Metro Weekly

Ford’s Theatre debuts a free staging of “Come From Away” at the Lincoln Memorial

Apple TV+ is also premiering a special recorded performance of the emotional hit musical

Come from Away -- Photo courtesy of AppleTV
Come from Away — Photo: Matthew Murphy

Next week, Ford’s Theatre will kick off its new season as well as return to live, in-person performance for the first time since the spring of 2020 in an altogether novel, inspiring, only-in-Washington kind of way: with a free, one-time staging from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial of Come From Away, a musical about 9/11, all presented on the eve of that tragic day’s 20th anniversary.

Meanwhile, Friday, Sept. 10, also ushers in Apple TV+ premiere of a film from another recent staging of the show, a performance recorded on Broadway last May before an invited audience of 9/11 survivors and front-line workers.

Created by the married musical-writing duo of Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and based on real-life events, Come From Away, as a Ford’s press release puts it, “honors the better angels of our nature, revealing hope and humanity in a time of darkness.”

The setting is the small town of Gander in the easternmost part of Canada, where nearly 7,000 passengers and airline staff from around the world were stranded in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Many Washingtonians got their first look at Come From Away at Ford’s in the fall of 2016 during a sold-out run of the show prior to its 2017 Broadway debut. Come From Away has found significant and sustained success in markets around the world, chief among them Broadway, where performances are set to resume at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Sept. 21. The show’s extended national tour, meanwhile, will return to D.C. next April at the National Theatre.

Come from Away -- Photo courtesy of AppleTV
Come from Away — Photo courtesy of AppleTV

The lightly staged Ford’s production features alumni from the show’s Broadway and national touring ensembles, accompanied by a nine-person band bringing to life the joyous and vibrant score of Celtic-inspired folk and rock, including a number of stirring big group sing-alongs.

Meanwhile, a number of performers who originated roles in the show five years ago returned for the film, including Tony nominee Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Caesar Samayoa, Q. Smith, and Astrid Van Wieren.

The Tony-winning Christopher Ashley reprises his role the show’s director to produce a savvy cinematic showcase of his skill with fluid staging and seamless transitions that keep Come From Away, with many moving parts and settings, from becoming cluttered or confusing.

Come From Away: In Concert at the Lincoln Memorial will take place rain or shine on Friday, Sept. 10, starting at 6 p.m. Free, with first-come lawn seating available on the sides of the Reflecting Pool, accounting for proper social distancing and requiring face masks. Visit www.fords.org.

Come From Away premieres globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, Sept. 10. Visit tv.apple.com.

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