Come from Away was awarded Best Production as well as Best Ensemble, with Christopher Ashley winning for Best Direction. Gareth Owen was awarded Best Sound Design and Luke Hunter was the recipient of Best Body of Work in Musical Direction (for Come From Away and Jersey Boys).
“On behalf of the entire team at Come From Away we are truly honoured to receive this recognition from our peers within the Victorian live performance industry,” said Producer Rodney Rigby. “Our story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things has never resonated more strongly than now as we witness the truly heroic work of doctors, health workers and first responders throughout the world at this moment in history. We cannot wait to share our story again, eight times a week”
The Australian production, which continued to attract spontaneous standing ovations from the entire audience throughout the Melbourne season, recently announced a Sydney season which will open in 2020 at the State Theatre, and an encore season back in Melbourne in 2021.
Across the globe, Come From Away has won numerous awards including the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Christopher Ashley); five Outer Critics Circle Awards (New York) including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; 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 addition, it received four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Achievement in Music, and recently won Broadway World UK awards. In Australia, it won the Ticketmaster Ticket of the Year award for 2019, and recently took out the Drama Victoria award for Best Performance by a Theatre Company.
The ground-breaking musical is based on the incredible real-life events in the wake of the September 11 tragedy when 38 planes carrying nearly 7,000 people from over 100 countries were redirected to Gander, Newfoundland, 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.
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) and sound design by Gareth Owen (Diana, A Bronx Tale).
Come From Away is scheduled to start performances at Sydney’s State Theatre from 1 August 2020, before returning to Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre in February 2021. For more information, visit: www.comefromaway.com.au for details.
Image: Nicholas Brown, Douglas Hansell and the Original Australian Company of Come From Away – photo by Jeff Busby