Airplane’s crew helps Broadway understudy get to theater just in time

Broadway actor Mikalya Renfrow poses for photo with pilot
TikTok/@Mikrenfrow

Airlines often get a bad rap because of delayed flights and other inconveniences travelers face. However, a recent Delta Air Lines crew helped to make some magic for a woman who got an unexpected text in the middle of a flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Mikalya Renfrow is a company member and understudy in Disney’s “Aladdin” on Broadway. She and her boyfriend were coming home from a week-long European vacation when the show’s stage manager texted her mid-flight.

Because her flight was delayed, she’d originally given the company a heads up saying she wouldn’t make it in time to the theatre as scheduled. However, as luck would have it, the lead got sick that day, and Renfrow was the only one available to fill her spot.

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Renfrow has been with the company since April, and while sudden calls to perform are expected, this text created some anxiety for the actor. Her plane was still 4 hours away from the gate at New York’s JFK for a scheduled 5 p.m. landing.

It didn’t seem possible for Renfrow to make it to the theater on time for the 7 p.m. show. But, once the Delta crew heard about the situation, they took it upon themselves to make her wish come true.

Renfrow asked a flight attendant if she could be the first off the plane so she could rush to the theater.

“That’s when it got crazy,” she said in a TikTok post with more than 1 million views.

The flight attendant moved her to first class for quicker access to the door and a more comfortable place to rest before the show. A short time later, the pilot exited the cockpit and spoke to the actor.

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“The pilot came out to meet me and told me the only way [to get to the theater on time] was to fly me by helicopter from JFK…and he would do everything in his power to get me there on time…changing our gate to be closer to customs,” she shared in her post.

@mikrenfrow The story of how i had to be helicoptered from JFK to play Jasmine in 🧞‍♂️Aladdin in Broadway…WHAT. #fyp #broadway #delta #blade#@delta @BLADE ♬ Epic Music(863502) – Draganov89

As the Delta crew worked their own behind-the-scenes magic, the show’s stage manager arranged for a helicopter taxi service to pick up Renfrow as soon as she cleared customs. A gate agent helped expedite the actress’ stop at the customs agent.

Despite being a minute late for the helicopter. Renfrow caught her helicopter to Manhattan, and after a brief run and train ride, she had just enough time to get into costume and hit the stage.

To make this happy ending even better, the flight attendant, Leisha, who helped Renfrow make her magic carpet ride on time, stayed to watch the show.

“Hearing her cheer me on from the moment I stepped out just carried me through the whole thing,” Renfrow told People. “So that show was for her. She helped me through the whole journey, even to the theater at the end of the night.”

MORE: Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ is being turned into Broadway musical

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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