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 deepen 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.
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.
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 sad song, but wants to go to Santa Fe more than ever.
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.
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.
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.
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”.