Come From Away- 9/11

September 11th, 2001 is a day of mourning and grief. However, in the midst of tragedy, an incredible thing happened. I am referring specifically to Gander, Newfoundland. When 38 planes had to all of a sudden had to land, all they could do was stop in Gander, Newfoundland- this was in Canada. Let me talk more about what happened.

In 2001, all of a sudden Newfoundland had to welcome 38 planes. They did not have much time to prepare. It was the day the world was shook with tragedy during the 9/11 attacks. The town of Gander welcomed thousands of scared passengers on 38 planes. Despite tragedy, Gander was able to provide places to sleep, food to eat, and comfort. This event was never forgotten especially after Come From Away was introduced to the musical theater world.

Come From Away actually used real events and people in the story. Characters had to exact same names, and some incredible stories came out. 9/11 wasn’t fully a day of tragedy due to what Gander did. There were children who were wish children, who were on their way to Disney, romance blossomed, a woman had a son who was a rescuer during 9/11, etc…..These passengers were stuck on their planes for hours not knowing what happened in the US- they were unaware of the attacks. These people were scared and Gander showed compassion to them.

I ended up seeing Come From Away in January. While I don’t remember 9/11 due to being only 7, it still should be a day we never will forget. Seeing the other end of the terrorist attacks was incredible. That refers specifically to the events unfolding in Gander. Tragedies seem to be a time where humanity is the strongest- everyone comes together.

Importance of Ovens Auditorium

Blumenthal Performing Arts is home to about seven theaters. Their main theater is Belk Theater. At Belk, you can see operas, musicals, symphonies, and ballet. I saw Sound of Music, Miss Saigon, Aladdin, Lion King, Newsies, Pippin, Rent, Come From Away, Mamma Mia, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage at Belk. As for operas and ballet, saw La Bohème and Nutcracker there.

Despite Belk being the main theater, it isn’t even the largest. That really surprised me when I learned that Ovens is actually bigger- Belk may have more levels, but Ovens is wider and deeper. If Ovens didn’t exist, there is a good chance many musicals never would have made it to Charlotte. Ovens is able to host musicals when something is happening at Belk. So Ovens allows for a lot more availability.

While I did not see many musicals at Ovens—–I am glad that Ovens does exist or else none of them might have made it to Blumenthal. I saw Addams Family, A Christmas Story-The Musical, Les Mis, and Wicked at Ovens. Whenever I think of Ovens, I think of Wicked: I was able to catch that musical three times on tour. The latest time I saw Wicked, I was watching it with my school. When I saw Les Mis at Ovens, it was a date with my mom: that was our 2nd date to Les Mis: the 1st was in London.

I did not like ALL the Blumenthal shows I saw, but defiantly liked most. Addams Family, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage were musicals I did not even like.

January 2020 in Review

I feel like January was a fast month. For me, January felt like a theater-themed month. It is time for my January in review now that it is February.


Well, my birthday is in January. In terms of dinner, I always want Boeuf Bourgeion (French Pot Roast) and Creme Brûlée- so we always have to go out. Well, all of my presents were musical-theatre themed- a word search, a musical-theatre bag (my 2nd one I can take to the theaters), and a shirt that says “There was once was a girl that really loved musicals. It was me. The end”.

Come From Away

My first musical of the year came pretty early- January 12th. For Christmas, Santa put “Come From Away” tickets in my stocking. It was my first time seeing the show, and loved our seats- in the balcony (even at Belk, love those seats). I laughed quite a lot and what a heartwarming story of kindness, compassion, and humanity.

La Bohème

Crazy how just one week before this opera, I saw Come From Away. What a switch- from musical to opera and from comedy to tragedy. That was quite a switch. Actually my family was not planning La Bohème- Opera Carolina was doing La Bohème, but because of Come From Away, none of us were going to go. I had to wanted to see the opera live for quite some time. I was not expecting for my mom and I to be given tickets- literally- a surprise for me.

Just like Come From Away, I did get the laughter, but that laughter was more of comic relief. We are talking about a tragic love story- I almost literally lost it at the end-partly had to do with who I had as Rodolfo and Mimi-I fell in love with those two that I literally did not want things to end tragically (that is the struggle with watching a tragic love story). I love La Bohème- I especially love the music written for Rodolfo and Mimi and what I love about the story is that they truly did love each other despite some complications. You truly saw just how much they loved each other when it was too late. With La Bohème, we got the 11th row from the stage.

Come From Away Review

Every year, I wonder when my first musical would be- as in live. My first musical would up being a gift from Santa. I ended up seeing Come From Away with my mom and dad at Belk Theater.


