Hi everyone! I managed to fit in one more musical into 2017, Newsies! I had wanted to see this musical since I saw it in the season at a theatre close to my work and managed to see it today, right before Christmas!
I went with a friend, as I had mentioned that I wanted to see it while we were at Hamilton earlier this year and she said she was interested too. So one day I went and got tickets after work one day and we went today!
Of course, I hadn’t wrapped any gifts yet so I was freaking out a bit on the inside. Normally I have them wrapped and ready to go at Thanksgiving! I did finally wrap the gifts after I got home but then decided that wasn’t enough presents and dragged my poor mother with me to Walmart down the street. It was so hard to find last minute gifts to add in. The reason I hadn’t gotten much was because I’d already given them each gifts. My mom and sister got tickets to Wicked a few weeks back and my dad had gotten some money towards his new truck back around Thanksgiving but it just wasn’t Christmas without presents for me. I know people say it’s the religious aspect and all that but not for me. I am allll about the presents! And the Christmas carols.
Okay, onto the review!
Like many musicals I’ve seen, I hadn’t seen the stage or movie adaptation before setting foot in the theatre. I knew it was about newspaper boys but not much more than that! While it wasn’t my favorite musical, I did really enjoy it.
The story was related to the “newsies”, or the kids who sold newspapers back before there were child labor laws. The story mainly focused on a few of the newsies, the leader Jack Kelly, his best friend Crutchie who had a disability, Davey and Les who were brothers who left school to work while their father recovered from a workplace injury (also before labor safety laws), and a reporter named Katherine who faced gender discrimination when she wanted to write news for the paper instead of writing for the social pages. When the newspaper the newsies worked for hiked up the prices of the papers, or “papes”, the newsies were faced with a decision to pay the extra fees or stand up against the increase.
I felt this musical explained the world of the newsies perfectly. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of unions the musical showcased just how much unions were able to accomplish for their workers. Not just restrictions against child labor and unsafe working conditions, but also guaranteed employment and fair wages.
It also showed how much impact someone can have. Jack not only was able to work to solve the problem at hand, the higher cost of the papes, but also a myriad of other issues surrounding them all. As issues come up and more obstacles are put in their path, Jack and the newsies are able to persevere to achieve their goals and dreams.
The actors in the musical were amazing, as was the score. The set design is always incredibly interesting in this theatre. As a “theatre in the round” the set needs to move around without creating major obstructions for the people on all sides of the stage. I love this theatre as the space is so intimate. The actors must also play to every inch of the space, so the choreography is always intriguing. As my friend put it, the dancing made us want to leap up and join in! Although we would in no way be able to replicate how amazing the cast was. I felt that the dancing was the most intriguing part of the performance, able to command a high energy when needed. The cast and crew truly put on a performance that lived up to the story and score they were tasked with giving us.
Fun story, I was wondering if the actor, Eliza Palasz, who played Katherine looked familiar somehow but I thought I was making it up. Turns out, she also played the Mistress in Evita that I saw last year! There were a few actors that I’d seen in other Marriott Theatre productions but I couldn’t immediately place them. Their credits do say they were in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Evita so I may pull out my Playbills from those performances to see who they were.
Per usual, there were some annoying audience members. There were a ton of families who inevitably brought their poorly behaved children to the theatre. While I would have loved the opportunity to grow up attending shows like this, I feel that parents know their kids and place unrealistic expectations on them. They don’t seem to care that their child is too young or not yet mature enough to sit still for a production without picking on their sibling or being distracting to others. (This goes for museums too.) Since there are people all around the theatre, you can always catch people who are behaving poorly.
That being said, I always am surprised by how little I notice people in this theatre so it’s not so bad. However I had a woman behind me to kept going “mmmmm” like a low hum throughout the musical. But every so often I would hear her. My friend noticed a woman in another section who was singing along *CRINGE*. And she actually had an older man next to her who kept trying to talk to her as well despite that she kept trying to ignore him so she could pay attention.
It’s the risk we all take, that the audience won’t know how to conduct themselves in public. But luckily the audience stayed in their seats during the applause and during the announcement asking for donations afterwards too. That was wonderful to see!
So that’s my review on this uplifting musical! I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas Eve Eve! I literally just saw that today for the first time on Instagram and thought it was hilarious! I am all for extending the celebrations another day!
So let me know if you’ve seen Newsies and, if so, what did you think? Also, should I watch the movie? I hear it’s completely different but I’m sure it’s still great too!
Thanks for reading!
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