The remarkable friendship between a Come From Away cast member and the real-life woman she portrays

Come From Away's Jenn Colella and captain Beverley Bass, the woman Colella portrays in the musical, discuss the unlikely friendship they've struck up over the past few years.
Come From Away cast member Jenn Colella and Beverley Bass, the retired American Airlines pilot Colella plays in the show. (Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

The first time captain Beverley Bass saw Come From Away, the Tony Award-nominated musical based on the true events of an American plane that was stranded in Gander, N.L. on 9/11, she and her husband sobbed through the entire performance. 

Bass was the captain on that plane and her story is an integral part of the theatrical production — except she didn't realize just how big a role she had in it till she saw the musical. And playing that part is Jenn Colella. 

The two have since struck up a great friendship and have nothing but praise for each other. As Colella tells Ali Hassan, "Not only was this person able to take care of her crew and her passengers, and hold herself together while trying to connect with her family, but she's also a pioneer for women in a male-driven career." (Bass was the first female captain for American Airlines.) 

Both Colella and Bass join Hassan on today's show to discuss the real-life event that Bass lived through, the musical production, and all the awards Come From Away has received in recent months. 

Web extra: Below are photos provided by Bass, of her early years working at American Airlines and her time with the cast of Come From Away

Beverley Bass was the first female captain for American Airlines. (Courtesy of Beverley Bass)
(Courtesy of Beverley Bass)
The cast of Come From Away, with some of the real-life people who inspired the musical, at the Gander airport. (Courtesy of Beverley Bass)

— Produced by Cora Nijhawan


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.