Come From Away
Directed by Christopher Ashley
On May 5, 2020 in our online magazine Meanwhile, we introduced you to Check In From Away, a video chat show that checks in with theatre professionals — actors, writers, directors, musicians and perhaps even “professional” audience members — about what they are doing in these unprecedented and interesting times.
Check In From Away is brought to you by two members of the company of Come From Away — actor Steffi DiDomenicantonio (known to friends as Steffi D; she plays Janice, the young Rogers TV reporter, and other roles) and stage manager Lisa Humber.
Now in its third year in Toronto, Come From Away is the smash-hit musical that has taken the world by storm, with continuing sold-out, record-breaking engagements on Broadway, in London’s West End, Melbourne, and on tour across North America.
This joyous musical shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 airplane passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Gander, Newfoundland in the wake of 9/11, and the small community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives.
Written by Tony®-nominated Canadians Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and featuring Tony®-winning direction by Christopher Ashley, Come From Away “takes you to a place you never want to leave!” (Newsweek).
Bob & others
As a child, Kyle developed his love for performance by singing in church. He spent his early adulthood in vocational ministry, travelling throughout the United States and overseas in gospel choirs and ensembles. Returning to Canada, he found himself on theatre stages. Working with several community groups, he was afforded the opportunity to play staple roles such as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar (OLT), Enjolras in Les Misérables (OLT), Hud in Hair (Jaybird), and Booker T. Washington in Ragtime (EMP). Additional credits include: Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls (The LOT) and Echoes (SEOK Creative) - a musical film, which premiered at the Montréal World Film Festival. This is Kyle’s Mirvish debut, and he is honoured to join the CFA family to tell this historic and impactful story. An ocean of thanks to my family, friends, my mentor Peggy, and my “husfriend” Hugh for your belief, encouragement, and your love. To my lions in the sky, Mom & Jelly, I do it for you. I love you! Instagram: @thekyleofkyles
Hannah & others
Saccha is a proud Sheridan graduate who is honoured to be a part of the CFA family! She was last seen performing in Sousatzka at the Elgin Theatre. Her acclaimed credits include Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act (Rainbow Stage) and Gary Coleman in Avenue Q (Citadel). She also appeared in the 1st US National tour of We Will Rock You. Other: Jacob two-two, James and the Giant Peach (Dora nomination for best ensemble) at YPT. Four seasons at the Shaw Festival in such shows as Ragtime, My Fair Lady, Sunday in the Park with George to name a few. Little Shop (Rose Theatre/STC/SW), Dreamgirls (Theatre Aquarius/MTC/SW). Many thanks to NLM, her family, friends, and her husband Nicholas. This one is for Ellis! www.sacchadennis.com
Janice & others
Steffi is thrilled to be reporting live for Rogers TV in Come From Away! She is a Dora Award nominated performer who has appeared on stages across Canada and the United States. Selected theatre: Spring Awakening (1st Broadway National Tour), Cinderella (YPT-Dora Nomination), Cabaret, Next to Normal (RMTC), Five Faces/Cinq Visages (Canadian Stage), Peter Pan in Wonderland (Elgin Theatre), Nassim (Luminato Festival), Idiot’s Delight, Berlin to Broadway, Manhattan: Midtown (Soulpepper), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Segal Centre), The Addams Family (Neptune), The Rocky Horror Show (STC), Rooms (WST), Dogfight (Transac), Bittergirl (Charlottetown Festival – World Premiere), Hilda’s Yard, Look No Hans! (Drayton Entertainment). Film/ TV: Shellers in CBC’s Crawford created by Mike Clattenburg, Canadian Idol (Top 5), Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, Saving Hope, Lost Girl, Nikita, The Rick Mercer Report, Loretta’s Flowers (Edinburgh and Vancouver International Film Festival), Amélie et Compagnie! (2 seasons), Moitié Moitié (4 seasons) and the feature film Stage Fright with Meatloaf. Instagram @SteffiD5
Diane & others
Originally from Nova Scotia, Barbara is beyond delighted to be part of the Canadian company of Come From Away. Most recently appearing in Life After at Canadian Stage. 22 seasons with the Stratford Festival, selected credits include, A Little Night Music, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Sound of Music, Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, The Taming of the Shrew, Electra, Into the Woods, The Miracle Worker and Bonjour la, Bonjour. Grizabella in the original Canadian Company of Cats at the Elgin Theatre. She has two CDs, Somebody New and Too Close For Comfort.
