Importance of Newsies

In my Social Change class, I have been learning about labor movements and labor unions and that made me think of Newsies. So this post will be dedicated to that musical.

Newsies is based off of the real life story of the Newsboy Strike of 1899. Part of why this plot is so strong is because it is based off a true story. As a bit of background, the Newsies are a group of orphans and runaways who tend to be homeless and they make a living by selling newspapers. They struggle to survive off of the small salary they make from selling newspapers. But if they don’t sell all of their papers, they cannot buy them back so they have to buy the unsold papers. Well to make matters even worse, one day Pulitizer raised the price of their papers from 50 cents per 100 papers to 60 cents per 100 papers, which makes their job even harder. So they decide to go on strike and stand up for their rights. That is a bit of background of the story of Newsies.

In the actual musical, Jack Kelly, the protagonist, is the leader of the Newsies. He always dreams of going to Santa Fe. He is kind of like the father to the Newsies in a kind of way and he cares about them. He is especially protective of Crutchie and is afraid that Crutchie will sent off to the Refuge and just knows how vulnerable his friend will be there. Cructhie has a bum leg and has to walk around with the aid of a crutch. I love the bond that these two characters have for each other. That is what I am emotionally connected to the most, but also feel emotionally connected to the brotherly love that all the Newsies have for each other.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrezThere is also Davey and Les, who join the Newsies later on. They actually have a family but become part of the Newsies family in order to support their family.

All of these Newsies form a union in order to strike against Pultizer. Another very important character is Katherine, Jack’s love interest and reporter for the strike.

These characters are very well-rounded especially Jack. Jack does go through some inner conflict after a big fight breaks out and he sees Crutchie being taken away and he knows that his friend will be sent to the Refuge. He is almost ready to give up on the strike, but Katerine and Davey help him through his inner struggle. The inner struggle of Jack is one of the biggest reasons why Jack is so well-rounded. Even Crutchie is well rounded especially after the touring production gave Crutchie a heartbreaking solo called “Letter from the Refuge”.

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Newsies overall is quite a memorable storyline. The fact that these Newsies actually stood up against Pultizer and won is hard to believe that this story actually happened. The dancing is quite mind-blowing and is one of the main reasons why I really love this musical. When I saw it last year, I knew I was going to strongly fall in love with the dance after hearing it had Tony-Award winning choreography. To me, I love dance so much in a musical because just like songs, it adds something quite valuable to a musical experience.

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What are your thoughts about Newsies?

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Author: mphadventuregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog deals with spirituality and musicals. I am finding that by writing about these, I am realizing I know more about each of them then I think I do. I hope you find my blog inspiring!

51 thoughts on “Importance of Newsies”

    1. I have never seen the movie. Funny story: for Christmas, I asked for the Broadway soundtrack and my uncle got me the movie. I heard some things about the movie.

      The stage show is just incredible. There is just something about the energy on stage when it comes to dance. I don’t know what the stage show fixed, but I know some differences.

      I want to say the stage show is better. I have Pandora and heard some of the versions of the songs from the movie. I feel like the songs are more superior than the stage show than the movie. I think some of the famous songs from the musical have better lyrics in the stage show based on what I heard

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  1. Although I only just watched Newsies for the first time, it’s quickly climbing the ranks on my list of favorite musicals. As a total history geek, especially in all things revolution and challenging authority, the theme of the underdog standing up to tyranical reign is a longstanding favorite theme of mine!

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    1. I am still just a new fan. I have in love with it since August. On that first experience, I automatically fell in love with it. It has become quite meaningful and is a favorite of mine.

      My favorite Newsies are Jack Kelly and Crutchie due to their relationship. I feel like compared to the other Newsies, I think you get to know them the best. They after all are the Newsies that open up the show

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      1. The first time I watched Newsies, I automatically started drawing parallel lines between Newsies and Les Miz. While the similarities really only occur in the 1832 storyline of Les Miz, I think that the Newsies have many similarities to the students

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      2. I guess you are right. It is sort of crazy that there are parallel lines. Newsies is a happy musical while Les Mis is quite heartbreak. The brotherly love among the Newsies is like this one big family, but the relationship between all the students in Les Mis is quite similar now that I think of it

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      3. Yep! I kinda saw Jack Kelly as a sort of Enjolras type but a little less extreme. My favorite thing about the two groups is that they stood up for what they believed in. And to me, that’s one of the most admirable characteristics a person can have!

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      4. Jack Kelly and Enjolras are leaders. Jack Kelly is not quite as passionate as Enjolras about the cause.

        But than again, after that big fight in Act I, it gave Jack a lot of inner conflict especially after seeing Crutchie being taken away. I remember in Santa Fe at that moment, I felt sad especially because I knew just how close those two Newsies are to each other. That does make Jack quite a well rounded character with that inner conflict from Santa Fe to a good chunk of Act II

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      5. I feel like I only basically know Enjolras the most out of all the students, but do know some about Grantaire. I feel like iI still need to get to know who the students are separately

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      6. For me, the way I distinguish between the students is their leading characteristics. In the musical, a lot of the students don’t get very fleshed out. Enjolras and Grantaire are really the only ones that really stand out in the musical

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      7. Yeah. I never really truly consider Marius as one of the students for some reason. Not really sure why. I feel like in the musical, Marius has a much closer relationship with the students in the musical than in the book

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      8. That is so true. In the book, Marius is the closest to Courfeyrac, but in the musical he is the closest to Enjolras. I still consider Marius one of the students and I have combined who he is from the musical and who he is from the book

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      9. I find it funny because in the book, Enjolras and Marius don’t really get along. That’s one aspect of the two characters that I can never seem to merge very well in my brain. I kind of like the book dynamic because I feel like it shows off Enjolras’s “revolutionary fervor” in comparison to Marius’s uncertanity in the whole rebellion thing. On the other hand, I also really like the musical dynamic as well!

