A magical musical experience.
That’s probably the best way to describe Newsies. I took my daughter Emma to see the Broadway musical back in 2014 when it was at the Nederlander Theater and we absolutely loved it! She was singing and dancing for weeks. There is something powerful about being in the theater and attending a live performance that trumps everything else. The singing, the dancing, the emotions of seeing it all unfold for you on stage is uplifting. But what made the show so great was the combination of story, music, songs, and performance. Each of the characters were engaging, the songs added for the show made it even better, and the staging and simplicity of set design was brilliant.
The story in a nutshell is based on a real life event – the 1899 Newsboys Strike in New York City. It was a rallying cry for the necessity of child labor standards and brought light to a real problem that was happening in America. In the play, the action centers around a boy named Jack Kelly, the unofficial leader of the “newsies” as the newspaper boys call themselves. Along the way, he meets a newbie, Davey, and Davey’s little brother, Les. They eventually become best friends and Jack sees the world with new eyes thanks to Davey. Jack ends up becoming the catalyst for the events which eventually bring triumph to the boys and the realization of his dream.
But even though it isn’t on Broadway any more, you can still experience Newsies in different ways. Of course, there’s always the soundtrack which itself is melodic, catchy, and powerful. With music by Disney Legend, Alan Menken, it’s hard to go wrong. Menken seems to have a knack for capturing the essence of a story in music. It seems the physical CD is out of print, but you can download both the Broadway and original film versions on Amazon, iTunes, etc. Same for the film. Disney recorded a live performance of the Broadway musical which was shown in theaters through Fathom Events and was then released digitally through the same vendors. So there are still opportunities to catch this fan favorite show!
For us, what made it especially meaningful was the chance we had to meet the cast after the performance. Many of them came outside the theater to sign autographs and pose for pictures with their fans. Watching Emma’s eyes light up as each one signed her program and then spent time talking to her was worth every penny. One of the cast even paid special attention to her and just made her beam. “Daddy,” she said to me, “he said I could be a newsie!” It’s those moments that make a dad’s day.
- Find the Newsies soundtrack and film on Amazon, iTunes, and your favorite digital retailer
- You can even watch the filmed Broadway production through Netflix
- Just found out the filmed production is coming back to theaters July 26 and 28!