Kevin Carolan of COME FROM AWAY at the Hennepin Theater Trust

For the first time on a Minneapolis stage, Tony Award-winning COME FROM AWAY is played at the Orpheum until January 23, and although it is a day that brings up the saddest and most tragic memories for anyone who remembers September 11, 2001, the heartwarming musical , engaging, funny and completely human to Irene Sankoff and David Hein, puts the audience on their feet after 90 minutes of laughter, tears, caring and more tears. (Yeah, Minneapolis audiences are notorious for never losing a good O, but rather than jumping up to move their legs or heading for the parking lot, opening night audiences stood up like they were moved by the emotions he was riding that night and stayed put.)

The cast of the set play everyone from the residents of a small town in northeastern Canada to the people on the planes that landed there that fateful day; each actor playing several roles. Actor Kevin Carolan shared some things about his US national tour experience and career with this 6 Questions.

For audience members who have never seen this show before, please describe from your perspective what it is like and how the production addresses the events of 9/11, in particular your role as Claude, the town mayor from Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.

COME FROM AWAY tells the story of a small town with a major airport at the northeast tip of North America, where on September 11, 2001, 38 planes carrying 7,000 passengers from around the world were hijacked. The 9,000 residents of Gander, mobilized with the help of Mayor Claude Elliot, welcomed them, fed them, comforted them and, five days later, brought them home. These benevolent people asked nothing in return, because “you would have done the same”.

And this story is told by 12 actors and eight musicians, using costumes, lighting and staging to portray Gander’s many inhabitants and “plane people”, creating a most remarkable theatrical event.

Did you do any special preparation to play Claude, like meeting the real mayor, studying Gander, listening to the interviews the writers did with the people there, etc.?

The first two weeks of rehearsal for the tour, in addition to learning the music, we were treated to a treasure trove of information about Gander, including a documentary presented by Tom Brokawa, hours of interviews with Gander residents as well as numerous “plane people” and documented minutes of emergency meetings at City Hall during the event.

And we got to meet and hang out with many of our real life counterparts when we opened the tour in Seattle in October 2018, which was a celebration in itself.

It must have been amazing. This show is a strong ensemble cast piece, and you’ve been touring with this cast and crew for a little while now. What do you like the most in the series, as an actor who has toured a lot in your career?

The love we receive from the audience at the end of our show is an incredible reward that none of us take for granted. We are honored to be able to tell this story night after night. (And by the way, in response to the rise of the omicron variant, we were able to keep the show going for most of the last week with the help of cast members from all of the companies from COME FROM AWAY to around the world, in a spirit of kindness and care that is in keeping with the theme of the show.) The bar has been set pretty high for me, having toured with CHICAGO THE MUSICAL and Disney’s NEWSIES, but COME FROM AWAY is rising above- above.

Kevin Carolan

You grew up in New Jersey and spent your life in and around New York; can you tell your story of 9/11 – were you there that day or what do you remember about your experience? Does your memory of that time color your performance?

I was home on 9/11, taking care of my daughter Kate, when my sister called, worried that I was in New York that day. When I told him I was home, I turned on the TV and saw what I thought was footage of the first plane, but was actually seeing live footage of the second tower hit. I turned off the TV shortly after.

I often remember my experience of 9/11 during the song “Something’s Missing,” a late number in the series that deals with how people felt days after the tragedy, trying to regain a sense of normalcy. Nor is it difficult to draw comparisons with the current pandemic.

How did you come to have your portrait drawn by Al Hirschfeld? (Check it out at

I was a lifelong fan of Al Hirschfeld, and it was a dream of mine to be in a Broadway show that he was hired to draw.

In 1999, I was looking to buy one of his works from the Margo Feiden Gallery, which exclusively sold his work. Looking around I saw evidence of people I did not recognize and learned that people could commission a portrait of Mr. Hirschfeld, similar to the New York Times do. I was able to meet him at his brownstone, and he started drawing my caricature while we were chatting.

I always thought I was cheating a bit by hiring him, instead of being cast in a Broadway show he was drawing. But less than three months after receiving the final draft, I booked my first Broadway show. So I just did it a bit out of order.

It might have been your lucky charm! You’ve had great roles on stage and starred in quite a few film/TV productions (see bio below). What has been your favorite role to date, and what’s on your list for future work that you would like to do?

I love every opportunity I’ve had to play, and I’ve been blessed to work with people I’ve been a fan of all my life, including Martin Scorsese and Mel Brooks. Mel Brooks!

But one of my favorites was the chance to create an iconic Disney character in a staging of one of their classic films by creating the role of Baloo in THE JUNGLE BOOK, a co-production by The Goodman Theater in Chicago and at the Huntington Theater in Boston. be led by Marie Zimmerman, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, performing alongside the incredible André DeShields, and singing the songs of The Sherman Brothers was undoubtedly a highlight of his career. I will never forget him.

6 quick hits

  1. Favorite musical you haven’t performed in? GYPSY
  2. What are you reading? Circe through Madeleine Miller
  3. What color do you usually wear? pink or purple
  4. Which leg of the tour was the most memorable? Milwaukee, WI (I think because I had an amazing Airbnb. )
  5. What’s your drink order? Gin Martini, with a twist.
  6. What charity do you still support? Alliance House

More information:

Read BWW’s review of COME FROM AWAY, and buy your tickets on Shows run until January 23, 2022 at the Orpheum. Vaccination record and mandatory masks.

Pro tip: Plan to stay until the curtain call to enjoy the band’s upbeat music on stage that will send you into the cold Minneapolis night with a smile on your face.

Organic : Kevin Carolan (Claude & Others):

Broadway: Disney news (Governor Roosevelt-Original Cast, National Tour and Feature). Visits: Chicago (North America, Japan, Dubai.) Regional: Goodman/Huntington (The jungle Book, Baloo, dir. Marie Zimmerman) Movies: Bear with us, can you ever forgive me. TV: “Billions” and “Boardwalk Empire”, “The Middle”, “The Good Wife”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.

Kevin Carolan is an award-winning actor and singer, who has built a successful career over the past 25 years and has been led by some of the most talented artists in show business, including Martin Scorese, larry david, Tim Van Patten, Joe Mantello, Walter Bobby, James Rabbit, and Mel Brooks.

He has numerous appearances on TV shows such as Orange Is The New Black, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Middle, The Good Wife, Royal Pains, Spin City, Fringe, White Collar and the recurring role of Barker on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. .

Kevin has toured the United States, Canada, Tokyo and Dubai, playing the role of Amos Hart in the musical Chicago, and performing at historic regional theaters such as The Goodman Theater, The Huntington Theatre, Goodspeed Opera, and the paper mill playhouse.

He has appeared on Broadway in Dirty Blonde, The Ritz, Chicago (10th Anniversary Celebration), originated the role of Teddy Roosevelt in Disney’s Newsies!, in which he returns on the national tour, and recently originated the role of Baloo in a new adaptation. from Disney’s Jungle Book, directed by the Tony Award winner Marie Zimmerman, for which the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awarded him the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. He is also among the artists who were drawn by world-renowned cartoonist Al Hirschfeld. See here.

Kevin, born in the Bronx and raised in New Jersey, is both an American and Irish citizen and lives in New Jersey with his wife of over 20 years, Maryann Carolan, writer and teacher, and his two children, Kate and Jack.


First American tour of COME FROM AWAY. Nick Duckart, Kevin Carolan, Aaron Samonsky and company. picture by Matthew Murphy, 2018. Courtesy of the Hennepin Theater Trust.

Head of Kevin Carolan through Xanthe Elbrick.

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