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Have You Seen The NEWSIES?

7/27/18 Review of NC Theater's production of Disney's NEWSIES

Friday night, I had the pleasure of seeing Disney’s NEWSIES, the final production of NC Theatre’s 2017-2018 season. Based on the 1992 Disney film turned 2012 Broadway musical which in turn was inspired by the real life newsboys strike in 1899 New York City. The eponymous “Newsies” were orphaned boys that delivered the news of the world. They had to pay taxes to be able to sell the papers which they did for pennies. But when the heads of the newspapers became greedy and raised the taxes on the papers, the Newsies went on strike as they demanded a fair wage and a chance to lead a decent life. Street savvy strike organizer Jack Kelly falls for hardnosed reporter Katherine Plumber who supports his cause with headline stories in the paper. Their relationship is complicated when her father, publisher Joseph Pulitzer, authorizes harsh methods in order to quell the rebellion. Feeling betrayed, Jack leaves his job, home and newfound love for western lands. As with most works from Disney, the story has a happy ending, but you truly feel the emotions of hopefulness, love, anger and despair in the moment and there were times I believed the crowd might not go home with a feel good story. Never having seen any iteration of this show before, I was able to experience it from a newbie perspective.

Based off the previews I had read in advance of the show, the script has a plot that is more of a direct love story. A moving set of multiple parts is the stage on which the actors flawlessly navigate from one piece to another. The first act delves into the many nuances of labor strikes and unions while the second act with its inspired dance numbers, featuring various acrobatics and dazzling costume designs, climaxes to a fitting end. An affair the whole family could enjoy. Today is the final day to see NC Theater's production of Disney's NEWSIES. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts box office, online at https://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/369155/2485834 , or by phone at 919-831-6941.