Theatre Review: ‘Newsies’

Newsies Review

As someone currently in the middle of a big song and dance show (SDMT’s 42nd Street), I absolutely loved the talent, incredible dancing and industrial style, New York set in Newsies, currently playing at the Civic Theatre in San Diego.

The musical is based on the 1992 film of the same name. That film starred a young Christian Bale and was (is) one of those movies that I would end up watching to the end whenever it was on TV. Both the film and stage show are inspired by the Newsboys Strike of 1899 where Newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer raised the price of a newsboy bundle of 100 papers from .50 cents to .60. The strike lasted two weeks and cause new circulation to plummet.

The story here follows Jack Kelly (Joey Barreiro) and his fellow newsboys who manage to make a small living selling papers on the streets of NYC. When Joseph Pulitzer (Steve Blanchard) raises the price for the bundles of papers, or ‘papes’ as the newsboys call it, they decide to strike and make their voices heard.

The story itself (the book is by Harvey Fierstein) is a bit flimsy but what makes the show so winning is the terrific cast, especially Barreiro and Blanchard. Barriero’s got a smooth voice, nice belt and flair for comedy. There’s a scene between him and Katherine (Morgan Keene), a reporter who helps spread the word of the strike, that’s particularly sweet and funny. Blanchard has a big, commanding voice and his Pulitzer shows levels that only a seasoned character-actor could pull off.

The dance numbers are terrific, especially the Act 2 opener which features some hardcore tap dancing.

Some of the songs, the music is by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, are forgettable, but with ‘Seize the Day’, ‘King of New York’, ‘Santa Fe’ and ‘The World Will Know’ it’s easy to come away humming and singing them all hours after the show has ended.

Newsies is currently playing at the Civic Theatre in downtown San Diego. For tickets and showtimes: Broadway San Diego.

Leave a Reply
‘Call Me By Your Name’ Star Timothée Chalamet: “What scares me is being boring”
"At a certain point I was able to come to grips with the idea to just 'be.'" - Timothée Chalamet
‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville: “It’s so easy to make someone bad look good on film. In theatre, there’s no hiding place”
"Filming is different. You’re getting a moment right. You can go in and create something very good, very quickly. That’s a different challenge to having five, six weeks to rehearse a play.” - Lesley Manville
Chadwick Boseman on ‘Black Panther’ and How He Refocused His Career
"As soon as I came to L.A., things immediately shifted for me." - Chadwick Boseman
Bernadette Peters on Returning to Broadway and Why She is Still Trying to Improve Her Craft
"You have to do your best to fulfill the role, not fulfill yourself" - Bernadette Peters
Ellen Pompeo: “Acting, to me, is boring”
"Anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that's a f*ckin' skill." - Ellen Pompeo