Welcome to Katz Reviews. This is Ed Katz of Katnip Marketing- marketing consultant by day; theater critic by night and I’m excited to bring my weekly review segment, Katz Reviews, here for you on WICC 600.
With Broadway preparing to announce their Tony Award nominations May 2nd, I’m spotlighting leading contenders for Best New Musical. Today I’ll review ‘Come from Away.’
Many in Fairfield County still haven’t heard of ‘Come from Away.’ It’s the heartwarming story of what happened just after 9/11- in a small town in Canada… with a big heart.
Once the Twin Towers were hit on 9/11, all flights were grounded. The planes coming over the Atlantic were ordered to land in Gander, Newfoundland, a town of about 9 thousand people that suddenly found themselves with almost 7 thousand stranded “guests” who they housed, fed and entertained.
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who created and wrote the show, went to Gander to interview the residents and found a creative, highly entertaining way to tell their story.
The cast is a combination of Broadway veterans and newcomers who all play multiple roles- as passengers and residents- but two standout performers are Jenn Colella, whose biggest role is as a pilot, and Chad Kimball, who was nominated as Best Actor for ‘Memphis’.
The story does get to you and Christopher Ashley (who also directed ‘Memphis’) keeps the audience engaged- but not confused- while the cast constantly changes roles.
Ultimately, it’s really a heartwarming musical with enjoyable songs.
Is it Best Musical? Given its positive theme celebrating diversity overcoming adversity, it might be a sentimental favorite. While I give it 4 stars out of 5, I would not give it Best Musical. I’ll reveal my pick for that next week- right here.
Locally, Westport Community Theatre has ‘Moon Over the Brewery’ running through April 23rd. Directed by Dan Friedman it features a gifted young star- Katelyn Ferrari- a Stratford High School Freshman. Jessie Gilbert, Marc Hartog and Jeff Pliskin are all terrific, too. ‘Moon Over the Brewery’ by Bruce Graham is described as “A comedy about a girl, her mom, a mailman and an imaginary friend.” I call it a winning, thoroughly charming “dramedy” and give it 4 stars out of 5. For tickets and info visit Westport Community Theatre dot com.
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This is Ed Katz talking theater for WICC 600!