Best Of 2020

Best Story to Come from Gander, Newfoundland: "Come From Away"

Nick and Diane Marson

Americans often smile and sometimes joke about how impossibly nice Canadians are. Truth to tell, it’s behavior that our nation stands to learn from our northern neighbors. Case in point: When air passengers were grounded at the Canadian airport in Gander, Newfoundland following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American cities, the 10,000 residents of the remote town came together in astonishing acts of kindness and generosity, providing hospitality for 6,500 stranded travelers, unexpected guests who came from around the world, speaking more than 100 distinct languages. Their week-long stay became the stuff of storytelling that was translated into a surprise hit: the Broadway musical Come From Away. A touring production stopped at downtown’s Aronoff Center, presented by Broadway in Cincinnati, in September. Many audience members returned for a second performance by a cast that condensed the experience of thousands of people into a 100-minute production demonstrating the innate goodness of humankind. There were no heroes or villains, just stories of everyday people being nice. Given the divisive world of 2019, examples of human kindness were not only welcomed but necessary. Broadway in Cincinnati, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnati.broadway.com.