Quote of the Day: from the Hymn Make me a Channel of Your Peace
Make me a channel of your peace Where there is hatred let me bring your love Where there is injury, your pardon Lord And where there’s doubt, true faith in you
Make me a channel of your peace Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope Where there is darkness, only light And where there’s sadness ever joy
Play off the Page visits Broadway, Come From Away – Best Musical of All Time!
To celebrate my 5oth Birthday, I wanted to be in NYC, on Broadway watching Come from Away, the Tony Award Winning musical that has been called the 9-12 play. It is the story of what happened after the attacks on 9-11-2001 when numerous flights were rerouted to Gander, Newfoundland, and how the residents there took care of the nearly 7,000 stranded passengers.
If you never see any other musical in your life, see Come From Away. Written by husband-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein, this true story is brought to life by 12 actors and musicians, playing numerous instruments such as guitars, drums, Uilleann Pipes, mandolin, and other folk instruments, “and then someone brought out an ugly stick.” The songs are intricately woven melodies and rhythms with lyrics that tell the story of Newfoundland, those terrifying attacks, the fear and confusion of the stranded, and the generosity of a community that welcomes the “Come from Aways.” The performance runs 100 minutes, with no intermission to interrupt the flow and emotional journey. The songs blend into the dialogue and the entire performance moves seamlessly from scene to scene. You don’t have the usual big number, applause pose, transition. It is all one experience. (We did, however clap a couple times for outstanding solos.)
The story is emotional because of the real life events that caused it, but most of my tears were for the great acts of kindness that people gave to one another. Yes, they portrayed the fears, as well, and the distrust of each other. But, Love truly wins when people take the time to get to know each other and help each other out. In a line from one of the songs, “I needed to do something, anything, and stop listening to the news.”
Relationships were formed in just a few days. People worked side by side to make things better for each other, to give them comfort, both physically and emotionally, and to help them feel like they’re not alone. The best of humanity shone the light in the darkness. Much like what happens during a natural disaster, the folks of Newfoundland brought out the best of what the world can be. They showed generosity and kindness and are an example of what it means to live in community, from your small town to the wider world.
Superb storytelling, exquisite music, excellent directing, and exceptional performances by all. Come From Away on Broadway
Make me an channel of your Peace… do something good today, and always.
Come From Away is starting a National Tour. I hope it comes to a theatre near you! (Also, update: The show has been optioned for a major motion picture!)
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: The attacks on 9-11-2001 were one of those events that you always remember where you were and what you were doing. There is a before and after that time. Where were you on that fateful day? If you’re young enough, you don’t really remember it. Ask your parents and grandparents about it. What acts of kindness have you done recently?
Mr. Happy had a great time in NYC. He loved “Come From Away.” Here he is surrounded by the swag, wearing his Happy America pin. I posted this on Twitter and wrote “& needs a Newfoundland pin.” Glinda, from Newfoundland offered to send me one. Thanks!
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Mary Aalgaard writes theater reviews and supports the arts through her blog Play off the Page. She teaches youth theater workshops in the Brainerd lakes area, writes articles for regional magazines, and works with both seniors and youth in multi-generational programs to enhance quality of life and build community. You can follow her on her Play off the Page Facebook page, and @MaryAalgaard on Twitter.