I’d watched Newsies, the movie, once a few months ago. It was OK. To be honest, I didn’t truly understand the hype, but I still wanted to see the stage version which everyone was going insane over at Papermill last year and now again on Broadway. Newsies is about a group of newsies, the paperboys, form a union after the newspaper publishers unexpectedly and unfairly raise their prices.
The story is engaging but probably not as much if the cast wasn’t as top-notch. Jeremy Jordan is sexy and charming as the head of the newsies union Jack Kelly, and his love interest and biggest cheerleader Katherine, played by Kara Lindsay, is absolutely lovely and has a beautiful voice. Jon Dossett is evil and conniving as the head of the newspaper with questionable practices, Pulitzer. Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Ben Frankhauser are continuously entertaining as Crutchie and Davey, newsie confidants of Jack Kelly.
It’s very unique for an audience to have such high energy before a show begins. I experienced this only when working at Mamma Mia back in 2008 where every single person, practically, was so excited to be seeing that show. Well, Newsies is also a show like that. The amount of screaming after each song was loud, and at some points almost deafening. It was annoying at first, but in the end, it energized the cast even more and so we, the audience, were given a better performance.
The set is incredibly simple, but intricate to look at and I’m rendered speechless when trying to find a way to describe it. Newsies is hands-down going to win the TONY Award for Best Choreography. The other nominees can just go home (yes, even though they’ve yet to be announced). The ensemble work their asses off and give 100% in every number.
I’m not converted to a Newsies groupie by any means, but the show is a lot of fun. And who could say they don’t like looking at Jeremy Jordan for two and a half hours? You’d have to be crazy to not enjoy that.