Westchester Broadway Theatre's NEWSIES

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 By: Camille Kaiser Source: The Cue

The WBT’s current offering is the energetic production of Newsies, based on the 1992 Disney film. The show relies heavily on male dancers and this production delivers. The ensemble numbers are infectious and raise the roof on the theatre. With a score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, the tunes are catchy with clever lyrics that keep the action moving forward.

Newspaper delivery boy, Jack Kelly was played by Daniel Scott Walton, who demonstrates a natural comfort on stage. Kelly tells his friend and fellow newsie, Crutchie (Patrick Tombs), of his dream to one day leave New York for Santa Fe in order to make more money. While Jack is not homeless, he is working to help support his family and lives with his less fortunate and disabled fellow “newsies,” many of whom are orphaned and homeless.

As the sun rises, the newsies awaken and prepare for another day on the job with the well executed number, “Carrying the Banner.” While buying their supply of papers to sell, Jack meets Davey (Alec Cohen) and his little brother, Les (Benjamin Wohl). Unlike the rest of the newsies, Davey and Les have a home and a family. They started work as newsies because their father suffered an accident at work resulting in the termination of his employment. Seeing young Les as an opportunity to sell more papers, Jack offers to help the boys. Meanwhile, the publisher of the New York World (Stuart Marland) increases the cost of the newspapers to the delivery boys, so as to outsell his competitors (“The Bottom Line”).

While trying to escape the corrupt police, Jack and Crutchie end up in Medda’s (Galyana Castilo) Theatre where she sings “That’s Rich” and Jack and the bowery beauties sing “I Never Planned on You” and “Don’t Come a-Knocking”. A news reporter, Katherine (Mary Beth Donohue) thought Jack was a thief but then he turns on the charm and she discovers that Jack is stealing food to give to the poor, which leads her to fall in love with him – together they have undeniable chemistry. Their roof top duet “Something to Believe In” is outstanding. The Newsies, a predominantly male ensemble are believable in their roles, give energetic and precise dance performances especially in “The World Will Know”, “Seize the Day” and “King of New York”.

Directed by Mark Martino with choreography by Shea Sullivan. Set design by Steve Loftus and lighting design by Andrew Moser is simple and effective. Costuming by Keith Nielson is appropriate as is hair design by Gerard Kelly.

Performances continue through May 26. Don’t miss this fun and family appropriate production.