Storytelling is vital to this production, and Christopher Ashley, who won the Tony for his expert staging including a turntable, guides a versatile cast of 12 with incredible efficiency and fluidity. With just a quick change of a hat, scarf, shirt or pair of glasses, the cast seamlessly weaves in and out of their multiple roles without missing a beat. Their innate ability to take on what appears to be a considerable challenge with confident ease speaks volumes about Ashley’s astute vision.
Marika Aubrey as pilot Beverley Bass
Portraying Beverley Bass, the first female American Airlines pilot, Marika Aubrey offers a soaring rendition of “Me and The Sky,” detailing Beverley’s determination to climb the professional ladder in spite of adversity. The fact that Aubrey establishes Beverley’s no-nonsense authority long before her signature moment arrives is equally beneficial.
Jeremy Woodard and Aaron Michael Ray as a gay couple forever changed
Delightful duo Jeremy Woodard (Kevin Tuerff) and Aaron Michael Ray (Kevin Jung) bring charm, laughter and heartbreak to their portrayal of a gay couple whose relationship shifts in the aftermath of 9/11. The couple gives credence to the lyric, “I don’t feel like the me from yesterday.” Woodard also fuels the poignancy of “Prayer,” in which the Bible serves as a meaningful tool to break the language barrier.
Aaron Michael Ray as a passenger facing prejudice
In addition to his winning rapport with Woodard, Ray dramatically shines as a Muslim passenger ostracized as The Other who ultimately undergoes a degrading strip search. Ray’s work wonderfully addresses the cultural fears which arose at the time amid great uncertainty.
James Earl Jones II as a believer in neighborly goodwill
Comic relief comes natural to James Earl Jones II as Bob, a passenger extremely doubtful about his surroundings who eventually embraces Gander’s neighborly goodwill, including the removal of their barbecue grills.
HOW TO GO
What: “Come From Away”
Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton
When: Through April 10; 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $29-$129; Military and group discounts are available.
More info: Call 937-228-3630 or visit daytonlive.org
FYI: The production runs 1 hour and 40 minutes without intermission