Canada’s ‘Come From Away’ wins 4 Helen Hayes Awards, including outstanding musical

By on May 16, 2017


“Come From Away” also received the award for outstanding musical director for Christopher Ashley, outstanding supporting actress in a musical for Jenn Colella, and outstanding ensemble in a musical. (Photo: Come From Away/ Facebook)
“Come From Away” also received the award for outstanding musical director for Christopher Ashley, outstanding supporting actress in a musical for Jenn Colella, and outstanding ensemble in a musical. (Photo: Come From Away/ Facebook)

WASHINGTON – Canada’s “Come From Away” has won four Helen Hayes Awards, including outstanding musical production.

The awards, handed out during a ceremony at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C., on Monday night, celebrate excellence in professional theatre throughout the city’s metropolitan area.

“Come From Away” also received the award for outstanding musical director for Christopher Ashley, outstanding supporting actress in a musical for Jenn Colella, and outstanding ensemble in a musical.

The 9/11-inspired musical was staged at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C., prior to engagements in Toronto and its current run on Broadway.

Created by Canadian husband-and-wife duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein, “Come From Away” is centred on Gander, N.L., in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

The remote East Coast town provided refuge to 6,579 passengers and crew on 38 planes that were diverted when U.S. air space was closed.

Now in its 33rd year, the Helen Hayes Awards are named after the late actress and Washington native whose prolific career spanned nearly eight decades. Hayes is one of only a handful of individuals to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony – dubbed the EGOT – and is widely known as the “First Lady of the American Theatre.”

Award nominations were grouped in “Helen” or “Hayes” categories depending on the number of Actors’ Equity Association members involved in the production. “Come From Away” was grouped in the “Hayes” cohort, designated for productions with more than 51 per cent of the cast working under an Equity contract.

“Come From Away” recently won five Outer Critics Circle Awards, including outstanding new Broadway musical.

The homegrown musical is also nominated for seven Tony Awards, including best musical. The Broadway honours will be handed out in New York on June 11.