A feel-good 9/11 musical?

In ‘Come From Away,’ we are each Kevin — dependent on the kindness of strangers, in Newfoundland, on that monumental morning.

THEATER Wood chairs. A nearly bare stage of rough-hewn wood planks. Twelve expert actors. And the multiplicity of characters they play.

Come From Away is a hugely entertaining show about the more than 700 passengers welcomed by the residents surrounding a nearly abandoned Newfoundland airport after the 2001 attacks. The ensemble plays a multiplicity of roles, becoming various characters by donning different headgear or coats and melting in and out of the chorus as required.

The narrative follows a series of emblematic stories: the woman whose son is a firefighter missing at Ground Zero, the shy Englishman and the Texan woman who fall in love, a Muslim traveler treated with suspicion along with kindness, and a young New Yorker who feels so welcome that it makes him mourn the safety he’s missing back home.

And Kevin and Kevin. “We’re both named Kevin. It was cute for a while….” The couple is terrified of being out in a small town until bar patrons relate that they each have an LGBT sister, neighbor, boss, or cousin.

The kindness and generosity that the townspeople warmly showered on the passengers is off-the-charts impressive in this true story.

The cast doesn’t simply represent a community as they enact the stories of the island and its unexpected visitors, they are a community.

Come From Away dramatically demonstrates that live theater is a powerful and profoundly motivational tool. The musical is an ode to kindness and the power of community. And a truth that needs reminding: A community coming together can accomplish pretty much anything.

“Because we come from everywhere, we all come from away,” per one lyric in the sung-through musical.
Why not be the best people we can be, engaged in a noble cause? It’s the one thing that might save us all.

The acting of the tour cast is excellent all around. Though stretching her vocals, Kathleen Cameron’s melodic solo, “Me and the Sky,” is a high point in a show where the songs are consistently interesting.
Shawn W. Smith easily slips between Kevin and a Gander bus driver, and Trey DeLuna also convincingly morphs into Kevin and Ali, the Muslim who must endure a humiliating strip search as a suspected terrorist. But the quick-as-lightning transitions by each cast member from one character into another and then another is genuinely astounding.

►, 801-355-ARTS for tickets to future Eccles productions

Charlie (Joe Locke) with Nick (Kit Connor) in “Heartstopper.” Photo courtesy of Netflix

LITTLE SCREEN Season 3 of Heartstopper has a release date and promises of hot-blooded connections. A BTS clip opens with Charlie (played by Joe Locke) teasing a spicy storyline with Nick (Kit Connor): “It’s started to get a bit more steamy.” He continues to explain how “the tension is high. It’s like, sexual tension, love, we’re all there.” Series creator and writer Alice Oseman says, “While Heartstopper will always celebrate the joyful and point towards hope, I’m really excited that we are allowing the tone of the show to mature alongside our beloved characters growing up.” Salute-worthy Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton, Fellow Travelers) will cameo as an Instagram-famous classicist and a celeb crush.

► Netflix, October

BIG SCREEN It’s a sequel we didn’t know we needed! Over 30 years since the cult classic’s release, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is getting a tune-up before its return to the Australian Outback. Director Stephan Elliott confirmed that the film is in the works, with the original cast returning. You’ll remember the original 1994 film follows a transgender woman, Bernadette Bassenger (Terence Stamp), as she travels with two drag queens, Adam Whitely/Felicia Jollygoodfellow (Hugo Weaving) and Anthony “Tick” Belrose/Mitzi Mitosis (Guy Pearce), in a bus named Priscilla. “People think of the original film as a lot of costumes and music and great fun, but it’s also a dagger in the heart. I’m not going to do just tits and feathers,” assures Elliott. In 2011, Priscilla rolled on Broadway, produced by Bette Midler and with Utahn Will Swenson in the Anthony/Mitzi role.

► Release date TBA

CONCERT Two-time Tony-winner Ben Platt will embark on “The Honeymind Tour,” with a two-night stop at the Eccles. Tickets are available, including for VIP Meet & Greet and Diamond VIP packages. Making the concert all-queer, opening for Ben is Grammy-winner Brandy Clark, who wrote the score for the Broadway musical Shucked. Brandy was in town for the premiere of Shucked at Pioneer Theatre. (Cast member Alex Newell became one of the first two openly non-binary performers to be nominated for and win a Tony Award, with their win for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. A national tour, West End production, and feature film adaptation of Shucked are planned.)

► July 16 and 17,

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