I love musicals. However, being fairly far away from New York City means that I have to do a lot of bootleg watching.
A few years ago I had heard rave reviews about a musical called Newsies and it was about paper delivery boys. Though I am not a boy and I do not live in the late 1890’s, I did have a paper route so I decided to try to watch it.
I was new to the land of bootlegs and ended up mistakenly watching a random high school production of the 1992 Newsies movie starring Christian Bale. Yes, Batman was a poor Newsie. That movie, as I later learned, was one of Disney’s biggest flops.
Either way, I listened to the Broadway soundtrack and fell in love. I usually am not a huge fan of songs that have dance breaks because listening to that is rather dull unless you know the dance or can easily picture it, but for some reason, ‘King Of New York’ ended up as my favourite song. It was through this soundtrack that I came to know and love Jeremy Jordan, who plays lead Jack Kelly. The music is so upbeat and it makes you feel like you can do anything. It made walking to school enjoyable!
Then I watched a bootleg of the real Broadway show, which was neat because I got to see the faces behind the voices that I had been listening to with such love. And even from the poor quality bootleg I had, I could see the stellar dancing and just how talented that cast was! Newsies the movie may have been a fail but the musical was a success!
So needless to say, when Newsies put together a touring cast and it came to a city near me, I had to go! My parents and I hit the big city to see a show! And let me tell you, it was fantastic!
The show was fun and funny and loveable and its themes are still relatable to society today. The characters were so likeable and adorable. And of course, the music was splendid! I fell even farther in love with ‘King Of New York’, which I didn’t think was possible, and gained a new respect for a few other songs.
In terms of the cast, I had heard that the guy playing Jack, Dan DeLuca, was good, but I was slightly worried that he wouldn’t satisfy my Jeremy Jordan loving heart. And while I do prefer Jeremy’s voice in ‘Something To Believe In’, Dan’s ‘Santa Fe’ was amazing. Overall, I was very happy. Everyone was just so talented.
Seeing the dancing live was great! They made it all look so easy! Three backwards flips with a perfect landing? No problem! I could watch those Newsies dance all day! It was such a great show! I enjoyed it so much, as did my parents.
After the show ended, my dad went to the first few seats and grabbed an actual newspaper used in the show. There was a scene where the Newsies ripped off some pages of a newspaper and tossed it into the audience. It was paper so it didn’t go far, but I guess no one picked it all up, so I am now the proud owner of actual Newsies props. When my dad had gone to retrieve it, I joked to my mom that it was probably just that day’s local newspaper, but it was actually Newsies paper! With the actual headline and articles! Most of the text is very hard to read, though.
An actual cast member held these in their hands, so that’s pretty cool!
In terms of the movie, I hadn’t seen it, but I’ve been in a Newsies mood all week, so I decided to give it a go. It wasn’t awful, but I can understand why it didn’t do amazing. The movie is more gritty while the musical is more witty. The changes they made in terms of the characters were great, and they improved the songs as well.
I urge any musical lovers to go see Newsies if it comes to a city near you, or watch a bootleg like I did, because this is a show that you can’t miss! Don’t be deterred by the movie! The musical is genius! As they say, “Now is the time to seize the day!”
That’s all for now!