Celebrated Feel-Good Musical Come From Away Re-Opens Early in Melbourne
Brisbane and Sydney Seasons to Follow in March and June
Internationally acclaimed musical COME FROM AWAY has re-opened in Australia at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre with its first performance worldwide, ahead of Brisbane and Sydney seasons.
“Who knew kindness and generosity could be so thrilling” – The Australian
Award-winning musical COME FROM AWAY has had its first performance this week in Australia, ten months since theatres were shut down due to COVID-19. The performance marks the long-awaited re-launch of its 2021 Australian Tour, which takes in Brisbane and Sydney after breaking all box office records at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne in 2019.
The Australian company is the first to re-take the stage worldwide, with Broadway, London, Toronto and North American Tour counterparts on hiatus.
COME FROM AWAY follows the incredible real-life journey of 7,000 air passengers who became grounded in Gander, Newfoundland in Canada in the wake of the September 11 tragedy. The small community that invited the ‘come from aways’ into their lives provided hope and humanity to those in need. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Award-winning husband and wife authors David Hein and Irene Sankoff (book, music and lyrics), travelled to Newfoundland and interviewed thousands of locals, listening to and compiling their stories to share them with the world.
Producer Rodney Rigby said that whilst the theatre industry around the world is facing its greatest-ever crisis due to COVID-19, Australia is in an enviable position.
“The Australian production is incredibly fortunate to raise the curtain tonight. We are able to do so because of the resilience of everyday Australians, who have a spirit of kindness and humanity that we have seen throughout the bushfires and the pandemic – it is the same spirit that COME FROM AWAY embodies,” he said.
The musical has won countless awards internationally including the 2017 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 2020, the musical added to its international award tally with five Green Room awards including Best Production and Best Ensemble. In 2019, along with being voted Ticketmaster’s ‘Ticket of the Year’ by Australian audiences, the musical won four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Achievement in Music, along with four Broadway World UK awards.
COME FROM AWAY is directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Diana, Memphis), choreographed by Olivier Award Winner Kelly Devine (Diana, Rock of Ages, Rocky), with music supervision by Ian Eisendrath (A Christmas Story, Diana), scenic design by Beowulf Boritt (Act One, 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).
DanceLife had the pleasure of speaking with award-winning choreographer Kelly Devine about COME FROM AWAY in 2018. Read our interview with Kelly here.
The cast includes Zoe Gertz, Sharriese Hamilton, Douglas Hansell, Kolby Kindle, Phillip Lowe, Simon Maiden, Sarah Morrison, Joseph Naim, Emma Powell, Katrina Retallick, Kellie Rode and Gene Weygandt, together with Angela Kennedy, Josh Marin, Kathleen Moore, Jensen Overend, Kilty Reidy, Ash Roussety, Alana Tranter, and Jasmine Vaughns.
Now, more than ever, COME FROM AWAY is the perfect show for our time; an opportunity to come together and celebrate an inspirational tale of hope and humanity.
COME FROM AWAY
MELBOURNE ⏤ Comedy Theatre
From 19 January 2021
BRISBANE ⏤ QPAC Lyric Theatre
From 26 March 2021
SYDNEY ⏤ Capitol Theatre
From 3 June 2021