Make way for good neighbors: Top media picks

Neighbor-themed options, from a Mister Rogers book to a podcast featuring everyday people, offer entertainment for winter months.

Michael Zorn/Invision/AP
Jenn Colella and the cast of “Come From Away” perform at the 71st annual Tony Awards in New York on June 11, 2017.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the small Canadian town of Gander nearly doubled in size. The Broadway musical “Come From Away” – which recently began a nationwide tour – recounts how 38 transatlantic flights were diverted to Newfoundland following the terrorist attacks. In the catchy opening number, the company sings, “Welcome to the Rock.” (The dozen cast members, each playing multiple roles, mimic the islanders’ Gaelic-flavored accents.) This uplifting tale of how the townsfolk clothed, fed, and housed 6,700 stranded passengers celebrates humanity’s best qualities. Suitable for ages 12 and up. 

A neighborly podcast

Everyone’s got a story to tell. On the “Neighbors” podcast from Nashville Public Radio, host Jakob Lewis seeks out the most fascinating autobiographical tales of everyday people. For example, we meet a street musician who plays a tuba inside a traffic-jammed tunnel. Myanmar refugee Gin Thawng tells how, late in life, he learned to speak English in an ESL classroom on a bus. The podcast’s goal is to illustrate how we have more in common with others than we might think. 

“Mister Rogers”: From screen to page

The book “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History” is more immersive than a trolley ride to King Friday XIII’s castle. The lovingly compiled biographical encyclopedia of Fred Rogers’ TV show for children features illuminating photographs, handwritten notes, scripts, and interviews with colleagues and guests. It also offers a peek into the making of the Tom Hanks movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” In a foreword to the book, Mr. Hanks observes that the cardigan-loving TV host preached a continuous message: “Each of us are special in our own way.”

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