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Come from Away was written by David Hein and Irene Sankoff.

Chris Bennion

Come from Away, the Canadian musical focusing on the 38 planes and their occupants who were redirected to Gander, Nfld., on Sept. 11, 2001, will be performed at a Shubert theatre on Broadway and have opening previews in February, Junkyard Dog Productions announced on Thursday.

This will follow performances in Washington at Ford's Theatre in September and at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre in November.

David Hein and Irene Sankoff, the husband-and-wife team who wrote the show, visited Newfoundland on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to hear the stories of the 6,579 passengers diverted to Gander and the small community that selflessly took them in.

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According to Hein, they were inspired to "come back and tell these stories that made us cry and made us laugh."

"But we never expected that we'd have the opportunity to share it with so many people, especially this Canadian story that no one knew," he said.

The play was originally developed at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., and was produced by Michael Rubinoff, associate dean of Sheridan College Music Theatre Programme.

The official cast for the Toronto and Broadway productions was also revealed on Thursday.

Sankoff said they are "excited to have so many Canadians involved." Lee MacDougall, Astrid Van Wieren and Newfoundland native Petrina Bromley will all star in the musical. In just one year, Bromley will have made her Stratford Festival, Mirvish Productions and Broadway debuts, Sankoff said.

"It's nice to have people from both sides of the border because it's a story about cross-border collaboration and that's basically what it is in real life now, too," she said.

The actors bring a variety of experiences with them, ranging from Geno Carr from the Old Globe's Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, to Jenn Colella from If/Then, to Joel Hatch from Annie. Tony Award nominee Chad Kimball will also star in the new musical along with Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kassebaum, Caesar Samayoa, Q. Smith and Sharon Wheatley.

Many of these actors have been involved since the first world premiere, according to Hein. "It's just become this amazing family that's helping us tell this story," he said.

The show has seen great success thus far. It won six awards at San Diego's Craig Noel Awards, had sold-out, record-breaking performances at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Seattle Repertory Theatre and has been ranked among the top plays on various critics' lists in California and Washington.

"I think there is never a bad time to tell a story about people being good to each other," Hein said. "But especially now it feels really important to talk about people welcoming strangers into their homes and giving them everything they had in the face of a lot of fear and a lot of confusion."

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