A Band of Brothers Standing Up For What they Believe in

So far on this blog series, I talked about why I love Jack and Crutchie, two of the Newsies. I have never yet said why I love a group, but they do count on this series.

Possible Spoilers:

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Jack is the leader of the Manhattan Newsies and really cares about them. He has a close bond to Crutchie. Jack and Crutchie are my favorite of all the Newsies. Their relationship is part of why I love the Newsies in the first place.

The Newsies are like this one big family. They have such a brotherly love for each each other. All they have is each other and really look up to Jack. A lot of them are homeless or runaways and rely on selling newspapers to survive but Davey and Les are the only two who have a family of their own. So eventually they band together and go on strike after the price of papers went up.

They never give up even though eventually Jack struggles with his emotions and Crutchie, the most vulnerable, gets sent to the Refuge. It is their bond especially the Jack and Crutchie bond that makes me emotionally connected to these characters. Their inspiring story of standing up for what you believe in is a huge reason why I love Newsies.

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Extra Extra Read All About It

Today, I am doing a Newsies post. Just last year in August, I decided to watch Newsies for the first time when it toured to Charlotte. I was with my mom, dad, and sister. I first heard the songs through Pandora and enjoyed them. But I wanted to see the stage show and after hearing it won choreography in the Tony Awards.

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So yesterday night, I got to see the stage show again. This time I watched a movie that was made of the stage show. I got to see the original Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan), Katherine Plumber (Kara Lindsey), Crutchie (Andrew Keenan-Bolger) and Davey (Ben Fankhauser). There were some others from the original cast and there were some from my touring cast. As reading the actors names from the ending, I noticed that I saw my same Pultizer, then my Crutchie and my Katherine were in the cast as well except in different parts.

Seeing Newsies last night made me see so much more than last time. One of my favorite scenes from Newsies is “Santa Fe (Prologue)” because it sets up the close bond between Jack and Crutchie. Jack is quite protective of Crutchie considering how vulnerable his friend. Jack in fact is protective of all his brothers, but Crutchie means so much more. The first dancing number in Newsies is “Carrying the Banner” and seeing it in the movie is so fun even though seeing Newsies live makes the dancing even more exciting. But the dancing in this movie is still mind-blowing. My favorite dance number is “Seize the Day” especially when you see the boys dancing on newspapers.

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Last year, Joey Barreiro was my Jack, but I loved Jeremy Jordan just as much. The difference was I loved them in a different way. Joey’s Jack had more innocence than Jeremy’s Jack. For both of them, I was able to see Jack’s inner conflict that he was able to go through. Jack is a dreamer and a romantic. Twice, he sings about his desire to go to Santa Fe. The first time, he is very hopeful, but the second time, Jack is obviously quite upset after seeing what has happened to his Newsies during the big fight especially to Crutchie. So throughout act II, Jack is about ready to give up on the strike and this inner conflict helps make him a complex character.

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Andy Richardson was my first Crutchie and Andrew Keenan-Bolger was this Crutchie so I was able to find a brand new love for Crutchie. I don’t remember “Letter From the Refuge” that much from last year so the movie allowed me to see it and actually remember it. Andrew was such a wonderful Crutchie and loved seeing “Letter From the Refuge” performed. Despite Crutchie being sent to the Refuge, he still has optimism about the strike. Crutchie being sent to the Refuge left Jack with a lot of inner conflict.

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I find Ben Fankhauser to be a really good Davey. It was nice getting to know him this time around. I felt like I had to relearn Davey a bit. Davey and his little brother, Les, are the newest members to the Newsies. Davey helps establish the strike and when Jack is just not there, in a way he is like the leader even though he isn’t the leader of the strike.

Kara Lindsey brings a fresh light to Katherine. Through Kara’s Katherine, you can tell that Katherine loves being a reporter. Jack falls in love with her and you can tell in the second act that Jack has felt an attraction to her. But it wasn’t until “Something to Believe In” that the two of them fall in love. Katherine really helped Jack with his inner conflict so after the song, you realize that Jack doesn’t fully give up on the strike.

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As much as I don’t like Pulitzer, Steve Blanchard is still a wonderful Pultizer. He was my Pulitizer last year, but I don’t remember him that much. You can see him not being nice to the Newsies especially to Jack.

In Newsies, I love how the towers change shapes in order to advance scenes or to create different locations. The dancing in Newsies not only advances the story, but it also serves as a way to transition to the next scene. One of the biggest reasons why I love Newsies is the dance. The dance shows the youthful energy that the boys have. All the Newsies are quite special because they are like this one family with Jack as this leader. This story of them standing up for what they believe in through a strike is inspiring. They did not like the prices going up so they went on strike. While at the end, the price stayed the same, Pultizer agreed to sell back their papers. The things I want in ALL musicals are songs I love, characters I love, and a plot I love. Dancing is an added bonus when it comes to  a musical.

