Gander jubilant over 'Come From Away' Tony win

Published on June 11, 2017

With the first nomination being called for “Come From Away” at the Tony Awards on Sunday night, a sold-out crowd erupt in cheers at the Legion in Gander.

©Adam Randell/The Beacon

From Kevin Spacey’s opening number to the Gander shout-out on the Tony’s stage, a packed Legion in Gander was erupting in jubilation, singing along to the “Come From Away” cast opening number “Welcome to the Rock.”

When the musical’s first category — Best Score — showed up on the big screen in the Legion, the place again erupted, and then fell silent, waiting for the news.

Portrayed in “Come From Away” Gander’s Claude Elliott and Beulah Cooper react to the announcement that Gander based musical had won Best Direction of a Musical.
Adam Randell/The Beacon

Unfortunately, the news wasn’t in their favour, but spirits remained high.
Mayor’s Claude Elliott and Derm Flynn chatted amongst themselves.
They knew, given the calibre of the offerings on Broadway this year, the Canadian musical was facing an uphill battle.
But they were optimistic.
“They’re a lot of categories left to come,” said Elliott.
Oz Fudge, portrayed in the musical, shook it off.
“A win or a lose, it doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “What the show has accomplished and done for Gander has been astounding, I’m extremely proud of everything they have done.”
That optimism paid off big when Christopher Ashley’s nomination for Best Direction of Musical came up a winner, marking the only win for the musical’s seven nominations.

However, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the people of Gander.

“It was a very exciting night. It’s the Tony Awards and you know you’re not going to win them all,” said Elliott. “There’s a lot of good musicals on Broadway, so just to be nominated was quite the honour and we are certainly very proud of Christopher Ashley and the rest of the cast and crew for everything they have accomplished.”