Justin Trudeau attended the March 15 evening performance of Broadway’s Come From Away, marking the first time the Canadian Prime Minister saw the show about a small Newfoundland community coming together to host thousands of stranded passengers after planes were grounded during the September 11 attacks.
Joining Trudeau for the performance at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre—in addition to several Canadian ambassadors, including former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and longtime Gander Mayor Claude Elliott—was Ivanka Trump. The pairing signified an attempted bridge between the U.S. and Canada as Trudeau aims to maintain a relationship with the U.S. in the wake of the Trump administration’s dividing policies.
“When we think about our friends, we think about the people we like to kick back with after a hard day at the office, who we want to see on the weekend,” Trudeau said in a pre-show speech, above. “But that’s not actually what friendship is about. Our friends are there for those tough times, when you lose a parent or a loved one. When you get knocked off your path at a difficult moment in your life. That’s when you turn and lean on your friends. That ultimately is what this story is all about: being there for each other. Being open, being engaged, and knowing that drawing together through dark times is what is very best about the human spirit.”
The musical, featuring a book and score by husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein, opened officially March 12. The show made its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse before additional pre-Broadway engagements in Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Toronto.