Gander audience thrilled by Come From Away

"Wonderful and fantastic" among the accolades for musical

Published on October 31, 2016

By Clarence Ngoh

Special to TC Media

The Broadway musical Come From Away played to Gander audiences on Saturday.

©Clarence Ngoh

It is estimated that 5000 people attended the two productions of Come From Away at the Steele Community Centre at Gander on Saturday, Oct. 29.

There was excitement and anticipation among the people in the long lineup that snaked around the Steele Community Centre all the way to the intersection of Airport Boulevard waiting to enter the building Saturday afternoon.

They were not disappointed in their expectations, as the musical Come From Away delivered a true and accurate depiction of the events of Sept.11, 2001, and the role Gander played in the aftermath of that day.

Heather Saulnier, who was a 14-year-old Gander Collegiate student in 2001, said she did not realize the significance and the impact of her involvement in helping out the “airplane people.”

She now realizes the magnitude of those events, and teared up during the moment in the play when “the passengers finally found out what happened that day” and why the diversion took place.

“Wonderful, fantastic, and out of this world,” was how Des and Gene Dillon described the play.  “It captured everything accurately as intended”.

The Dillons did not take any “airplane people” into their home after Sept. 11, 2001, but only because they were at the airport the whole time with the Red Cross assisting with registration.

There were long line-ups to get tickets for the play on Saturday. About 5,000 people attended the two showings at Gander.
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“They took the good and are showing it to the world,” Des said of the musical, adding, “It’s a never-ending story.”

David Hein, the writer of the play together with Irene Sankoff, said that bringing this play to Gander was “better than a dream come true.”

Their intention was to always bring it here so that they could give it back to the people.

All proceeds from the musical in Gander is being donated to local charities.

It was not without challenges though.

“What was not a challenge?” he chuckled.

The logistics of organizing the 140 strong production team, restaging portions of the show, and taking their young daughter, Molly on tour were some of it.

“It is like a wedding”, Hein said.

“Staging the show in Newfoundland, I am introducing the theatrical family to our Newfoundland family.”

Derm Flynn, mayor of Appleton, said, “The good news story is being retold in a professional way (and) it counteracts all the negatives that we hear on the news today.”

In addition to being blessed to live in a safe and peaceful country, the  “peacefulness and tranquility of our little communities should not be taken for granted,” he added.

David Hein and Irene Sankoff, who wrote the play, and their daughter Molly, were thrilled to have the play staged in Gander.

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Published on 31 October 2016

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Published on 31 October 2016

Jenn Colella (left) played Beverly Bass.

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Come From Away opening night

Published on 31 October 2016

Actress Petrina Bromley with Bonnie Earle-Harris. In the musical Bromley played Earle-Harris, who helped animals that were stranded when the planes diverted to Gander on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Come From Away opening night

Published on 31 October 2016

Lee MacDougall and Sharon Wheatley (left) played Nick Marson and Diane Marson.

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Published on 31 October 2016

Appleton mayor Derm Flynn with actor Joel Hatch, who played Flynn in the musical.

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Published on 31 October 2016

Geno Carr left) played Constable Oz Fudge (right) in the musical.

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Published on 31 October 2016

At the end of the show Gander Mayor Claude Elliott was invited on stage for a good old Newfoundland scuff with cast members.

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Come from Away opening night

Published on 31 October 2016

There was lots of applause for Come From Away in Gander on Saturday.

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Come from Away opening night

Published on 31 October 2016

There were long line-ups to get tickets for the play on Saturday. About 5,000 people attended the two showings at Gander.

Photos by All rights reserved

Published on 31 October 2016

Photos by All rights reserved

Published on 31 October 2016

The Broadway musical Come From Away played to Gander audiences on Saturday.

Photos by (c)Clarence Ngoh

Published on 31 October 2016

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