Beulah & others
For Mirvish Productions: Kinky Boots, Mme Thenardier in the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables, Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (2013 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance), and the title role in the world premiere of My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Most recent credits include; 4 mirvish.com mirvish.com 5 General Cartwright in Guys and Dolls, Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Edith/ Little Edie in Grey Gardens (2016 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance) and The Wild Party both for The Musical Stage Company, Therefore Choose Life (Harold Green Jewish Theatre), Les Belles Soeurs the Musical (Segal Centre), world premiere of Halfway There (Foster Festival). Five seasons with the Shaw Festival, three seasons with Stratford Festival. Various productions with National Arts Centre, Factory Theatre, Canstage, Drayton Entertainment, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre Aquarius, The Grand Theatre. Selected TV/Film: Odd Squad, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Road to Avonlea, Wind at My Back, Majority Rules. Ikea Winter Sale Commercial: Start the Car!
Nick/Doug & others
After thirty-five years as a professional actor, James is honored to still be telling stories on stage, especially one as inspiring as Come From Away. Mirvish credits: Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music. Broadway/National Tours: By Jeeves, Mamma Mia!, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Fiddler on the Roof. Off-Broadway: Visiting Mr. Green. Regional theatre: Hamlet, Edward II (Yale Rep), She Loves Me, King Lear, The Cherry Orchard, Romeo and Juliet (Great Lakes Theatre Festival), A Question of Mercy (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Carousel (Chicago Opera), The Glass Menagerie (Frauenthal Theatre), Twelve Angry Men, Sleuth, Mary Poppins, Damn Yankees (Drayton Entertainment), etc. Film/TV: Suits, Salvation, Impulse, Murdoch Mysteries, Me and My Shadows, Lolz-ita, Quints, Our Fathers, Queer as Folk, Law and Order, Business Ethics. James is a graduate of Northwestern University and Yale School of Drama and a proud citizen of both Canada and the US. Thank you to the incredibly talented creative team, Talent House, Randy, and my amazing family. For Mom and Dad.
Kevin T./Garth & Others
Kevin J./Ali & others
Ali is thrilled to be in this incredible show! Selected Credits: Monsoon Wedding (Berkeley Rep); Disgraced (Mirvish); Much Ado About Nothing (Tarragon); Iceland (Why Not Theatre); Sultans Of The Street (YPT); The Kite Runner (Citadel/Theatre Calgary); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CanStage); Masked (Neptune Theatre); Serious Money, An Ideal Husband, Born Yesterday (Shaw Festival). Film and Television: Kamran Gant in Star Trek: Discovery (CBS); Nep in Beeba Boys (dir. Deepa Mehta); Played (BlackPills); Incorporated (SyFy); Kim’s Convenience (CBC); Houdini and Doyle (iTV/Fox); The Strain (FX); Cracked (CBC); Satisfaction (CTV); LA Complex (CW/ MUCH); Combat Hospital (ABC/Shaw); How To Be Indie (YTV); Traitor (feature). Other: Dora Award Winner (2013). A PROUD alumni and faculty member of Sheridan’s Music Theatre Performance program. Social media: @alimomen – Love to his greatest treasures, his family and his forever puppy Rumi.
