Live theatre is not always accessible to the general public given the high ticket prices and the fact that professional shows are only performed in certain areas. Thankfully, Netflix is now carrying the banner and allowing its users to screen professionally taped Broadway musicals with the original casts. Even more exciting, one of these musicals happens to be “Newsies.”
The Broadway musical “Newsies” is inspired by the 1992 film which was based on the newsboys’ strike of 1899 in New York City. The show debuted on Broadway in 2012 and is the story of a group of newsboys lead by the charismatic Jack Kelly as they form their own union and take on the most powerful men in the city after the price of newspapers is raised.
The show stars Jeremy Jordan as the strong-willed Jack Kelly. Jordan does a fantastic job capturing the emotional complexity of the character, from hyping up the rest of the newsies in the song “The world will know” to breaking down with raw anger during “Santa Fe.”
Kara Lindsey also stars in the show as budding reporter Katherine “Plumber” Pulitzer, the sassy female reporter who catches the eyes of Jordan’s character at first sight. While the two do have amazing chemistry on stage, what really makes Lindsey stand out is her ability to make the character stand her own and portray her goals at the forefront of her character. In the song “Watch What Happens,” Lindsey makes it clear that Katherine is going to stop at nothing to get the newsies on the front page and achieve her dream of being a serious reporter.
The show also features a stand out performance from Andrew Keegan-Bolger who portrays Crutchie, Jack’s best friend who was left crippled by polio. Keegan-Bolger had some of the best physicality in the entire show. Despite having the difficult task of performing with a crutch, he maintained his character’s limp the entire show, even during the dance sequences.
The choreography in the show is exceptionally difficult and executed with power and intensity, and this is not just describing the dancing. The fight choreography is cleanly executed so that it looks realistic without being too chaotic. The only down side to the filmed version of the show is that, because of the splicing of multiple shows together in an attempt to eliminate mistakes, there are a few background inconsistencies, like how Jeremy Jordan would disappear and reappear during “That’s Rich.”
“Newsies” is an amazingly emotional show about revolution and what young people can do when they come together for a common goal. It speaks volumes to us modern-day youth, especially since many of us feel as though there is not much we can do about all of the turmoil happening in our very own country. But, according to this story, we can do something if we continue to work together. Thus, “Newsies” has stood the test of time, despite being about a real event that happened over 100 years ago.