The meaningful musicals tend to be the most likely to have positive and negative emotions in the score. The main songs where the negative emotions take place is “Santa Fe” and “Letter From the Refuge”. When those negative emotions happen, it makes the story even more believable. Because this is based off of a true story, it makes sense why there is both positive and negative emotions.

Are you a Newsies fan and why?

Letter to Enjolras and the Barricade Boys

Dear Enjolras and the Barricade Boys,

I love all of you. One of the things I love about you all is how you take in Gavroche. He is like the mascot of the rebellion. I love how passionate and hopeful you are about the cause. I love the brotherly love you all have for each other. Enjolras, you make such a wonderful leader. You are the most passionate of all the boys. I know at “Drink With Me”, you feel like you have lost hope for the rebellion. The next day even though you know you are going to lose, you still stay passionate towards what you believe. All of guys are heroic through the entire rebellion.

What are your opinions on this group of students?

“Drink With Me” Analysis

[Feuilly]
Drink with me to days gone by
Sing with me the songs we knew

[Prouvaire]

Here’s to pretty girls who went to our head

[Joly]

Here’s to witty girls who went to our beds

Here’s to them and here’s to you

[Grantaire]

Drink with me to days gone by

Can it be you fear to die

Will the world remember you when you fall

Could it be your death means nothing at all?

Is your life just one more lie?

[Men]                                                                 [Women]

Drink with me                                                   Drink with me

To days                                                                To days

Gone by                                                               Gone by

To the life                                                           To the life

That used                                                           That used

To be                                                                    To be

[Women]

At the shrine of friendship never say die

[All]

Let the wine of friendship never run dry

[Men]                                                                         [Women]

Here’s to you                                                            Here’s to you

And here’s                                                                 And here’s

To me                                                                         To me

[Marius]

Do I care if I should die

Now she goes across the sea?

Life without Cosette means nothing at all

Would you weep, Cosette, should Marius fall?

Will you weep, Cosette

For me?

-Drink with Me, Les Mis

Today, I will be analyzing the song, “Drink With Me”. The lyrics above are the lyrics from the song. “Drink With Me”  is one of the lesser known songs, but it is quite an emotional and heartbreaking song. This song does not seem that heartbreaking the first time around, but eventually you will realize just how devastating and hopeless this song is.

Major Spoilers:

This song happens after Jean Valjean lets Javert go. In this song, the students realize that they will most likely lose the uprising and most likely are going to die. But once you know what is going to happen to all of them, this song becomes even more heartbreaking. In the musical, one attack has already happened and that is when Eponine dies. Marius is still heartbroken over her death at this point. You can clearly see the students’ brotherly love for each other. There is a big chance this will be the last time they will have a meal together.

This song talks about will people miss them if they die. They feel hopeless in this scene because the battle is going to be a lost cause. They know how outnumbered they are. Yes, Marius brings up Cosette, but if all of his friends die, all he has left will be Cosette. So this song is quite an intimate moment between all the students.

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Just to let you know, the final battle does end in rather heartbreaking results. All of the students (excluding Marius) die. So once you know what is going to happen, this song becomes even more heartbreaking. It happens so close to the final battle. Poor Marius, he faces a lot of trauma at the barricade. First he loses Eponine and in this scene he is still upset over her death, but then at the final battle, he will lose all of his friends. “Drink With Me” is a wonderful moment to show the students love for each other.

What are your thoughts on this song?

 

 

Reflection of Newsies and Wicked

The musicals of 2016 are Wicked and Newsies.

This would be my fourth time seeing Wicked. Seeing Wicked this year was quite special because 2016 marked the tenth year that the musical has been part of my life. In addition, I had the wonderful opportunity to see the musical with my school. I look up to Elphaba because I admire her courage and strength. She is a smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, different girl who believes in equality and staying true to herself and those characteristics are part of who I am.

I knew Wicked would still be spectacular the moment I entered the auditorium. I saw this glowing green light shining through the entrance and I was transported to OZ. As long as I feel transported to OZ before the show begins, I know the show will be spectacular. The dragon and the map also help transport you to OZ. The spectacle ranges from a lavish set to colorful costumes to the dancing. The spectacle of Wicked truly helps bring the land of OZ to life and it is so believable.

At this showing of Wicked, I felt the most vulnerable. I saw an excellent Elphaba and Glinda and truly saw their dislike for each other during “What is This Feeling” and was able to see their friendship they had for each other. Glinda was absolutely hilarious especially during “Popular”, but at the same time was able to see the pain she feels in the second act.