Oz & others
In 2001 I was fresh out of Acting School and performing in the 1st of my 7 seasons at the Stratford Festival when the planes hit the twin towers. I watched it on TV with my jaw hanging down and eyes wide open. That night our customary packed house was decidedly less than full. Since then I’ve performed all over North America including a few familiar to Mirvish audiences: The Lord of the Rings (World Premiere), Mary Poppins (1st National tour), and Cats (NuMusical Productions). It’s rare to be a part of a production with so much heart, humour and a deep connection to an experience that we all shared. To the people who shared their stories, and those who put it together and brought it to the stage – thank you. To the friends and family who are there for us through thick and thin – thank you. And a special thanks to my wife, and partner in crime, Christy. I hope you enjoy the show... and may it inspire you to share your own stories, and to look out for one another, in good times and bad.
Bonnie & others, Dance Captain
Kristen is thrilled to be back again with Mirvish Productions for this incredible show — so exciting. Some of her favourite Canadian credits include, new to come 6 mirvish.com mirvish.com 7 Broadway Beauties, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change, Kristen Peace Everything (her one-woman show), Paulette in Legally Blonde and Madame De La Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast (Theatre Aquarius), Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Linda in The Wedding Singer, Dusty Springfield in British Invasion (Stage West), Mrs. Berry/Mrs. Blewette in Anne of Green Gables, Canada Rocks, Georgie in The Full Monty, Ring of Fire; The Music of Johnny Cash (Charlottetown Festival), Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, Paulette in Legally Blonde, Mme Thénardier in Les Misérables, Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Justice in Rock of Ages (Drayton Entertainment), The Boys in The Photograph, Shirley Markowitz in The Producers, Factory girl/Mme Thénardier understudy in Les Misérables and Pat in Kinky Boots. Kristen has also lent her voice to the Disney Company, as well as commercials, TV shows, animated films and video games. My sincere thanks to the Come From Away team, The Talent House and my family and friends for their love and support. Instagram @kripeace
Beverley/Annette & others
Selected Theatre: Screwball Comedy (The Foster Festival); Mamma Mia!, Anne of Green Gables, Alice Through the Looking Glass (Charlottetown Festival); Spoon River (Soulpepper); Company (Theatre20); Maria in The Sound of Music (NAC); Amelia: The Girl Who Wants to Fly (Festival Players of Prince Edward County); Assassins (Birdland/TIFT); The Music Man, Fuente Ovejuna (Stratford Festival); Elegies (Dora nomination), Reframed (Acting Upstage); The Producers Canadian Company and First American National Tour (Mirvish); Funny Girl (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre). Selected Film/ Television: Mrs. Wolfe in Degrassi Season 14 (Epitome Pictures); Molly: An American Girl Doll (ABC/ Disney); Challenger (BBC/ National Geographic); A Saintly Switch (ABC/ Disney); Odyssey 5 (Showtime); Leap Years (Showtime). Eliza-Jane is also a theatre creator, director and writer who teaches at Sheridan College and The Randolph Academy. You can get her album Scott's Emulsion on iTunes. Love to Rick and Ducolon.
Claude & others
David is honoured to be a part of the CFA family. Select credits: Les Misérables, Kinky Boots (Mirvish); 42nd Street, Pirates of Penzance (Stratford Festival). Other theatre credits: Guys and Dolls (Big Jule), Blood Brothers (Sammy), Prom Queen World Premiere (Lonnie Wynn), Too Many Cooks (Shirly), Les Misérables in Concert (Jean Valjean), Broadway Concert series (Valjean, Phantom), Sweeney Todd in Concert (Sweeney), Of Mice and Men (Lenny), Aladdin (Jafar), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Frollo), Toy Story (Buzz Lightyear), Hercules the Musical (Hades), Beauty and the Beast (Gaston). Much love to my Family and friends especially Dave, Todd, and Johnny.
