As an avid musical theatre lover, I am always aware of when there are special screenings in the cinema. On Sunday there was a one-off screening of the Disney Theatrical Company’s production of Newsies. So me and my stagey friends took this opportunity and booked tickets right away. Tango Ice Blast and salt popcorn in hand, we went into the screen extremely excited.
The story is based on true events, the News Boys’ strike of 1899, where newspaper prices were raised by 20%, so news boys would make even less money than they were already making, whilst living on the streets and barely eating. The injustice and the passion comes through the actors brilliant performances, and makes you feel so much sympathy and hurt for these poor teenage boys. The cast’s accents were spot on and completely embodied the time period, and the staging set all the scenes perfectly.
In terms of singing, the majority of the cast being tenors makes way for some adventurous harmonies throughout, sending shivers down my spine every time. The dancing was some of the best I have ever seen, the whole ensemble was in faultless syncronisation and the choreography was outstanding. Jack Kelly was played by the always incredible Jeremy Jordan, whom I had only seen sing odd songs on YouTube before this. He was unsurprisingly outstanding, and his high notes in “Sante Fe” never fail to amaze me.
Katherine Plumber, played by Kara Lindsey, was the only female main character so you would expect her performance to be overshadowed by the huge male ensemble, but not in this case. She was such a strong, stand out character, completely held her own the whole way through and really knocked audiences socks off with her solo “Watch What Happens”.
Overall, when it finished I had decided within minutes that the musical had already crept its way into my top five favourites of all time. I judge a musical on how it makes me feel at the end, and if its anything as good as the Book of Mormon, Les Mis or An American In Paris, then its a magical feeling.
If you get the chance to see Newsies either on the stage or on the screen, I couldn’t recommend it more. It completely embodies the brilliance of a classic, american musical and will lift your spirits in every way.