at SAIC-Shanghai Culture Square on 8 May 2020 for a limited engagement, with further cities in China to be announced.
Come From Away is currently booking through to January 2020 at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre. For more information, visit: www.comefromaway.com.au for details.
Image: Come From Away – Original Australian Company – photo by Jeff Busby