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?

1st Year Anniversary of Newsies

Newsies has reached a milestone in my journey with it. I have been in love with it for a year. I first saw it last August with my family and fell in love with it. It is the newest musical soundtrack that I own. My favorite song from Newsies is “Seize the Day”. This musical is a Disney musical. It is about the Newsboy Strike of 1899 when a group of Newsies went on strike after Pulitzer raised the price of their paper from 50 cents per one hundred papers to sixty cents per one hundred papers.

The relationship found among the Newsies is incredible. They support each other and they are this one family with Jack Kelly being the leader of them all. My favorite of all the Newsies are Jack and Crutchie and I love the close bond these two Newsies have for each other. Jack is quite protective of Crutchie especially because Crutchie has a bum leg and they are best friends. Katherine Plumber ends up being the reporter for the strike and she and Jack fall in love. Jack and Katherine are one of my favorite musical couples and I have fallen in love with that couple because of the magical and gorgeous and heartfelt “something to believe in”.

The songs are so incredible because they are fun and so catchy and at times the songs have a more vulnerable and emotional feel. The dancing in this show is mind-blowing so I am not surprised it won the Tony for best choreography and dancing is always something I am looking for in a musical. One of my favorite lyrics is “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”. The songs are dealing with positive and negative emotions and that type of score is something I look for in a musical.

Below are links to two posts I wrote about Newsies.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/the-world-will-know/

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/seize-the-day/

Do you love Newsies? If so, why do you love it? If you have not seen Newsies, what is your favorite Disney musical?

Importance of Newsies

In my Social Change class, I have been learning about labor movements and labor unions and that made me think of Newsies. So this post will be dedicated to that musical.

Newsies is based off of the real life story of the Newsboy Strike of 1899. Part of why this plot is so strong is because it is based off a true story. As a bit of background, the Newsies are a group of orphans and runaways who tend to be homeless and they make a living by selling newspapers. They struggle to survive off of the small salary they make from selling newspapers. But if they don’t sell all of their papers, they cannot buy them back so they have to buy the unsold papers. Well to make matters even worse, one day Pulitizer raised the price of their papers from 50 cents per 100 papers to 60 cents per 100 papers, which makes their job even harder. So they decide to go on strike and stand up for their rights. That is a bit of background of the story of Newsies.

In the actual musical, Jack Kelly, the protagonist, is the leader of the Newsies. He always dreams of going to Santa Fe. He is kind of like the father to the Newsies in a kind of way and he cares about them. He is especially protective of Crutchie and is afraid that Crutchie will sent off to the Refuge and just knows how vulnerable his friend will be there. Cructhie has a bum leg and has to walk around with the aid of a crutch. I love the bond that these two characters have for each other. That is what I am emotionally connected to the most, but also feel emotionally connected to the brotherly love that all the Newsies have for each other.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrezThere is also Davey and Les, who join the Newsies later on. They actually have a family but become part of the Newsies family in order to support their family.

All of these Newsies form a union in order to strike against Pultizer. Another very important character is Katherine, Jack’s love interest and reporter for the strike.

These characters are very well-rounded especially Jack. Jack does go through some inner conflict after a big fight breaks out and he sees Crutchie being taken away and he knows that his friend will be sent to the Refuge. He is almost ready to give up on the strike, but Katerine and Davey help him through his inner struggle. The inner struggle of Jack is one of the biggest reasons why Jack is so well-rounded. Even Crutchie is well rounded especially after the touring production gave Crutchie a heartbreaking solo called “Letter from the Refuge”.

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Newsies overall is quite a memorable storyline. The fact that these Newsies actually stood up against Pultizer and won is hard to believe that this story actually happened. The dancing is quite mind-blowing and is one of the main reasons why I really love this musical. When I saw it last year, I knew I was going to strongly fall in love with the dance after hearing it had Tony-Award winning choreography. To me, I love dance so much in a musical because just like songs, it adds something quite valuable to a musical experience.

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What are your thoughts about Newsies?

History and Musicals

One thing that can be hard to notice is that musicals can teach you about history without you even realizing. There are two musicals that come to mind when I think of musicals dealing with some kind of actual history. Those two musicals would be Newsies and Les Mis.

Les Mis takes place during 19th century France during the aftermath of the French Revolution, which leads up to the June Rebellion of 1832. Due to being obsessed with Les Mis, I really got to know how turbulent times were during that time period. There was a very weak government who hardly cared about the poor. Women were treated very unfairly and children were living in the streets of Paris without parents to support them. Prisoners were forced to do hard labor.

Fantine represents just how unfairly women were treated. Just because she had an illegitimate child, she was fired from Valjean’s factory and at the time period, women were left with very little options when it comes to work. As a result, she had no choice but to become a prostitute in order to care for her daughter.

Through the opening scene of Les Mis, you get an idea of the kind of hard labor prisoners were forced to deal with and you can see just how much it hardened Valjean. You can clearly see just poor the government was through the second “Look Down”.

This is when we start to learn about the students and we discover that General Lamarque, the only man left in the government, who seemed to care for the poor was dying from cholera. The students planned the uprising to go up against the weak government. Gavorche, the street urchin, shows that children sometimes had to fend for themselves on the streets. So Les Mis does teach you about that time period in France and it lead me to researching more about the actual time period.

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Newsies is actually based off a true event, which is the paperboy strike of 1899. The Newsies were these young teenagers and children who had to sell newspapers on the street in order to fend for themselves. That was how they made a living and most of them were either homeless, runaways, or orphans. Whatever paper they didn’t sell, they had to purchase the papers. Before the strike, the price of papers was fifty cents per one hundred papers. But when Pulitzer raised the price to sixty cents per one hundred, it was so unfair to the Newsies. They had to sell more papers in order to make a living. So they went on strike and stood up against Pulitzer and Hearst.

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I am not a big fan of history at all. I am more interested in culture than the events that happened. But through these two musicals, I was able to find time periods that I actually was interested in learning about. By knowing more about the time period especially in Les Mis, it made me understand the time period more, which strengthened my knowledge of those two musicals.

Linked below is a post where the June Rebellion is described more in detail.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/june-rebellion-of-1832/

What other time periods in history has musicals taught you about? What are some standout historical events that take place during musicals?