Jack Kelly (Joey Barreiro) and Crutchie (Andy Richardson) open the musical on the rooftop of a dilapidated building as dawn breaks and they ready to hit the streets selling newspapers. Jack shares his dreams for the future through the song “Santa Fe.” Richardson compliments Barreiro’s voice nicely with a rich tone that is deep and emotional and, though he offers a solo in Act II, it does not fully showcase his talent and he leaves us wanting more.
Tobin Ost’s set design and visual backdrop are eloquent of the era and area and the art within the design is creative and well executed.
Jess Goldstein’s costume design is right on the money for the era, however, it is a challenge to distinguish many of the characters from scene to scene as they all look so similar.
Theatre owner Medda Larkin (Aisha de Haas) gives Jack a helping hand and a job painting stage backdrops. In another scene Jack draws a portrait of Katherine (Morgan Keene) reviewing a show. Much is made of Jack’s artistic talent but this story thread culminates in a ‘suggestion’ that is so short, fast, and improbable that it feels underdeveloped.
Story flow and believability are challenges at the best of times. When the Newsies initially strike, Katherine covers the event for the local paper. When the Newsies get wind of this they are excited that they will be front-page news. Front-page news in a paper no one will read because the Newsies are on strike (I’m being picky).
With all that said, Andrew Wilson and Christopher Gattelli do an amazing job with the dances and choreography, which is clearly the crowd pleaser of the show. The cast executes the moves, flips, spins, and jumps with expert precision and a palpable enthusiasm. The tap dance scene at the top of Act II pulled everyone, especially the kids, up in their seats. Though the sound projection is a little intense at times, the songs are great and the cast dedicated. The dance sequence from the final scene into the bows and exits is a fantastic way to end the show and well worth the wait.
NEWSIES is a fun, high-energy show with a good story. A show for the whole family. (recommended 10 years old and up) Click HERE for tickets.