By Diana Chabai (@dianachabai)
WINNIPEG — As a Broadway nerd, I immediately devoured the “Come From Away” cast recording when it was initially released nearly a year ago. I have to be honest — first impressions were not good. I couldn’t understand why this show, which sounded to me like 90 minutes of Great Big Sea covers, was generating so much buzz. Perhaps it was because I had seen some of the other blockbusters that shared the same theatre season with it and those other productions overwhelmed me so much that I couldn’t see how this little show would stack up. I had a friend, who saw an earlier pre-Broadway production, tell me that I just had to see it and the cast recording didn’t do it justice.
So, okay. It’s a big deal for Winnipeg to host the world regional premiere, meaning every other production of this show, though it has travelled, has been the same cast — the one that’s on Broadway. This is a new cast and a new production, and it’s making its debut in the heart of the continent. It’s a big deal for Winnipeg to have this premiere of any show, let alone one that’s still running in New York. That’s pretty unheard of. Unsure that I would enjoy myself, I got a ticket. And I’m thrilled to report that all of my pre-conceived notions about this show were horrifically wrong.