“Come From Away,” the musical that slipped into the Broadway season to give “Dear Evan Hansen” a run for its money at the Tony Awards, picked up four trophies at the Helen Hayes Awards, the Washington, D.C., theater community’s annual theater honors.
“Come From Away” played D.C.’s Ford’s Theater last year, after originating at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 2015 and also playing a run at Seattle Repertory Theater. At the Hayes, “Come From Away” took the top award for outstanding musical production, as well as awards for director Christopher Ashley and actress Jenn Collella, both of whom are also nominated for Tonys. “Come From Away” also won the Hayes award for outstanding acting ensemble in a musical.
The wins add further awards-season momentum to “Come From Away,” which is nominated for seven Tonys and picked up five awards from the Outer Critics Circle. The show’s success at the Helen Hayes matches the wins scored by “Dear Evan Hansen,” another significant Tony contender that also played a run in the D.C. area. That show originated at Arena Stage in 2015 and picked up three Hayes trophies, including the new musical award.
“Come From Away,” written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, centers on a tiny town in Newfoundland that accommodated a flood of re-routed air travelers in the wake of 9/11. The show has snowballed at the Broadway box office, with the musical’s weekly grosses topping $1 million for the last five weeks.
“Come From Away” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” along with “Groundhog Day” and “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” will duke it out for the Tony Award for Best Musical at the Tony ceremony June 11.