Nfld. & Labrador

2 Canadian musicals, including Come From Away, land Drama League nods

Come From Away and Ride the Cyclone, two musicals with Canadian creators, are in the running for this year's prestigious Drama League Awards.

The awards are considered the oldest theatrical honours in the U.S.

The musical Come From Away tells the story of the people of Gander, N.L. who opened their hearts and homes to stranded plane passengers on 9/11. (Matthew Murphy)

Come From Away and Ride the Cyclone, two musicals with Canadian creators, are in the running for this year's prestigious Drama League Awards.

Both plays emerged as nominees in the outstanding production of a Broadway or off-Broadway musical category.

From the Rock to the Big Apple

The Broadway show Come From Away was created by Canadian husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein. The story is set in Gander, N.L., in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Before making its Broadway debut early last month, Come From Away was staged in La Jolla, Calif., Washington, D.C., Seattle and Toronto. The Come From Away cast was also in Gander for two concerts last October as a fundraiser for local charities.

Playwrights, and husband-and-wife team, David Hein and Irene Sankoff, co-created the musical Come from Away. (Darryl Murphy/CBC)

The New York-based production has earned mostly rave reviews and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau are among the famous theatre-goers who have seen the show.

Roller coaster ride

The off-Broadway production Ride the Cyclone is from Victoria-based theatre creators Atomic Vaudeville.

Described as part tragedy, part comedy, the quirky production, which closed last December, featured lyrics and music from Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond. It's about students who die in a freak roller-coaster mishap.

Ride the Cyclone cast members (left to right) Russell Mernagh, Tiffany Tatreau, Lillian Castillo, Jackson Evans and Kholby Wardell. (Chicago Shakespeare Theater/Facebook)

The Drama League Awards, first handed out in 1922 and formalized in 1935, are billed as the oldest theatrical honours in the U.S.

The awards are selected by the entire theatre community, which encompasses thousands of Drama League members from across the U.S. who attend Broadway and off-Broadway shows.

Husband-and-wife acting duo Audra McDonald and Will Swenson will host this year's ceremony, which will be held in New York on May 19.

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