It's obvious I'm a Disney fan (wait...really?!) but I think only some of my friends know about my love of Newsies, the 1992 film featuring Christian Bale about the news boys of 1899 and subsequent strike.
"July, 1899: When Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise the distribution price one-tenth of a cent per paper, ten cents per hundred, the newsboys, poor enough already, are outraged. Inspired by the strike put on by the trolley workers, Jack "Cowboy" Kelly (played in the movie by Christian Bale) organizes a newsboys' strike. With David Jacobs as the brains of the new union, and Jack as the voice, the weak and oppressed found the strength to band together and challenge the powerful."
It was the first time I saw Christian Bale and totally fell in love with everything he's done. Plus there was singing! And dancing! And sexy newsies (I was 12, I'm sorry)! I've easily seen the movie hundreds of times, and that's probably understating it. I remember watching it every single day for a while when I was a young teen just so I can sing the songs.
The movie wasn't a huge hit in theatres but definitely had a growing cult following as the years went on. I honestly didn't realize exactly how big the following was until one day I was at a bar with my BFF Christina and her brother Stephen. Somehow in conversation, Stephen quoted a line from Newsies and I pretty much froze. I quickly said the next line in the movie and I think Stephen shed a tear. Our Newsies bond officially started. Poor Christina then had to endure hours of movie line quotes, singing songs to each other, and yes, watching the movie together. :)
Fast forward to a few months ago when it was announced that Newsies was going to be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ. RIGHT in our own backyard! How much more perfect can this be?! We stalked the theatre and finally found the day tickets went on sale. I bought tickets for us immediately and the countdown started.
As the show officially started, I read every review I could about it and watched all the promotional clips that they released. Hearing the songs I grew up with all over again with a new twist was awesome. I knew they had made some slight changes to the storyline (Jack now has a love interested that isn't David's sister) but I've read that all changes were for the better.
Well Friday night was show time for our trio of Newsies fans. After freaking out in traffic and getting to the theatre 15 minutes before show time, we quickly ran to our seats and settled in for the show. You could tell there were a few die hard Newsies fans in the audience by the amount of people wearing the customary Newsies hats, us three included. The souvenir booth was also selling their version of the hats.
Honestly? We were BLOWN AWAY. We said, as well as everyone else around us, that this was an amazing production. All the favorite characters were there, every memorable song, and most of the witty one-liners from the movie were in there as well. Since it was a stage production, some things were definitely edited and changed around a bit but it was pretty much perfect. The changes made didn't take away anything.
Jeremy Jordan, who plays Jack Kelly, is absolutely amazing. During his performance of Santa Fe right before the intermission, I heard multiple audience members around me just say a simple 'Woah' or 'Wow' multiple times. At the end of the song Stephen just looked at me and at a loss for words, each said 'Holy crap!' (Yes, eloquent, I know)
The group dance numbers were all spot on as well and got the audience cheering and clapping throughout most of them.
I can only imagine how much more amazing this show can be on a Broadway stage with some Disney Broadway money thrown into the mix, along with a dozen or two extra Newsies on stage.
|Yes, we're all wearing newsies caps!|
No photos were allowed during the show so here's a few videos that they have released to give you guys a taste... (sorry if some have advertisements prior to the real video starting) You'll see bits and pieces of Jeremy Jordan singing Santa Fe within these videos. Just seeing how great he is in rehearsal, just imagine in real life!
If there is ANY way that you guys can rush down to Paper Mill before October 16th, DO IT! The 16th is the final performance but I'm crossing my fingers that this isn't the last we hear of Newsies!
Umm...and yes, we're going again this Friday on closing weekend to see it again....