So far in the summer I had seen two shows at CPCC (Central Piedmont Community College): Oklahoma and Grease. I had been dying to catch Newsies at CPCC, a musical that entered my life two years ago. It felt like I would never get to see it. Well, one of my best friends from college literally came to my house and honestly had no idea she was coming. She had another surprise coming and managed to keep it a secret. She drove the two of us to CPCC and what do you know: she bought us tickets to see Newsies. So what a surprise that was. So: I did not know Sydney was coming to Charlotte to literally take me to Newsies at CPCC. I never known about seeing a musical very last minute like that before. I mainly wanted to see Newsies to see how CPCC could handle the dance. I just was so wowed by the surprise, which added to my experience of actually seeing the show.
As expected with any CPCC show, I could not see as a college production. They kept the towers that other productions of Newsies has. They needed somehow to represent the rooftop where Jack and Crutchie lived, the place where the other Newsies lived along with Medda’s theatre among other things. So I am so glad the set had the towers.
Jack Kelly was played by Ashton Guthrie. He played Jack as very mature, which I liked seeing as. He gave it his all in “Santa Fe”, which got me quite emotional. It almost made me tear up. He showed the nature of being a leader and acted older than many of the Newsies. While his costume did not make him look dreamy, it did make him look like he was one of the older Newsies. I liked seeing the difference in costume. That is what is fun about college or local productions: costumes that are only in that particular costume. But in “Something to Believe In”, Jack was much more innocent to show his love for Katherine. So he was able to work with his emotions in different ways. He was able to bring out the inner conflict that Jack eventually has to deal with.
I loved the fact that Crutchie was black. It showed that CPCC was accepting of their performers. Treston Henderson was just incredible during “Letter from the Refuge”, another moment that got me emotional. He showed his optimism during that number. The only thing that seemed maybe a bit off is that Crutchie might have done a bit more dance than he should have done. After all Crutchie has a bum leg: however he doesn’t do the really really advanced dancing. Just saying. Treston was an amazing performer as well.
Collin Newton was Davey. He did show Davey’s shyness at the beginning, but soon was able to show how Davey was eventually was able to come out of his shell. Even in that one moment when thing weren’t going this actor’s way, it showed how he was able to deal with it. He got frustrated for a few seconds, but dealt with it nicely. That showed how mature of an actor he was.
Robin Dunavant was Katherine. I really loved her in both “Watch What Happens” and “Something to Believe In”. She gave it her all in her solo number and showed Katherine’s frustrations as she was struggling with figuring out to write in “Watch What Happens” and that is when Robin really started to shine as Katherine. I loved all her acting leading up to “Something to Believe In”. In “Something to Believe In”, she was very innocent, which matched perfectly with Ashton’s Jack.
About all the Newsies, they really showed their bond. It was quite strong throughout. Once again, they were quite talented at their dance. They were doing all these wonderful tricks like flipping, dancing on newspapers among other things. What was interesting about “King of New York”, instead of just Katherine, there were two other females dancing: I thought that was unique. It is just interesting seeing what other productions will do.
CPCC really knows what they are doing when it comes to theatre. Newsies has got to be one of their best.