NEW YORK (AP) — Many months into the global pandemic, a Broadway musical about another horrific event that shook the world brought people together.
The doors of the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre were cracked open for several weeks in May to film the cast performing “Come From Away,” the story of a Canadian town that sheltered air travelers after the 9/11 attacks.
On the last day of filming, an audience that included 9/11 survivors and front line workers were invited to watch. The actors were greeted by cheers and applause on the street outside and they promptly burst into tears. Later, it was the turn of the guests to break down.
“It was their first time back seeing a Broadway show,“ said Christopher Ashley, the director who won a Tony Award helming the stage show and directs the film. “When the actors walked on stage for the first time, there was this wall of sound just like screams and whistles and laughter and crying. It was extraordinary afternoon.”
Television viewers will get a taste of it on Friday when Apple TV+ streams “Come From Away,” which was edited down over several performances with 10 cameras, augmented with close-ups with Steadicams and crane shots.
The musical is set in the small Newfoundland town of Gander, which opened its arms and homes to some 7,000 airline passengers diverted there when the U.S. government shut down its airspace.