By Lucy Anderson
Jan. 16-19 and 21, the NS drama department performed Disney’s Broadway Musical, “Newsies.”
“Newsies” is arguably the best production that this high school has ever put together.
“Newsies” is a story based on the New York newsboy strike in the late 19th century. Newsies were young boys who sold newspapers to make enough money to get by, buying papers every morning to try and sell them for a profit throughout the day. When the newspaper publisher, Joseph Pulitzer (Nicholas Honey), raises the price of the newspapers by ten cents, the newspaper boys go on strike to demand rights for child laborers.
Leading the strike is Jack Kelly (Spencer Brown), an orphan boy who lives on the streets with his friend Crutchie (Aidan Anderson), and two new kids, Davey (Braxton Smith) and his brother Les (Maddie Anderson) whose father got laid-off for getting injured on the job. Jack dreams of earning enough money to buy a train ticket and move out of New York City to Santa Fe. He fights for his dream and every other Newsies’ dream. Throughout the play, Jack, Davie, Les and all the others play a role in providing inspiring, noteworthy speeches and actions on why their rights matter.
Nicholas Honey was the perfect person to play Mr. Pulitzer. He completely sold the big business, money centered publisher role. He has a big presence that caused me to want to join the Newsies strike with them.
Spencer Brown was very well suited for the role of Jack Kelly. He was able to capture the emotion of a homeless boy trying to make a difference. Brown has a strong singing voice, both by itself and with the rest of the Newsies.
Each song was well thought out and helped the audience engage with the story and become just as invested as the characters. The dancing through the isles and handing out papers helped the audience to feel like they were apart of the story.
The musical wouldn’t have been as exciting if it had not had the amazing set that was built for it. It was easy to tell that it had been well thought out. Each time the tables and +scaffolding were moved on and off it was done smoothly and efficiently and in a way that helped each scene have a distinct and different feel to it.
One of the best things about this production for me was the costumes. Not one costume looked out of place. They all helped the audience to know what time period this musical took place in.
The musical’s popularity was easily shown in the fact that the auditorium was packed from front to back. In past years, it seems that there would be a good crowd spread out over the three nights the play/musical was performed, but I have never seen it as packed as it was for this production and it was well justified. The musical even filled every seat the opening night.
Because of the immense popularity and quality of this production, the performance dates had to be extended for one more night which, according to the department, was “the first time in recent memory, due to high demand.”