**BIG THANKS TO MY GRANDPA WHO BOUGHT ME THE TICKETS TO SEE THIS MUSICAL** (my opinions and comments in this entry are my own. I’ll try not to spoil too much ;))
I’m definitely a fan of plays and musicals as I have been in band throughout middle and high school, and seen many a show during my lifetime. I can’t possibly pick a favourite because they are all so good in different ways. But last night I had the absolute incredible opportunity to watch the touring Broadway musical version of Newsies and literally died and went to heaven.
It’s seriously the most perfect play for me because it’s set in 1899 and I’m a total vintage gal. I love anything that takes place during this time period. So you can imagine my excitement at being able to see this in real time. I mean what’s better than watching agile young men in suspenders and jazz shoes, leap across the stage belting out an amazing score in an old New York accent?? I loved being able to watch all the talented performers. They had some crazy acrobatics going on!
This musical is about boys called newsies, or newsboys, that sell newspapers (you’ll hear the actors call them papes) in the streets of New York to survive. They are led by an ambitious and passionate young man called Jack Kelly (played by Joey Barreiro in the version I saw.) The movie’s plot however differs a little from the Broadway rendition. I do think that the Broadway version is a bit superior just because there is so much more choreography and the plot is slightly twisted in a delightful way. <3
The set of the musical is quite impressive. They have incorporated electrical screens onto their moving stairways that project necessary images up close and aid in the backdrops. They use large stair cases to create the perfect perspectives from places like above buildings, looking through a gate, on a bridge, in a backstage show, and in an office to name a few. They also were able to make it look like there were a larger number of newsies in the show than there actually were on the stage. Quite ingenious I might say!
They use practically every height and width of the stage to dance around. As a dancer myself I was so excited to see all the jazz steps that I recognized. There were so many aerials (no handed cartwheels (someday I hope to learn that…)), leaps and pirouettes! I was impressed with the choreography because a lot of times modern jazz can look very feminine. But as I watched their dancing, it was presented successfully in a very masculine and powerful way. They were all tumbling across the stage and I was so impressed with the choreography! They even used their props very well by incorporating newspapers and things they were holding, and even each other into their dance routines. They even through in a surprise tap dance portion! I just loved all the talent that everyone on that stage carried.
I guarantee that the soundtrack from this musical will catch you from the start. As a musician myself I give my stamp of approval! (I am listening to their Broadway version soundtrack as I write haha.) I haven’t talked to anyone who’s seen this that don’t like it. And if they don’t, then apparently they have something wrong with their eyes and ears. The music is PHENOMENAL! Absolutely astounding. (well everything about this show is lol) The score includes classic songs from the film like: King of New York, Carrying the Banner, Santa Fe, The World Will Know, and of course Seize the Day! Plus they added great original songs to go along with the Broadway plotline. It’s kind of funny when they sing to listen to them try to keep their “New yawk” accents at the same time haha.
Although the whole plot of this musical is very “serious” they had many many comical quips to keep the audience on the edge of their seat and laughing throughout the whole thing. They had a cute little boy to play David’s little brother who was the “comic relief” character I’d say. He was so adorable and had a great set of pipes on him as well! There is a bunch more romance that they threw into the Broadway rendition that is not seen in the 1992 version. But I think it is the perfect amount. Not too much, but just enough to keep the differing plot interesting. Plus it was very amusing to see the relationship development throughout the show.
The takeaways from this play were powerful. I heard this quote from Brad Wilcox the other day and I think it relates. He said
“People can do anything when given the opportunity.”
and I love that quote. I think it’s so true. We just have to remember that once faced with opportunities that we have to act on them and do our best to achieve our goals. Jack Kelly is a charismatic team leader with dreams of success. He and the other boys act and work hard to get what they want to do. A big theme was that the characters were all doing something that had never been heard of before. The boys were striking against against unfairness, and the main female lead was daring to become a writer. Something that was unheard of for that time period because we didn’t have woman’s suffrage quite yet.
Something else that was touched on was the fact that one person was willing to risk themselves for everyone else. (Like Christ did for us yes I just threw in a religious parallel) But not just one person. Everyone was willing to stand up for each other and what they believed. They were bound together in brotherhood and as a family.
Whelp. Time to wrap up. What can I say about it that is negative? I don’t think there’s anything I can think of that wasn’t good. I do wish that it never ended haha. It was that spectacular. There are a few swear words and a boy gets “beaten” or “roughed up” with his own crutch, but otherwise I think its very family friendly.
Nothing I’ve said has done the show any justice so you’re just going to have to purchase tickets to experience it yourself. If you’re interested in seeing it (which of course I highly reccomend you do, it’s totally worth every penny) you can check out their website here at Newsiesthemusical.com
Or check out their Newsies touring Facebook page for some more cool photos and content!
While you’re at it, check out BYU Vocal Point’s excellent A CAPPELLA rendition of the Newsies Medley! (Great job guys!)
(If you’ve seen the musical you’ll get these pictures I thought they were funny)