It’s probably not popular to brand a journalist a villain during these early days of the Trump presidency, what with his
attacks on the media.
Champions of the First Amendment surely will cast journalists in a positive light and “The Donald” in a negative one.
But flash back to the end of the 19th century in New York City, and the roles are reversed.
At least in the Disney musical hit “Newsies,” which is based on a true story, the hated man is newspaper publisher
Joseph Pulitzer, who jacked up the price for newsboys to buy the very papers they were to sell.
The “good guys” in “Newsies” include a President of the United States – Theodore Roosevelt.
It’s refreshing to once again view a POTUS in a positive light; a filmed performance of the Broadway production of the
Tony Award-winning musical plays movie theaters for one more day on March 4.
Fathom Events and Disney Theatrical Productions filmed a performance and, in doing so, brought Broadway basically to
Ticket prices are nowhere near what you’d pay to see a Broadway show. Still, the screening in cinemas nationwide is
showcasing the same Broadway musical with high-octane dancing, clever choreography and an irresistible Dickensian
story featuring underdogs overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.
The stage version features high-flying leaps, twirls, somersaults and creative choreography.
The live musical, with a book by Harvey Fierstein, considerably raises the stakes from the less successful 1992
In the stage musical, a female reporter named Katherine covering the Newsies’ strike is also an underdog. A shocking
revelation toward the end locks her in an inner conflict between loyalty and betrayal.
Nobody has accused her of being a “failing” journalist or reporting “fake” news. However, she’s out to prove she can
cover top stories.
Actress Kara Lindsay’s spirited, determined, courageous and ambitious Katherine will leave you cheering for her as
much as the Newsies.
A talented group of young adult actors play them as gritty, wise-cracking boys who refuse to give in to Pulitzer.
As the youngest Newsie, Les, a real-life young boy actor, Ethan Steiner needs to show more feistiness and tone down
on the “cuteness” factor.
If Steiner’s Les is lovable with his heart-melting smile, Steve Blanchard makes a despicable Pulitzer, who
narrows his eyes in hatred and derision at anyone he considers below him. Contempt and sarcasm drip from his face
and voice as he stands tall and proud.
The Newsies are led by Jack Kelly, Pulitzer’s chief rival, who organizes a union of sorts and is played by Jeremy Jordan
with tenacity, a winning charisma and a weariness that comes with working the rough streets of New York. You get the
sense that he can literally see the place of his dreams during the song “Santa Fe.”
It would be nice to know what, in Kelly’s mind, the city in New Mexico has that other open areas lack. He seems
obsessed with Santa Fe for some reason.
Perhaps he feels it’s just far enough away from Pulitzer, whom he views with as much scorn as many do Donald Trump.
Note: To find the theater nearest you where “Newsies: The Broadway Musical” will play, visit http://www.regmovies.com/movies/movie-folder/2017/disney-s-newsies-the-broadway-musical-198062