There are a couple of musicals set in New York City. I love more than one of them. I decided to highlight one of them today. Newsies is one of those rare musicals that is successful- but wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for those fans created by the 1992 movie. It won Best Choreography, but only has played in the US, but it needs to transfer to the West End. The stage show is better than that 1992 movie. This musical in some ways was expected by some followers and not by others. In my opinion, it is an underrated musical.
Let’s start at this story. The Newsboy Strike of 1899 did happen. Due to Newsies, you learn about a piece of history that was forgotten. Their story is inspiring. The fact that these Newsboys, who literally don’t have much, would stand up against people like Pulitzer is inspiring.
Jack Kelly- while the story focuses on ALL the Newsies, Jack is our main protagonist. He is a dreamer, romantic, and artist. He truly cares about his brothers especially for Crutchie, who is the most vulnerable. Jack is the leader of the Manhattan Newsies. He would rather protect his brothers than see them getting hurt- you notice this after that fight happens in act I. He wants to call off the strike to protect his Newsies and seeing his best friend being arrested hurts him a great deal- all of this gives him some inner conflict. He does fall in love (like you would expect) to Katherine Plumber, the reporter of the strike.
Crutchie- He is a wonderful spirit and is optimistic no matter the situation. He may have a bum leg, but has so much courage like the other Newsies during the strike. Even when at the Refuge, he still believes in the strike.
Newsies- Well, I love all the Newsies. They are like a tight knit band of brothers that they feel like family. Some of them are homeless, some are runaways, and some are them have no family—–so they have to stand by each other. Yes, we might have our favorite Newsies, but it is hard not to fall in love with them as a whole. My favorite Newsies in the group are Jack and Crutchie due to their intimate and special bond.
Davey- He is the only one of the Newsies who has a family. He had to start selling papers to provide for his family. He basically throughout the strike is second in command since Jack is their leader.
Katherine- She is one of the MAIN reasons why the stage show is better than that 1992 movie. The stage show gives a strong female voice- you have a strong reporter and love her and Jack as a couple. She gets her own solo: “Watch What Happens” and has that love duet with Jack: “Something to Believe In”. You have that female voice the 1992 movie is lacking.
They have ALL five core emotions. Hope, exciting, determination, joy, love, sad, and heartbreak are in the songs. Who can not love these songs- “Seize the Day”, “Something to Believe In”, “The World Will Know”, “Santa Fe”, etc. The song, “Letter From the Refuge” was added when the first tour opened- while “Santa Fe” is a sad song, “Letter from the Refuge” hits that heartbreaking side.
Courage Cannot Erase Our Fear
Courage is When We Face Our FearSeize the Day, Newsies
This is the first time I brought this up. Some of these songs you fall in love with even more once you see the dance. After seeing it, you can understand why it won that Tony Award for Choreography. I could not believe what I was seeing- those guys are quite talented. The dancing drives a lot of the show.
This is my first time with a conclusion. I still can’t quite understand why Newsies has only played in the US. It played on Broadway two years and toured two years. Now I am noticing that it is playing at local, regional, and community theaters and at schools- I saw Newsies at my hometown’s community college and on tour. So, if Newsies is able to be that successful, wouldn’t a place like London consider doing the show? Even though I only been to the West End once, I know the talent is there- it requires a lot of actors who are extremely talented in dance and just a few actresses (considering that the show is male-based). To your surprise, Newsies is a Disney musical.
Favorite Song: Seize the Day