They weren’t exactly there together, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ivanka Trump both attended Wednesday night’s Broadway performance of “Come From Away,” a play about Canada’s response to the 9-11 terrorist attack.
They spoke after the show was over, appearing as old friends, though they had only met for the first time during Trudeau’s visit to Washington last month.
“We’re always going to have differences of approaches on certain issues, but the fundamental hopes for the future, the responsibilities of keeping people safe, and building a better future for the kids is something that we can always agree to,” Trudeau told CBC News after the show, suggesting the show was a hit with Trump and the audience. “Oh, she enjoyed it. As did everyone in the theater.”
The play is about how the residents of Gander, Newfoundland demonstrated their love and solidarity with American passengers who were stranded at the airport because of a no-fly order in response to 9-11. The Canadians prepared meals to keep the more than 7,000 unexpected guests well fed and even used a local hockey rink as “the world’s largest walk-in refrigerator,” as Trudeau described it.
“That sort of example of everyone coming together and making things happen is, I know, what this story is all about.”
The Consulate General of Canada booked 500 seats for Wednesday’s performance for Canadians and friends of Canada residing in New York City so they could view the show.
Michael Paulson, the New York Time’s theater critic, couldn’t resist the temptation to make a political statement at the event, suggesting that the Canadian prime minister is “someone who supports refugees … and he’s someone who ran for office celebrating the arts.”
Paulson said that former president Barack Obama attended Broadway shows “once in a while,” but sniffed that he doesn’t think he’ll see much of President Donald Trump, “given the difficult encounter his vice-president [Mike Pence] had at Hamilton,” he said, referring to Pence having to listen to a political statement from the cast.
Paulson insisted that Trudeau was the first foreign leader to attend a Broadway show