I loved this show! The national tour of “COME FROM AWAY” made a stop in Indy, and I wasn’t sure how the story of 7,000 stranded passengers in the small town of Gander Newfoundland during the week of 9/11, could possibly be turned into a musical! But it’s wonderful and I hope you’ll get a chance to see it.
Actor Kevin Carolan, who plays “Mayor Claude Elliott” in the show, and the actual former Mayor of Gander Claude Elliott stopped by to talk about the musical, and what that week was actually like in real life. A story that made headlines the weeks after the attacks.
On Sept. 11th, 2001 all aircraft were told to land after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Mayor Elliott said that he was given about an hour’s notice before 38 planes would be landing in his town of 10,000. When the 7,000 passengers from 94 countries, arrived what did they need most? Mayor Elliott said, “love and compassion when they heard what was going on in the US. They were scared and needed love & compassion more than food and shelter.”
Passengers stayed in the homes of Gander residents and Mayor Elliott said, “when it was time for them to leave, there were tears of joy and smiles on their faces…we were paid in full.”
The residents of Gander welcomed the stranded passengers with open arms, took great care of them and made friends for life. Mayor Elliott says that there are lots of visits back and forth to this day.
If you’d like to read the book, “Come From Away” is written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein.