Sharon and I are big Broadway fans. Maybe it’s because we’re both from the NY Tri-State area, but we try to visit New York at least one to two times a year, just to see some shows.
Every once in a while we find a show that resonates with us. This was the case the first time we saw “Come From Away.”
If you hear a synopsis of the plot, how it’s the stories about the people on planes who diverted to Newfoundland during 9/11 and the towns who needed to house them until the airspace reopened, you might think it’s the worst idea for a musical ever.
However, it’s a great story when told from the perspective of the people involved. From the pilot of one of the American Airlines planes to the school employees who needed to house hundreds of unexpected guests and even the local animal shelter employee who was most concerned if there were any pets aboard the planes while they were grounded in Canada.
There’s even been an award-winning film about real-life people in Gander and the passengers who were the inspiration for the story, which we were able to catch the one day it was shown in theaters.
While it lost the 2017 Tony Award for Best Musical to “Dear Evan Hansen,” the show was a major hit, becoming the longest-running Canadian musical production on Broadway.
So when we heard that the show would be closing on October 2, 2022, after 1,670 performances, we immediately looked to see if tickets for the final shows were still available. Due to my work schedule, I wouldn’t be able to see the final show on Sunday and still catch a flight home for work on Monday. So we decided that Sharon and I would go see the show on Saturday night and she’d stay to see the final show on Sunday while I flew home.
That was, until Hurricane Ian threw a monkey wrench into our plans.
I’ll save the back-and-forth of our thoughts about traveling amidst a hurricane since you may have gleaned from our posts that we were able to make it to New York in the nick of time to see the show on Saturday night. Despite being on about 5 hours of sleep, I was psyched while a little sad that this would be the last time I’d see the show on Broadway.
For the final shows, several of the original cast returned to their roles. It was almost like the first time we saw the show in 2017. The bows at the end of the show on Saturday night went on so long that the cast had to return to the stage for another set of applause.
While I had to fly home, Sharon stayed to see the final Sunday matinee show. The best single seat she could find was in the nosebleed section.
If you’ve never seen a show on Broadway, it’s amazing to find out that even the worst seats in the house aren’t that bad. That’s because NY theaters aren’t as big as many performing arts centers around the country.
While the show was the same, with more energy from the cast and the audience, the ending was special.
Even before the show, Sharon noticed that seemingly everyone involved with the show was in attendance. All of the production team, from the writers, director, producers and choreographer were there In addition, Beverly Bass, the captain of an American Airlines plane diverted to Gander on 9/11, was there since she’s an integral character in the story. Also in attendance were the real-life couple Nick and Diane who met while stranded in Gander and eventually got married, and Hannah O’Rourke whose son, a firefighter, was missing during the tragedy, and whose story was also dramatized in the show. Several people from Gander were also there, including then-town police constable Oz Fudge and the mayor of Gander at the time of the event, Claude Elliott.
How We Did It
Broadway tickets aren’t cheap and there aren’t any discounts when you’re trying to get tickets close to closing night. So while the tickets for the show cost a pretty penny, we were able to go since we didn’t have to pay for most of the rest of the trip.
- We flew to New York on Delta for 16,000 SkyMiles each
- We used 90,000 IHG points for 2 nights at a Manhattan Holiday Inn
- I paid $170 for a flight on Spirit from LGA-MCO in the Big Front Seat
- Sharon paid 8,900 TrueBlue points for a Jetblue flight from JFK-MCO
Since we didn’t have to pay much out of pocket for the flights or hotel, I didn’t feel so bad about going to New York for the weekend to see the last performances of one of our favorite shows. That’s one of the main advantages of collecting points and miles. You’re able to do things you otherwise might not be able to do.
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