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"Newsies, Newsies, Read All About It!" (review)

Short Description of "Newsies, Newsies, Read All About It!" (review)

“Newsies, the Musical” (review)

at Proctors

State Street

http://proctors.org

thru 10/17

 

“Newsies, Newsies: Read All About It!”

 

Close your eyes and let your your mind wander back to 1899. A lot of things were different back then. For one, children donned caps and stood on the street corner saying, “Extra, extra, read all about it,” as they peddled the daily newspaper to help out with household finances.

 

The children found themselves in the midst of the creation of unions and child labor laws and decided they wanted to be treated with respect and paid for their work. So a group of kids went on strike, and a group of kids literally changed the way newspapers treated them and almost brought down an entire industry.

 

Enter, 'Newsies, the Musical', Disney's musical premiere at Proctors that shares this message through song and dance in a lesson we will not soon forget and wish we could witness more of in today's corporate world.

 

[Photo credit: Dean Van Meer]

 

This musical opened to a near sold out matinee to a scene of composite steel stairways and tenement housing and a smattering of clotheslines. Black and white movies scrolled as a backdrop behind the steel, reminding us of a different time. This was a time of change: when workers stood united in the face of unfair employers and paved the way for a new workforce. The workers were children, just like they were in the coal mines, and now it was the newspaper's turn to mend their evil ways.

 

And our performers arrive: Kids donning Newsie caps, vests, and newspaper bags, children of their time. But these kids can sing and dance, and they had a message to share, and that message was their revolt, a revolt of their concerns over good and evil, poor and power, love, and an establishment run by old cranky rich men.

 

This song and dance, the way the message is delivered, is what sets this show on fire. The choreography was artistically stunning, as the message was delivered through one powerful, united voice. This ensemble was a stick of dynamite. Although the main characters performed well, this production would not have made front page news without the united footwork and vocals of the “Newsies” themselves. Our dancers dazzled the audience with such songs as “The World Will Know” and capped off in a large way with “Seize the Day”. In the second act we were treated to several other energetically cohesive performances such as “Brooklyn’s Here” and “Once and For All”, further reinforcing the “power in numbers” and “united we stand” philosophy.

 

Kudos to Katherine, (Stephanie Styles), who stood out amongst the cast in terms of vocal abilities, and delivered a polished presentation for her role. Jack Kelly, (Dan DeLuca) was appropriately cast as the charismatic leader of the nNewsies, mastering the accent of lower Manhattan streets and exhibiting versatility in his role.

 

Overall vocals seemed a bit timid individually, but were a powerhouse when tunes were sung together. “Seize the Day” was a spectacular piece between singing and dancing. Young Les (Anthony Rosenthal) was a delightful character and Crutchie (Zachary Sayle) captured the heart of the audience. Davey (Jacob Kemp) played the soft spoken “Nerd” role well, later stepping up to become a persuasive voice and advisor for the Newsies. Many in the audience will be sure to watch the sitcom 'Blackish' to catch him there.

 

'Newsies' is a good production and true to Disney's messages and morals that we still should be mindful of today. It is a delightful family show, about a group of kids that changed the world.

 

--Margo Janack, didyouweekend.com

 

“Newsies, the Musical”

 

Ditected by Jeff Calhoun

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Jack Feldman

Book by Harvey Fierstein

 

based on the Disney film by

Bob Tzudiker and Noni White

Contact Information

Address: 432 State St, Schenectady, NY 12305, USA

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