Clint Butler is proud to join the Come From Away family. Having grown up in Newfoundland around such vibrant characters, he is honoured to be given the chance to breathe life into them on stage. Notable theatre credits: KAMP (Neptune Theatre/Eastern Front); Mamma Mia! (Neptune Theatre and Rainbow Stage); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels/Perfect Wedding (Stephenville Theatre Festival); Habib’s Unforgettable All-Night House Party (RCAT/ Western Canada Theatre); Mary Poppins (Globe Theatre); Nature of the Beast (Safeword/Storefront Theatre); A History of Summer (Toronto Summerworks); Chicago/Cats (TaDa!); Oil and Water (Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland); Carnival and Disney Cruise Lines. Notable TV: V-Wars, Mayday, Reign, Republic of Doyle, Lost Girl. Special thank you to my agent Colin McMurray and to my family for their support. Social media: @clintbutler
Understudy - For Janice, Bonnie, Beverley and Hannah
To say Kate is excited to be representing The Rock in her Mirvish debut would be a gross understatement. Since graduating from Sheridan College’s musical theatre performance program, Kate has performed at regional theatres across the country including her beloved Newfoundland. Some of her favourite credits include Sisters: The Belles Soeurs Musical (Segal Centre/Theatre Calgary); Disney’s The Little Mermaid (The Globe Theatre); Faust (Theatre By The Bay); Little Women the Broadway Musical (Theatre New Brunswick); Little Shop of Horrors (The Rose Theatre) broadwayworld.com nominated performance; Proof, Little Shop of Horrors, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Variations on a Nervous Breakdown (Stephenville Theatre Festival); Into the Woods, Three Sisters (Atlantic Theatre Festival). Huge love and to my family, friends and Gina for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and thank you to Irene and David and the entire creative team for creating this stunningly beautiful and important piece for the world. I am so incredibly proud, honoured and grateful to be a part of this show and to be an Islander. Dreams really do come true!
Understudy - For Kevin J., Bob, Kevin T. and Nick
Hailing from the faraway land of Lebanon, Amir has loved performing since his inception, and could be seen in his early days performing at the local swimming pool, which naturally led him to obtaining a BA in Mathematics from the American University of Beirut. He has since moved to Canada and has graduated from the Music Theatre program at Sheridan College, in which he was a part of the graduating year that performed the first ever workshop of Come From Away in 2012. Past credits include: James and the Giant Peach (YPT), The Music Man, Darling of the Day and The Prince of Homburg (Talk is Free Theatre), Jack and the Beanstalk, Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers, Rapunzel (Stirling Festival Theatre). Bloodless (Theatre 20). Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd, Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, Don Armado in Love’s Labour’s Lost. (Theatre Sheridan). Love always to Mom, Haitham (ommak), Randa and Yasmina.
LORI NANCY KALAMANSKI
Lori Nancy is grateful to be part of this story celebrating the human spirit. She has worked internationally on stage, voice-over, film and television. For Mirvish: My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, e-DENTITY and Evangeline (workshop). She's toured Europe with Castor and Sylvie (Gailey Road), Dance Marathon (bluemouth inc.) and recently played roles on TV’s Killjoys, The Imposters and The Girlfriend Experience. She enjoys teaching ukulele with Doane Uschool and is a proud member of the kids’ supergroup Sing Along Tim & The Pacifiers. She thanks AMI, the CFA Team, Karina and especially Justin for his love and support.
UNDERSTUDY - For Beverley, Diane, Beulah and Janice
Cailin is elated to be part of this outstanding production. Select credits include Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins, The (Post) Mistress, Les Miserables, One Man-Two Guvnors, Waiting for the Parade, Cats, Hairspray, Singin’ In The Rain (Jessie Nomination), How to Succeed in Business (Ovation Nomination), The Wild Party (Ovation Nomination), Little Shop of Horrors, Company, Cabaret, Urinetown, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy, and Funny Girl (Ovation Award). She would like to thank the CFA creative team for bringing her on board, and everyone at Talent House for their support. Much love to her family, Michael and Rigby. Visit www.cailinstadnyk.com for more.
