Why All Frequent Travelers Should See Broadway’s ‘Come From Away’
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I was in my first week of my freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh on September 11, 2001, and it’s one of those life experiences you’ll never forget where you were. But could you imagine if you were in the air as the attacks took place? I knew that US airspace was closed, but I never thought about what actually happened to all of those passengers that were in the sky as airspace close. Thousands of travelers on 38 planes were diverted to the small village of Gander, Newfoundland, when the FAA closed US airspace. This sleepy town welcomed the stranded passengers with open arms (despite language barriers and cultural differences), inviting them into their homes in the midst of a tragedy.
This is the situation that inspired the Broadway musical “Come From Away,” which I saw recently and highly recommend- even if you’re not an aviation geek. It’s a heartwarming story showing that the kindness of humans prevails even in the darkest of times.
When the 38 planes unexpectedly land at the Gander Airport (YQX), the population of this tiny town is suddenly doubled. The townsfolk, though, spring into action, organizing ways to help almost 7,000 stranded passengers (and 19 animals) feel calm and comfortable, ready to open up their homes and their kitchens.
Meanwhile, passengers deal with being unable to depart the aircraft. Once they do, the town locals do everything they can to help as the unexpected visitors learn of the events that transpired and desperately try to contact their loved ones. The visitors and townspeople slowly bond, and together, they are able to get through the sadness the tragedy has caused.
I especially connected with the character of Beverly Bass. Her character is based on the real Beverly Bass, a female pilot and American Airlines’ first female captain who landed the 36th plane in Gander. Her impressive bravery and positive attitude throughout this very complicated situation made me really want to meet her in real life, so stay tuned – we’ve invited her to come and do a Facebook Live in the TPG Concorde studio (apparently she comes to see “Come From Away” often).
.”Come From Away” is showing at the Schoenfeld Theatre in New York. Tickets are available starting at $79 here. Of course, you’ll want to maximize points when buying tickets, so I recommend using your Citi Prestige or Citi Premier card when paying, so you’ll earn 2X on entertainment purchases. Using apps like TKTS and TodayTix will likely give you discounts, especially if you’re buying last-minute.
Tickets sell out in advance, but three of my friends and I showed up at the box office two hours prior to showtime, and they released four orchestra tickets for us at face value — it never hurts to ask!
Photos by by Matthew Murphy.
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