July in Review

Today I will talk about my highlights of July 2018.

Symphonies: Celebrate America Pops Symphony

Every year in Charlotte, there is an outdoor symphony series called the summer Pops. One of them is for Fourth of July, which is usually celebrated before Fourth of July. That one uses songs such as God Bless America, National Anthem, America the Beautiful and a section that honors our veterans and this symphony had a overture from the musical, Guys and Dolls.

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Trips: Lake Hartwell, Georgia

So I went to a long weekend trip to Lake Hartwell. I went there to be with members of my extended family: this sounds crazy, I was with third cousins during that weekend. I spent time on the lake for only two days. I helped bake a blueberry pie.

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Musicals: Newsies (BIG SURPRISE)

Well, I wanted to see CPCC’s production of Newsies to see how they could handle the dancing. The week came and all week, my family never seemed to tell me that I was going to see Newsies or anything. So I naturally assumed that it wasn’t going to happen.

Than this happens: Saturday: one of my best friends from college shows up at my house without her telling me. I did not know why on earth she would suddenly show up. She asked me if she where we were going: I said “no” and she was glad. I really had no idea what surprise she had up her sleeve. She drove the two of us downtown, and then we were near CPCC. We drove in the theatre parking deck: I was telling her only those seeing Newsies can park: she just told me “she just wants to see the theatre”. That made no sense to me one bit. Okay, now the two of us were waiting in the will call line and she was saying “I just want to see the theatre” and I was like “just talk to an usher”. It turns out in the end she bought the two of us tickets to see Newsies in June. So there you have it: when I totally thought I wasn’t going to their production: I ended up seeing it.

Below is a link to the Newsies review

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/newsies-surprise/

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This was basically an overview of my July 2018.

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Top Ten Songs from Newsies

Now, I am on to my first Disney musical, Newsies. Newsies is the most recent musical I have seen live. I have only loved it for two years after seeing it on tour August 2016. So here are my top ten Newsies songs.

1. Seize the Day- this is my favorite song from Newsies. This is also my favorite dance number in the entire musical. It includes them dancing on newspapers. It is such a fun number, and it is truly when the strike begins. It is just a very fun number.

2. Carrying the Banner- what I love about Carrying the Banner is that it introduces you to the bond that all the Newsies share. It shows just how much they really care about each other and shows what they are all about. You are introduced to how incredible the dancing is in this musical

3. The World Will Know- once again, another dance number. This is right after Jack brings up an idea of the strike. It is when they truly form their union. You are shown another amount of dancing. Each time you see the incredible dancing, the more and more you root for the Newsies it seems.

4. King of New York- well, another dance number. This is what I like to call their big tap-dance number. This is when Katherine tells them they finally made the front page

5. Santa Fe (Prologue)- this opens up the musical. It introduces you to both Jack and Crutchie. It tells you about Jack’s dream to go to Santa Fe. It really shows the intimate bond these two Newsies share. So you quickly can get emotionally connected to the show.  This is shown as a very hopeful song.

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6. Santa Fe- this time Jack is singing Santa Fe all alone. This happens right after a big fight breaks out. Jack witnesses all of this and sees Crutchie being arrested. This hurts him quite a big deal, which makes Santa Fe a sad song. A lot of the times, the best musicals have sad songs in them. It is an incredible act one closer. He reflects on his dream again; he just wants to end the strike as soon as possible. He just doesn’t want his brothers to get hurt again, and that shows just how much he cares about them.

7. Something to Believe In- there is something magic about Disney love songs. This is a very beautiful love song found between Jack and Katherine.

8. Letter From the Refuge- this song is a song added to the tour and is now used for any production of Newsies. This song is Crutchie’s solo he sings at the Refuge. This song is heartbreaking, but it shows that he still has hopes for the strike. So he is still optimistic despite his current situation. It helps further the bond between Jack and Crutchie. I really love that this song was added.

9. Once and For All- the melody of this song shows the Newsies determination. They have sneaked into the World to  print their own paper to ask all young workers to stop working for the day.

10. Watch What Happens- This shows Katherine’s frustration at trying to write a report on the strike. This is basically a song about how passionate she is about her work and dealing with writer’s block. This really lets us get to know who Katherine is.

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As you can tell, just about all of these songs deal with the Newsies. It is very important to root for the Newsies because well the show is all about them. Katherine is rooting for them as well because she after all becomes the reporter of the strike. Newsies is a fun, dance-filled, and at times a emotional musical. I said at times emotional due to songs like Santa Fe and Letter From the Refuge.

Newsies Surprise

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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.

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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 he 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.

Who is Davey?

Davey is a character I barely know. I will try my best to analyze him.

Possible Spoilers:

Davey is basically the Newsie I would like to call the “new” Newsie. He is the only one of the Newsies who actually has a family. He arrives to the newsstand with his little brother, Les. He became a Newsie because his father got injured during his job and was laid off because of it. Davey started off as shy, but as time goes by, he interacts more and more with the Newsies.

Whenever Jack doesn’t know what to say during the strike, Davey does the talking. While Jack is the leader, I feel like Davey is second in command. Davey helps Jack deal with the inner conflict he is going through in act II at times. While Jack began the strike, Davey was the one who came up with the rally.

