From critical raves to Trudeau visit, a whirlwind week for 'Come From Away'

Published on March 16, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses for photos with the cast of the Broadway musical "Come From Away", in New York City on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

The Canadian creators behind "Come From Away" are riding an emotional high after a whirlwind opening week for their Broadway show.

The 9/11-inspired musical officially debuted on Sunday night to critical raves, followed by a high-profile visit last night by several political heavyweights, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Created by husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein, "Come From Away" is set in Gander, N.L., in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The remote town's population doubled in size after local residents provided refuge to 6,579 passengers and crew from 38 planes diverted when U.S. air space was closed following the tragedy.

Hein says it "felt wonderful" to have Trudeau in the attendance, and adds the prime minister and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, spent considerable time meeting with the cast, crew and real-life subjects portrayed in the musical.

Sankoff says the duo started writing the show in 2011. She says there was no way they could have predicted that the show's core message of welcoming outsiders "would be so relevant" in the current climate.

The Canadian Press