Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Newsies on Broadway

"Beyond the incredible singing, dancing, and the important lessons, there's this underlying energy and enthusiasm that ties up the show and takes it from great to extraordinary."

If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably witnessed my fangirling over Newsies since the end of August. 

The show closed on Broadway on August 24th, so before then, I had been anxiously hoping to be able to see the show before its closing. I happened to be in NYC on the 15th and figured I would try my chances in the lottery. And I actually won! I was beyond excited, and I could not be happier.

Can I just say, WOW! This show blew my mind away. Most Broadway shows are definitely more theater/acting/singing oriented. But my favorite aspect of Newsies is the dancing. As a dancer, I was especially amazed and blown away. The guys (and the few girls) are superb dancers; I am so jealous of their dancing abilities! Every single one of them shined in their performances. The dance numbers were larger than life, and I think every single person in the audience was watching in awe. Just AHHH! If you're a dancer, you must see Newsies at some point. (And if you're not a dancer, you still must see Newsies. ;))

But of course, as a Broadway show, I do have to address the acting/singing aspect of the show as well. The songs and the singing? Spot on! The audience laughed at the funny moments, and the audience sat in silence at the sad, somber moments. I think everyone felt every emotion we were meant to. The group songs definitely do inspire a sense of camaraderie and the "Yes we can!" spirit of the newsies. You really grow to root for them, cheering for them all along the way. It's frustrating when they are faced with a setback, but ugh, it's just perfect. And the singing is just as great. They really do the music justice. They're all more than 100% into the singing, and it really shows. It really affects the audience, even if it may not seem that way at first. They're just infectious (but in a good way!). And the songs themselves are so sing-able, and once you listen to the songs/the cast album, you'll have it stuck in your head for days. Every song is attacking and completes its purpose and more. It's the same with their acting! Every member is so amazingly talented, as is usually the case on Broadway. (And can we just talk about how for most of the cast, Newsies was their Broadway debut?! Including Corey Cott, who took over as Jack Kelly, the main Newsie, right out of college.)

Then, there's the plot. I like the setting and the exploration of the newspaper industry during the time of Pulitzer and Hearst, especially after having learned a bit about it in my history class. However, parts of the plot were probably the weakest (but not by much) parts of the show. With the exception of one point/twist which may or may not be a surprise to people, it's fairly straightforward and isn't too difficult to predict. But I believe that with the rest of show being so great, you kind of push this to the back of your mind while watching the show. And besides, there are some great lessons that the story shows--from tackling the struggles of females and highlighting a strong, willful female character to showing how determination and teamwork can make the unthinkable/"impossible" happen, the show has something to teach everyone, young and old.

There's just this air about the show and the performers that's different from the other shows I've seen. Of course, everyone on Broadway is amazing and really in character, but with Newsies, there's this deeper energy that goes from the performers to the audience, and I think that's why it's impacted so many people, and I think that's why it's gained such a large following. Beyond the incredible singing, dancing, and the important lessons, there's this underlying energy and enthusiasm that ties up the show and takes it from great to extraordinary. 

I highly, highly recommend Newsies for everyone. Seriously, the show isn't on Broadway anymore (*sobs*), but a different cast is going on a national tour. And while I can't vouch for them for certain, I know they'll put on an amazing show at a Broadway worthy level. Please, if they're stopping near you, go watch the show. I promise you won't regret it!

(Also, my dance competition team is doing a Newsies mash-up for our production number this year, and I'M SO EXCITED YOU HAVE NO IDEA)

Learn more about Newsies and Newsies on Tour HERE

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