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My podcast with the creators of Come From Away

Prior to working on the Broadway hit “Come From Away” Irene Sankoff and David Hein were best know for a playful musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Their Fringe show, “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,” attracted the attention of producer David Mirvish who brought it from the Fringe to a larger theatre in Toronto.

It was during the “Wiccan Wedding” run that Michael Rubinoff, who had the idea to create a musical set in Gander, Newfoundland, first saw Sankoff and Hein’s talents as show writers and lyricists.

The three of them teamed up to make musical theatre magic.

During the Toronto run of “Come From Away” the production sold $1.7 million in tickets in one week, setting a record for the 109-year-old Royal Alex theatre..

Since moving to Broadway “Come From Away” has received rave reviews and 7 Tony Award nominations.

Come From Away, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, podcast

The hit musical is set in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, in the week following the September 11 attacks, when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town.

The people of Gander opened their homes and their hearts to the thousands of travelers, from all over the world, who were stranded.

In the podcast Irene and David explain how their creative process began with a trip to Gander, Newfoundland to interview the town’s people and collect true stories that became the foundation for the musical.

They explain the development process, that included meaningful workshops with theatre students at The Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College, and Goodspeed Musicals a non-profit organization dedicated to musical theater based in Connecticut.

The students at both locations worked on the script and Irene & David discuss how significant this process was to shaping the show.


In the podcast we talk about the sweet spot between David’s love of folk music and Irene’s love of Broadway musicals.

Original Broadway Cast Recording

Come From Away original cast recording

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau attended the show on opening night and met with Irene and David.

Irene Sankoff and David Hein, come from away, justin trudeau

Click above or listen via this iTunes link.

Show Notes
– Irene Sankoff and David Hein on Twitter.
Come From Away’s website for tickets, vdieos, etc.
– Come From Away on Twitter.
– Sheridan College Music Theatre Performance Program.
Goodspeed Musicals.
– Washington Post article mentioning Trump not to attending opening night.
– The Grand Theatre Gala with special guest Michael Rubinoff.
Review of “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding” at the Toronto Fringe.
– The Toronto Fringe.
– Irene and David “A Love Story Times Two” by J. Kelly Nestruck.
– “Come From Away” Original Broadway Cast Recording.

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My podcast with the creators of Come From Away

Keith Tomasek
2 June 2017
News and Rumors

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