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      10. The musical even strengthened some elements. I find that love triangle to be stronger in my musical. In the book even I knew it existed I find it to be very subtle and much harder to spot. But in the musical it is much stronger

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      11. Yeah. In the book, Éponine’s feelings for Marius aren’t as clearly laid out. Even when she’s dying she merely says “And then, you know M’sieur Marius, I THINK I was a LITTLE bit in love with you.” I think book Éponine is much less willing to lay out her feelings

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      12. That is the advantage of song. In a musical, characters are much more willing to bring out their feelings to the audience. But even in the musical, she still isn’t willing to tell Marius and waits until she is actually dying, but she does tell the audience

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      13. Characters do share their emotions to the audience in musicals especially through song so to the audience they are more open. Even if they do not share their emotions to other characters. It is something the audience can pick up on. The songs strengthen all of Les Mis’ emotions from the book and due to the nature of the story and characters, it makes sense why the musical is sung-through

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      14. 100% agree. In 10th grade, my Spanish teacher (I took one year of Spanish) had us do a share-and-tell as a sort of “get-to-know-each-other” exercise so I brought in my Les Miz CD and kind of explained the charms of musical theatre and my teacher came up to me after class and told me that he never really thought of musicals in that way before and that maybe he would give musicals another shot

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      15. Musicals are just this wonderful combination of acting, dancing, and song. They each provide something wonderful to a musical especially the dance and the most important element: the songs

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      16. Musicals have this kind of advantage through all three. The emotions sure know how to move you in a musical while in a play it is so much harder to feel emotionally connected. The song has this kind of emotional advantage

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      17. I feel like the emotions in musicals also kind of play off of each other. Also, underneath the lyrics, in the melody, there also lies this emotional power, I think. I was writing a paper on the bubonic plague and the emotion in the song I was listening to actually gave me the perfect emotion with which to end the lament of Petrarch (I was writing my paper from Petrarch’s perspective).

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      18. I think Les Mis’ emotions definitely play off of each other. In the West End production, the power of each song shifted into the next song.

        Some musical songs have more to them than what meets the eye. I realized “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking before I know just how insightful it was. I figured that out through memorizing the lyrics. Like in that song, I don’t feel completely vulnerable because the melody in a way still has the innocence that is needed in that song, but still has the amount of vulnerability that is required in that song

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      19. Yep! One of my favorite moments in Les Miz is after the barricade falls and a melodic reprise of “Bring Him Home” plays. In the revival production, it plays while Javert stands, overlooking the sight of the barricade and Enjolras and Gavroche’s bodies lying in a cart. Man… I cried.

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      20. In the West End that is very different at that scene. Since the West End has a revolve at that scene, the barricade turns and you can see all of the bodies on that barricade and when you see Enjolras, a spotlight shines on him and boy that was heartbreaking to see

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      21. In the revival, one of the policemen brings out a cart in which Enjolras’s body is lying. Another policeman brings out Gavroche and lays him down on the cart beside him. I just burst out into tears when Javert reached out to the cart and then pulled away guiltily as the melody of “Bring Him Home” was playing in the background

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      22. I am planning to graduate in May of 2018 and I don’t even know what any graduate gifts will be. I do want to go to France since I was too young to remember the first time. I also want to back to New York and see one show at the Met and about 3 on Broadway. I also want to go to Mexico or Spain someday, but want to find the perfect timing to catch Les Mis

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      23. I’ve never been to France but I definitely want to just for the sake of walking around in the Palais Royal, the place where I believe the French revolution REALLY started–not the Bastille. I really want to see Les Miz in Germany one day but it’s unlikely that will ever happen

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      24. Yeah. I’ve told my friends that I want to see Les Miz in German one day and they’ve asked me if it would frustrate me if I couldn understand some parts or if the translation was slightly different. I know for a fact that the translation is slightly different but most of the time, I actually prefer that translation in some ways to the original. As for understanding… I know the plot and characters so well that I

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      25. The same applies for me. I know Les Mis so well that I can understand it in any language. I even have been learning Spanish. I think there is just something about Les Mis that would be so cool to see in another language

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      26. That’s awesome! Hopefully I’ll catch Les Miz in June of 2018 when it comes to Seattle! It’ll only be my second time seeing it live, but I’m still 100% excited! Definitely will never get tired of seeing Les Miz live, I think!

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      27. I am always asked how come you are not tired of it. They think I must be tired of feeling hurt all the time watching it.

        Now I have a friend who I just confessed that I want to see it in Spanish. But he is kind of confused because he was like why don’t you just change the movie to Spanish and I don’t think you can do that due to the movie’s live singing. Even if I could, I wouldn’t cheat and not catch it live

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      28. I have talked about musicals a lot and he thinks that is all I talk about. Even when I bring up just one thing about musicals like recently, I only said what musicals I want to see in the upcoming season and he automatically wanted me to change the topic.

        He said that musicals are only a piece of a type of entertainment. But musicals are truly an entertainment in myself. I was called a fake music fan by this friend because I mainly only listen to two genres of music.

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