On Tuesday night the Washington Pavilion unveiled its upcoming 2020-2021 performance series for the venue. Coming later this year and next are six Broadway shows: “Escape to Margaritaville,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Anastasia,” “Hairspray,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Come From Away.” The last one, about diverted planes in September 2001, received much of the attention Tuesday.
One by one, the shows were announced inside the Washington Pavilion’s big Mary W. Sommervold Hall. Also on hand were an actor and actress who have appeared in “Come From Away” in addition to the actual couple they portray in the show.
“It’s really focused on their love story and how they met in the aftermath of 9/11, and so it’s a great story,” Washington Pavilion President and CEO Darrin Smith said.
“It’s a heartwarming story, so I said, Well, we got to bring my son,” Eric Weisser of Sioux Falls said. “And he’s seven, so I brought my son, and he doesn’t really understand, he didn’t live 9/11, but it’s just still a great story about the human spirit, it’s about people helping people.”
Weisser is on the performing arts advisory board for the Washington Pavilion, and he’s seen “Come From Away” four times. The show is also getting high praise from Smith.
“You have some shows for families, you have shows for adults, it’s a nice mix, and then of course ‘Come From Away’ is just a blockbuster show,” Smith said. “It’s the biggest Broadway show the Washington Pavilion has ever hosted, it’s the biggest Broadway show to ever come to Sioux Falls, and we’re just thrilled to be able to bring that here next season.”
Weisser says having “Come From Away” in Sioux Falls highlights how close high-level musical theater can be.
“It’s legit Broadway shows right in our backyard, reasonable pricing, and when the show’s over, you just drive home,” Weisser said. “You don’t have to get on an airplane, you just drive home, and you’re in bed in 10 minutes.”
You can find a schedule of events at the Washington Pavilion on their website here.