Review: Broadway’s Newsies


by Sara LoPiccolo, In-School Event Editor

Taking the Broadway stage by storm, Newsies is a phenomenon. Based on true events with a similar plot to the 1992 film, Newsies follows head Manhattan newsboy Jack Kelly in New York City, 1899. When Joseph Pulitzer, the owner of the newspaper they sell, raises prices, the boys strike. Against the newsies is the city. The newsies must try to convince the other boroughs of New York City to help with their strike. They are looked down upon and often called names like street-rats. The police don’t hesitate to arrest them, and they take the downfall for most crimes. At that time, the life of a newsboy was hard and long, but by sticking together and perseverance they were able to succeed.

The movie version (released in 1992) was a box-office flop, starring a young Christian Bale. Yet after the movie was released, a cult of “Fansies” began to arise. With heart-felt songs, and sub-par dancing, the young Newsboys touched the hearts of people everywhere nonetheless. Christian Bale, now famous for everything but Newsies, is not fond of the role he played. He lamented in an interview: “Newsies did nothing for my career.” But now, after the Broadway production is well under-way, he says he is proud that “[t]hey’re getting the success we didn’t with the movie.”

The actors of the stage production also recognize the film but not always with amicability. When making a rap video, actor Ryan Breslin says: “I would never bail like Christian, wishin’ he could be a part of this, hey, but I ain’t dissin’.” It could be said, though, that the current performers need nothing of the movie to have the success that they do. The cast of 30, only four of whom are female, is well rounded in singing, acting, and dancing. The Newsies won a Tony for Best Choreography and Best Original Score. Dance captain, Ryan Steele, is certainly a wonderful highlight of the show, but the rest of the talented cast has made an imprint on the fans, as well. Andrew Kennan-Bolger, a lead in the show, makes several videos with the cast. Throughout the production, they have shown their charisma and personalities. There are even several fan twitters. The cast has certainly made a new name for “newsies”. With plot twists from the movie and a change in the songs, Newsies is magical.