THE. JOHN GRAY
Production Stage Manager
Most recently: Guys and Dolls at the Stratford Festival. Previously for Mirvish Productions: Les Misérables, The Heart of Robin Hood, The Wizard of Oz, War Horse, The Sound of Music, The Lord of the Rings, The Lion King and Miss Saigon. Also: Les Misérables in Melbourne Australia; Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Fifteenth Asian Games in Doha, Qatar; seven seasons at the Stratford Festival; North American tours of Chicago and The King and I; productions at CanStage, The Charlottetown Festival, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre New Brunswick, The Grand Theatre, Theatre Calgary, The Citadel Theatre and Tarragon Theatre.
Lisa is the daughter of a Newfoundlander and is beyond proud to be a member of the Come From Away company. Select credits include: Strictly Ballroom, The Heart Of Robin Hood, Les Misérables, War Horse, Ghost Stories, The Sound Of Music and Dirty Dancing (Mirvish Productions), Butcher (Why Not Theatre/ Mirvish Productions), It Comes In Waves (Panamania/bluemouth inc/Necessary Angel), Party Game, Dance Marathon (bluemouth inc) Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan In Wonderland (Ross Petty Productions), and Grey Gardens (Musical Stage Company). Lisa has worked in theatres across Canada and internationally, she has been a faculty member at the Banff Centre and is a member of the Professional Advisory Committee for the Theatre Production Program at Humber College.
Assistant Stage Manager
Come From Away (Mirvish & Royal MTC). Other Theatre: Assistant Stage Manager: The Changeling, Timon of Athens, The Komagata Maru Incident, John Gabriel Borkman, As You Like It (Stratford Festival); Dance Weekend 2013-2016 (Dance Ontario). Apprentice Stage Manager: Sextet, Wormwood (Tarragon); Alice Through the Looking-Glass, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play (Stratford); Pirates of Penzance, Tuesdays with Morrie (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Orpheus & Eurydice (Opera Atelier); Free Outgoing (Nightwood Theatre). Concert Manager: Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Training: Joint Honours Music and Theatre Arts at University of Waterloo.
Theatre Credits (selected): Rock Of Ages, Hairspray, Dirty Dancing, The Wizard Of Oz, Billy Elliot, The Boys In The Photograph (Mirvish Original Canadian Casts); Anne Of Green Gables, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Evangeline, Mamma Mia!, Bittergirl (Charlottetown Festival); Passing Strange, Wild Party (Acting Up stage) as well as numerous shows in theatres across Canada.
Other: Bob is Head of Music at the Charlottetown Festival, and Music Supervisor for Evangeline and Bittergirl. Bob wrote the hit songs Good Mother and Looking For It, among others, with Jann Arden, and has played guitar and keyboards with her both live and in the studio. He is recipient of: 2 Socan Airplay Awards, and 2 Betty Mitchell Awards.
Associate Musical Director/Keyboard
Broadway: Mamma Mia! (Assistant MD); Toronto (Mirvish): The Bodyguard, Kinky Boots (MD), Mamma Mia! (Associate MD); The Lion King, Fosse, Tommy, Blood Brothers, Joseph (Keyboards); NAC: The Wrong Son (Vocal MD).
Film/TV Composer: Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You, Ice Pilots NWT, Pyros, Care Bears and Cousins, Glenn Martin DDS, Rescue Mediums (Gemini nomination), St. Roz, Suite and Simple, Ellen, Extra Entertainment, TMZ, Dr. Drew.
Live performance and recording: Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Michael McDonald, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Take 6, Fergie, Colbie Caillat, Kara DioGuardi, Jim Brickman, Carvin Winans, Bonnie Pointer, Alan Frew, Rik Emmett, Amanda Marshall, Colm Wilkinson.
Thanks to Tamara, Meredith and Owen for their love and support.