The song, “I’m Not That Girl had an emotional shift this time around. It would be the first time seeing Wicked live that I would view the song as a heartbreaking song. Between the third time I saw the show and this time, I finally learned that “I’m Not That Girl” was a heartbreaker and due to that realization, it made me explore the scene in a new light. Just like “On My Own” from Les Mis, “I’m Not That Girl” is an unrequited love song.

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I was surprised that I got something out of “No Good Deed”. I always hated that song and never looked forward to that scene. I was able to finally appreciate the song and I even was able to pick up on the emotions and sense its wonderful energy. The song ended up being a song dealing with anger and frustration. Due to finally remembering and feeling the emotions of this song, it made me feel more vulnerable with Wicked.

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But “For Good” was the moment I truly know how incredible Elphaba and Glinda were. That scene was sung and acted so well that I was reduced to tears. The core of this musical is truly about the deep friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, which is why “For Good” needs to truly move your heart and soul.

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Newsies is a Disney, dance-filled musical and it was the first time I would see the show.  Newsies is the real-life story of the 1899 Newsboy strike. Pulitzer raised the Newsies distribution price to 60 cents per one hundred papers. Most of these Newsies are either orphans, runaways, or homeless and they have to live off of the money they make from the papers. They even are not able to sell back their papers. That is why raising the distribution price is unfair to the Newsies. As a result, the Newsies went on strike and later would rally the other New York Newsies.

The dancing of Newsies was mind-blowing. The cast was basically all boys. They were doing tap, ballet, and different forms of dance. They were jumping high up in the air, jumping over each other, doing flips, sliding under each other, and dancing on top of newspapers. The dance alone was worth the price of the ticket. That was just how mind-blowing the dancing was.

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I loved how the Newsies formed this one family. They all have this incredible bond. You first learn of the incredible bond found between Jack Kelly and Crutchie. Their friendship is so close and deep and that is where my emotional connection truly was. Jack is the leader of the Newsies and Crutchie has a bum leg and has to get around with the aid of a crutch.

In addition, Jack Kelly is the protagonist and is also an incredible artist and is like father to the rest of the Newsies. He has this deep yearning to leave New York and head to Santa Fe, but he also truly loves his Newsies family.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrezDuring “Carrying the Banner”, you truly learn that all of the Newsies are like brothers to each other and that they are one big family. When the distribution prices were raised, the Newsies went on strike to stand up for their rights even though they were up against Pulitzer and Hearst. Newsies is truly about these underdogs who stand up to two of the most powerful men at the time. Even though the cast of Newsies is male-based, there is a major female character named Katherine. Katherine writes the news story about the strike and is the love interest of Jack Kelly .

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The set in Newsies was basically these three big towers which could change shape and is basically like a big jungle gym. My favorite song from Newsies was “Seize the Day” and the show was so good that I hope to eventually own the soundtrack. Newsies even made my favorite musical list, which are the musicals that are meaningful to me.

Both Wicked and Newsies had dance and were both happy musicals. They both shared the emotions of joy, love, excitement, and sad. In Wicked, the negative emotions had more of a vulnerable feel while in Newsies sad felt more innocent. This year, Newsies was the more inexperienced musical, which is why sad had this innocent feeling.

Special Bond of Jack Kelly and Crutchie

My emotional bond from Newsies was created when I fell in love with the special bond that Jack Kelly and Crutchie have. Jack truly cares about Crutchie and is fully aware of how vulnerable he is due to a bum leg. It is very much like a brotherly love and a deep friendship.

You first meet both characters in the opening scene. It was during the song “Santa Fe (Prologue). Here you learn about Jack’s dream of leaving New York and go to Santa Fe. He was talking to Crutchie that maybe he could go with him. Jack believes that if he gets some fresh air in Santa Fe that Crutchie will be off of his crutch. Jack looks after him and they sleep on the same rooftop together. You even are aware that Jack does not want Crutchie to be sent to the refuge because Jack knows just how bad a place it is and considering the fact that Cruthcie has a bum leg, Cruthcie will be quite vulnerable there. At this point “Santa Fe” is more of a hopeful song.

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But later in act one, this big fight breaks out. All throughout act one, you realize that Synder is trying to take Jack back to the refuge. This big fight breaks out soon after the Manhattan Newsies begin their strike. It is them against the Delancy brothers and the police forces. Jack witnesses Crutchie being arrested and knows that Cruthcie will be sent to the refuge. This absolutely saddens Jack and he reflects again on Santa Fe.

This time he sing “Santa Fe” alone, which is a sad song when Jack realized that the reason the fight happened was due to the strike. Jack knows he wants to end the strike as soon as possible even though he does not want to abandon his Newsies family. Seeing Crutchie being arrested and the big fight, this leaves Jack with a lot of inner conflict and you can clearly see that throughout the second act.