Action, adventure is here with 'Newsies'

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Source: The Rye City Review

“Paper, Get your newspaper here”! This is what you would hear on the streets of NYC in the year 1899. It was the lifeline of young orphans and runaways to sell papers to survive. The days when kids would strap on a sack filled with newspapers and sell them for a nickel. “Newsies, The Broadway Musical” now playing at Westchester Broadway Theatre chronicles the real-life story about the Newsboys’ strike through a live action musical released by Walt Disney Studios in 1992.

The screenplay is written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. The musical score by Oscar-winning composer, Alan Menken and lyricist, Jack Feldman. Directed by Jeff Calhoun, “Newsies” opened at Nederlander Theatre in 2012 before the National Tour where it received numerous awards: 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Choreography by Christopher Gattelli and Best Original Score.

The historical backstory is inspirational, the music is well written and songs beautifully executed.

Each and every actor involved takes you back to the era with passion and talent. This action packed show keeps the audience on its toes. Shea Sullivan, the shows Choreographer created energetic athletic numbers with fast-paced acrobatic moves and tap that is on point! The tireless ensemble includes: Chris Cardelia, EJ Dohring, David Grindrod, Aliah James, Stephen C. Kallas, Kyle Laing, Holly Moss, Tyler Sparacio, Daxx Jayroe Wieser and Josh Zacher.

The Newsies charismatic leader, Jack Kelly is played effortlessly by Daniel Scott Walton. Walton catches your eye in the first scene with his buddy Crutchie played by Patrick Tombs. Tombs gets to show off his talents and voice in “Letter from the Refuge”.

Walton leads the Newsies in many song and dance numbers but his charm and chemistry shine through with Katherine Plumber (owner of the newspaper’s daughter) played by the sharp tongued Mary Beth Donahoe, who not only has a way with words but powerful songs. Walton and Donahue take down the house with, “Something to Believe In.”

Plumber makes her WBT debut along with powerhouse Galyana Castillo playing Medda Larkin. Unfortunately Castillo doesn’t have much stage time but leaves a lasting impression especially with her solo, “That’s Rich”.

The Newsies went against two major newspaper publications! Any strike instills arguments and problems, the neighborhood muscle in this production are the Delancey brothers played by Zeke Edmonds and TJ Kubler. Stuart Marland plays the proud Pulitzer, Alce Cohen as Davey, Bill Bateman as Bunsen, Bruce Crilly as Nunzio/Roosevelt, Stephanie Eve Parker as Buttons/Spot Conlon, Gary Lynch as Seitz/Snyder and triple threat, the talented Michael Gorman as Wiesel/Jacobi and the Mayor. The proudest and passionate “Newsie” on stage is young Benjamin Wohl as the adorable Les who didn’t miss a beat with all the dances and action.

The strike went on for two weeks and a compromise was met! It was one of the first times in history where children were involved and succeeded! “Newsies” recreates the past with timeless message of standing up for injustices in the world today.