Guitarist Tristan Avakian has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as Lauryn Hill, Queen, Trans Siberian Orchestra and Biohazard, and has played in many musicals including Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Movin’ Out, We Will Rock You, Rock of Ages, Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, The Bodyguard, and Bat Out Of Hell. As both a native New Yorker and long term Canadian resident, he feels deeply connected to the vision presented in Come From Away, and honoured to help bring it back to Canada, and to the world.
Tristan proudly plays Canadian-made Godin and Seagull guitars.
He is also a singer-songwriter. Under his artist name, As Waters, he performs original music that harbours a wide range of influences: Celtic music, classic story-song, and 60's orchestral pop. Available on iTunes, and on his website! www.aswaters.com
In the show I play mandolin, octave mandolin, bouzouki, and acoustic guitars. When not tuning mandolins, I play electric guitar in jazz, rock and pop bands. I’ve toured with Holly Cole, Colm Wilkinson, and bands in mini vans driving across the country doing one nighters. Shows include Hairspray, Grease, and Chicago, and I teach music at Humber and Mohawk Colleges. www.kimratcliffe.com.
It’s a great honour to be a part of this remarkable show and band.
I’d like to thank my Mom and Phil for finding me a mandolin on which to woodshed on Gabriola Island last summer.
An award winning fiddle player, Ottawa Valley step dancer and vocalist, Linsey has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, delighting audiences with her vibrant showmanship. Linsey’s love of fiddling and performing emerged from years of playing with her family band, The Beckett Family. As a member of the international string production, Bowfire, Linsey enjoyed performances with the Houston, Colorado and Calgary Symphonies, Sean Connery’s 80th birthday celebration, and on the runway of New York Fashion Week’s Dressed to Kilt. Linsey’s freelance career has led to numerous tours of Europe with CCMA award winning group, South Mountain, and has gone on to support many critically acclaimed JUNO winners, including Dean Brody. She recently performed in the 2019 production, The Last Ship, alongside Grammy Award Winner, Sting. Linsey is incredibly honoured to be in Come From Away; it’s an absolute dream to be a part of this amazing production and band!
Whistles/Irish Flute/Uilleann Pipes
Jon Maharaj is a JUNO award winning bassist who has performed and / or recorded with The Tenors, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Allison Au, Amanda Tosoff and many others. He has toured North America extensively with a variety of artists and has performed overseas everywhere from Tokyo to Monte Carlo. Jon’s theatre credits include Strictly Ballroom the Musical, Jersey Boys, Rock of Ages, Anything Goes, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jekyll and Hyde and Queen for a Day. Jon is also on Faculty at Humber College in Toronto where he has been teaching since 2003.
Sean’s theatre credits include We Will Rock You and Rock of Ages for Mirvish Productions as well as Hedwig and The Angry Inch, The Toxic Avenger and Oh Canada, What A Feeling! He has performed with such artists as Kim Mitchell, Alannah Myles, Sass Jordan, Moe Berg and is a member of the multi-platinum recording band, Haywire. www.seankilbride.ca
Greg studied Orchestral Percussion at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and McGill University. He is the Music Director and Conductor for the Urban Orchestra in Toronto. Greg is also a Composer for Television and Film. Projects include: Caught, Trail of the Caribou, Touch, Republic of Doyle, His Turn. Twitter: @greghawco. Greg is from Newfoundland and Labrador.
After a successful run at the Elgin Theatre, Come From Away has returned to its original Toronto home, the Royal Alexandra Theatre. The cast and band made the trek across the city with a song in their hearts, and a twinkle in their eyes.
A global phenomenon, and you can see why! – The Guardian
A powerful celebration of humanity! – The Globe and Mail
Joyous, foot-stomping and heart-warming!
– The Toronto Star
It’s impossible not to be deeply moved by this savvy and thoroughly entertaining musical. A tonic for our times! – The Hollywood Reporter
It takes all of ten seconds to be in its generous embrace. You stay there for the next 100 minutes: laughing, tapping your foot, wiping away tears, feeling good about humanity – what a rare, welcome feeling that is these days. – The Times London