The new Come From Away Broadway show is the touching true story of the good people of Newfoundland. It’s the story of folks coming together, friendships made, and the hospitality shown when tragedy strikes. On September 11, 2001, when New York City experienced unthinkable devastation, the Federal Aviation Administration made a decision to close airspace. The result forced 4000 planes to be diverted to other airports. Thirty-eight of those inbound flights from Europe were diverted to Canada.
Newfoundland is an island commonly referred to as “The Rock.” That nickname was never more accurate than on that fateful day in 2001 and during the days that followed. Nearly 7000 passengers heading to New York City found themselves landing at Grander International Airport. Grander, with a population of a mere 9,000, along with the neighboring towns all welcomed these misplaced passengers into their homes with open arms. The creators of the Come From Away Broadway production describe this 2017 Tony award-winning show as “telling the story of 5 days in a 100-minute musical using 12 actors.”
This critically acclaimed Broadway show takes its name from a phrase commonly known in Newfoundland. The island has its own inside language known as “Newfinese.” “Come from away” is a term which means “A traveler to Newfoundland, someone who wasn’t born here.” Other popular Newfinese phrases include:
“Come on, we go’s!” meaning “Let’s go”
“God love your cotton socks” meaning “Thank you”
“Who knit ya?” meaning “Who’s your mother/parents?”
The stories of “Come From Away” are true stories of real events that transpired in and around September 11, 2011. In many cases, the actual names of the people of Newfoundland have been used.
In October 2016, Come From Away visited Newfoundland and Labrador to perform two benefit productions. One hundred percent of ticket sales went to benefit the charities that reached out to the stranded passengers. Among the charities benefited were the Salvation Army Food Banking in Gander, Lewisporte Heritage Society, and the Appleto Recreation Commission.
The score consists of original Celtic, folk-rock with a British Isle twist.
Newfoundland Tradition: The Screech-In
The Screech-In or otherwise known as Kissing the Cod, is a tradition used to welcome newcomers into Newfoundland. Many of the “Come From Away-ers” were welcomed into the Gander area in this fashion. This tradition is usually performed in a pub and has a bit of an unusual procedure.
The visitor or newcomer to the area is asked to kiss a codfish. They are then asked by the Newfoundland resident, “Is yea screecher?” The newcomer is to reply, “Deed I is, me old cock, and long may your big job draw!” The phrase translates to, “Yes, indeed, my friend, may there always be wind in your sails.” After this reply, the newcomer then takes a shot of Screech, a type of rum, and will receive a certificate from the Royal order of Newfoundland Screechers.
Theatre: Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre • 236 West 45th Street • New York, New York
Tickets: Pricing starts at $79.50
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