Bonnie and Others: Sharon Sayegh

Oz and Others: Harter Clingman

Beverley/Annette and Others: Marika Aubrey

Janice and Others: Julia Knitel

Bob and Others: James Earl Jones II

Claude and Others : Kevin Carolan

Kevin T./ Garth and Others: Andrew Samonksy

Nick/Doug and Others: Chamblee Ferguson

Kevin J./ Ali and Others: Nick Duckart

Hannah and Others : Danielle K. Thomas

Beulah and Others: Julie Johnson

Diane and Others: Christine Toy Johnson

Come From Away is literally a story of kindness and humanity. It may happen around 9/11, but it in no ways is a tragedy. When 38 planes had to quickly stop after the terrorist attacks, the only place they could go to is Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. The people on those planes were welcomed with kindness. Come From Away is about that story- NOT the story of 9/11, but the story of what happened of those that had to land at Gander. Come From Away constantly is making you laugh. The stories you are seeing are based off of real people and what they experienced when strangers welcomed them.

About the cast- it can be hard to be in Come From Away’s cast. That is because the cast is small, and everyone has to play multiple roles. That is the amazing thing about ANY cast of Come From Away.

The set is literally tables and chairs. You soon realize that the back of the set is actually supposed to represent an airplane. The people of Gander did NOT just help the people, but also the animals on the planes.

Charlotte’s 2019-2020 Season

March 17th, 2019 was an exciting day. Blumenthal Performing Arts released Charlotte’s upcoming season. Today I thought I would say what they are. I will highlight the ones I am looking forward to the most and say something about the ones I know something about. There are two categories when it comes to Blumenthal- broadway lights and the extras.

Broadway Lights:

Once on This Island

  • From what I read, it sounds like it is Caribbean and dealing with Gods and Goddesses. It is about one girl’s journey and a quest to discover what is stronger love or death. It won last year’s Tony for best Musical Revival.

The Play That Goes Wrong

  • This sounds hilarious. They literally have to cast actors who play terrible actors. A lot of things go wrong during this play as the title says, but will give you a laugh.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  • I actually have loved this story since I was a child. I watched the movie, Willy Wonka and a Chocolate Factory, as a child, and fell in love with that movie musical. So I always loved it and later watched the newer Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The original, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has better songs- I agree about that. Basically is about Charlie and his day spent in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory after finding a Golden ticket.

Come From Away

  • Happening after the events of 9/11 after a couple of planes had to stop in Newfoundland. I heard a lot of good things about this musical.

My Fair Lady

  • I love this musical. While I love it, still have my eyes on Frozen and Anastasia for 2020.


  • I had a huge feeling this musical will be coming to Charlotte next season. Ever since hearing some of the songs last year, I wanted to see it. While Frozen is the one I want to see the most, this is still high on the list. Take a journey to the past during this musical with Anya as she discovers her past.

Jesus Christ Superstar

  • Basically Jesus’ last couple of days from Judas’ point of view. A Rock opera as they call it. I am not that sold on this musical. I heard these songs a number of times on Pandora, and after a while got kind of sick and tired of them- not the best sign at all.


  • Out of all musicals and shows that are coming, Frozen is the one that is highest one the list. Ever since first falling in love with it in 2013, I wanted there to be a stage show. I have been dying to see it since it turned into a stage show last year on Broadway. “For the First Time in Forever”, it is on tour. Love the characters- Elsa and Anna in particular. I love this take on “true love”- what exactly is true love- does it always have be romantic? Let yourself go during this musical.

The New One

Broadway Extras:

Les Misérables

  • Do you know what’s funny? Originally I thought Les Mis was part of 2018-2019’s season. Turns out it is part of 2019-2020’s season. This is so on the list. When I see Les Mis, I am sold automatically. Epic, passionate, powerful, and highly emotional- in a way that I can’t describe. Hope, forgiveness, compassion, love, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption are found in this tragic and heartbreaking musical- those themes are why it is inspiring and uplifting. Characters to fall in love with- there is going to be a character to emotionally connect to. Brilliant crafted songs that are so powerful that hit in such a way that you can’t describe. I strongly hope to catch Les Mis this year when it comes.

Jersey Boys

  • Just like Les Mis, thought it was part of the current season. Turns out to be part of the upcoming season.

The New Colossus


Blue Man Group


  • I still find this to be one of the oddest ones to even be a musical


  • Would love to see this again. A true story on what friendship is- as in how friends change you for the better and what we learn from them. A story of two strong and powerful female protagonists. A story on how people are not what they seem to be. Do you want to find a complex love triangle? Visit Wicked. In Wicked, the friendship is more important that the romance, but the romance helps strengthen it.


That is our season coming up. So the ones I want to see the most are Frozen, Anastasia, Les Mis, and Wicked. Still, Frozen and Anastasia are the ones that are the highest- after all never experienced them. I have experienced Frozen, but don’t know the stage show- don’t know all those new songs, but I do know a few.