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Newsies 1992 Movie VS Newsies Stage Show

I decided to compare and contrast the stage show and say which is better.

Denton or Katherine: 

Denton is the reporter in the 1992 movie and Katherine is the reporter in the stage show. Katherine is the better for the two for my opinion. She gives more female voice in an entire cast of boys, and is Jack’s love interest. Plus, she has an incredible solo, which is “Watch What Happens”. She also is Pultizer’s daughter, which adds to the stakes even better so she helps deepened the story even more.

I prefer Katherine a lot more because she is young and a strong love interest for Jack. Having another female character helps balance out a huge cast of boys even more.

Jack and Crutchie’s Relationship- Should it be there? 

This relationship is only found in the stage show. They have such a personal and intimate found. Jack and Crutchie are best friends who sleep on a rooftop. Jack is very protective of Crutchie knowing just how vulnerable his friend is. I don’t like how this relationship is lacking in the movie. It is shown through “Santa Fe (Prologue)”.

In the movie, it is more Jack and Davey. But I prefer Jack and Crutchie. Jack and Crutchie is the relationship that made me automatically emotionally connected to the musical.

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Relationship Between All the Manhattan Newsies: 

I feel like the relationship found between all the Newsies is even stronger on stage as well. The dancing does help with that aspect among other things. For example, in the movie at the beginning, they do not even have a leader. I feel like there are other things that make their relationship stronger such as stronger dancing.

In the stage show, Jack is already their leader. He becomes an even stronger leader as the story continues.

Brooklyn’s Involvement in the Strike:

I noticed something about the movie. Brooklyn was much more involved in the strike in the movie than the stage show. The stage show and the movie have this big fight and both involve the Manhattan Newsies. In the stage show, the Brooklyn Newsies are not part of the action. Brooklyn isn’t even in the plot quite yet: they are not even in Manhattan yet: they first show up in act II. In the movie, Brooklyn has a much bigger role in the movie. Jack actually visits Brooklyn in the movie and during the big fight, Spot Conlon, the leader of the Brooklyn Newsies, and the rest of the Brooklyn Newsies arrive and help the Manhattan Newsies so they have a bigger involvement in the strike. Just something I noticed.

The versions of Santa Fe: 

Below are two versions of Santa Fe.

Movie: 

In the movie, Jack sings “Santa Fe” as the 2nd song of the movie singing about the hopes of going West to Santa Fe. Later after being sent to the Refuge after being caught by Synder after a Rally, he sings the song again as a reprise, but is instead a song, but wants  to go to Santa Fe more than ever.

Stage Show: 

Santa Fe (Prologue) opens up the show. Like I said earlier when I talked about Jack and Crutchie’s relationship, this song talks about it. This song also brings up the fact that Jack is a dreamer. Just like the movie, it brings up his dream of going West. It is sung again as a solo after a big fight breaks out right after the strike begins and Jack sees all of his brothers getting hurt and Cruthcie getting arrested. This hurts him a great deal, and he sings “Santa Fe” again, but this time as a solo, but not as a reprise like the movie, but an entire song. “Santa Fe” is a sad song due to how hurt Jack is at this moment, and this leads Jack to go through inner conflict. I feel like stage Jack cares much more about his brothers than movie Jack.

Romance: Sarah or Katherine 

Here is the thing about Sarah. I found here just to be there. I found here to be shallow.

I prefer Katherine for Jack Kelly. Katherine is more complex and a lot of why I love Jack and Katherine is because of “Something to Believe In”. Both Jack and Katherine are complex characters. Jack may not seem complex, but he actually is. I think stage complex is much more complex than movie complex.

Identity of Jack: this sounds like an odd one 

Here’s the thing, I watched the movie. It said that Jack Kelly isn’t his real name. Plus that his father is jail and stuff like that.

However none of that stuff is in the stage show. I would rather go with the stage show. I think Jack Kelly is his real name. Don’t forget I have always been a fan of the stage show. I love that Jack is a dreamer and a leader. Another reason why I prefer his identity on stage is because he is also a wonderful drawer and painter on stage. Jack starts the story as an leader and once the strike begins he becomes a stronger leader and when he goes through some inner conflict, he is almost ready to give up, but doesn’t in the end.

Songs: 

Overall, I prefer the songs in the stage show. Even the songs from both the stage show and the movie. Songs like “Seize the Day” for instance are better. They have better lyrics and better energy and longer and more equipped for dance. That is just my opinion. They had to add songs to further develop character such as Pulitzer because he had no songs in the movie. Plus, Katherine was added and they had to add songs for her. Then I loved that they decided to make Jack have a stronger relationship with Crutchie, and they showed that through a song.

Dance: 

Part of why the songs were longer was to add more dance. The songs have dance breaks in them. After all, Newsies became a Broadway show, and that is what happens to Broadway shows. I still love the dancing in the movie, but I prefer watching the dancing in the stage show.

Overall Opinion: 

I am more of a fan of the stage show. There is better development on stage between the Newsies. The romance is much stronger. I love the songs even more because there is more energy, fun, and emotion and more songs. Some of the additional are “Something to Believe in” and “Watch What Happens”.

 

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?