How 9/11 Musical ‘Come From Away’ Conquered the World—but Don’t Expect Hollywood Stars in the Movie

The end of Come From Away is as rousing as the rest of this heart-warming, slickly executed show, which offsets any mawkishness with salty Newfoundland wit and practicality.

The hit musical focuses on what happened when the town of Gander took in 6,579 international plane passengers after 38 flights were forced to land there on Sept. 11, 2001. Come From Away contrasts the experiences of the travelers and locals as they live alongside one another for a week, all undergoing various changes and mini-transformations.

The Tony-winning show has been nominated for multiple awards, including nine Olivier Awards in London this weekend; and to mark this and its second anniversary on Broadway, the producers made a video of its four casts—on Broadway, in Toronto, touring North America, and in London—performing the finale. The Daily Beast reveals this exclusively below.

In the musical, Gander’s residents readily open their homes to the planes’ passengers, feeding them, and taking care of them.

The amount of detail—right down to the men of the town making sure female travelers had enough sanitary pads—was gleaned through hours of patient listening and interviewing by Canadian husband and wife Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics of the musical, and who met the townsfolk and passengers at a 10th anniversary event in 2011. From this set of interviews the musical took shape.

We first met before their Broadway opening; and spoke this week as they prepared to travel to London for the Olivier Awards, and as they mulled the script of the planned Come From Away movie and also anticipated further openings of the show in Melbourne this summer and Buenos Aires. Come From Away, a story of worlds coming together and understanding across so many boundaries, really has conquered the world.

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