will feel like “King
of New York” when you see “Newsies.”
Finally, a full-fledged,
fully-developed optimistically joyous American musical that boasts an excellent
Book written by Harvey Fierstein, a beautiful original Score by Alan Menken,
and Jack Feldman’s clear, lucid Lyrics that tell the story!
,” based on David Nasaw’s book, “Children of the City: at
Work and Play,” and the flop of a Disney film, “Newsies” has legs. With over 30
in the young exciting cast, costumed by Jess Goldstein, directed by Jeff
Calhoun and cleverly choreographed by Christopher Gatelli on Tobin Ost’s metal,
many-level set that goes right to the rafters, lit by Jeff Croiter and led by
dynamic Jeremy Jordan, this musical, which has already been extended, will be
around for a long run. The result of all the hard work that has gone into “Newsies”
is a really big show with an intimate warm ambiance that glows.
Do you remember when
newspapers were the most important form of communication? Well “Newsies” takes
us back to those times, exactly 1899, when newspapers, like “The Sun” and “The
World,” owned by wealthy robber barons like Hearst and Pulitzer, depicted by
John Dossett, were distributed by young boys, most of them homeless
ragamuffins—I hadn’t heard that expression in a long time---called “Newsies.”
They were forced to buy the “papes” for 50 cents for one hundred; if they
couldn’t sell them, they had to throw them away.
The guy who changed all
that was named Kid Blank, here renamed Jack Kelly, played with the right amount
of dash by Jeremy Jordan, who was Clyde in the show that failed earlier in the
season. What a lucky break! When Pulitzer raises his prices, Kelly refuses to
go along. He is assisted in bringing his
struggling boys to join him by Davey, the intelligent actor Ben Fankhauser and
his little brother, Les, the very young actor Matthew J. Schechter, who is
destined for stardom. Joined by a girl
reporter, Pulitzer’s daughter, Katherine, the lovely spirited Kara Lindsay,
they try to form a union to fight the financial increase and the terrible
conditions of children in every borough of the city.
Kelly, an artist, dreams
of leaving NY in the beautifully wistful, “Santa Fe,” fights back in the
stirring, “The World Will Know” and “Seize the Day,” and triumphs in the
brilliant anthem, “King of New York.” Capathia Jenkins is a soulful Medda
Larkin; Andrew Keenan-Bolger, plucks at the heart strings as Crutchie, a
crippled Newsie, and Dan Levine plays a mean trombone in the fine orchestra led
by Conductor Mark Hummel. The music never overwhelms the action or the words.
How about that!
at the Nederlander. Good for the whole family.