DISNEY'S NEWSIES – THE BROADWAY MUSICALMusic by Alan Menken - Lyrics by Jack Feldman - Book by Harvey Fierstein
Based on the Disney Film “Newsies” written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White
Originally produced on Broad way by Disney Theatrical Productions
Family Music Theatre
Director - Dr. Sam Germany
Choreographer - Stacia Woodlan
Assistant Choreographer - Camille Russo
Technical Director - Dee Longino
Technical Assistant - Scott Hayes
Spotlight Operator - Laneah Cummins
CVC Technical Theatre Specialist - Michael Lyons
Stage Manager - David Johns
Assistant Stage Managers - Devynn Becerra & Melissa Waters
Set Construction Coordinator - Joel Keys
Costume Mistress - Rebekah Hendrick
Props Master - David Curry
FMT Technology Specialist - Michael Hayes
Social Media & Artistic Design Consultant - Sydney Cornelius
Sound Engineers - Aaron Anderson, Andrew Correa
FMT Photographer - Angela Germany Photography
Set Construction - The Cast & Volunteers
Painted Backdrops - Sydney Cornelius & Angela Germany
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Katherine Plumber – Abigail Holmes
Jack Kelly – Jacob Clinton
Crutchie – Mark-Andrew McMeans
Davey – Eli Lackey
Les – Conner Moss
Race – Chris Bullock
Finch – D’Aurus Poole
Albert – Christian Holmes
Romeo – Andre Williams
Mush – Cody Slusher
Specs – Joey Cryer
Henry – Ethan Snyder
Tommy Boy – Alex Bunger
Ike – Ethan Bishop
Buttons – Heather Howton
JoJo – Sara-Joe McMeans
Splasher – Isabel Trapp
Annie – Anna Baggs
Extra Roles (w/Doublings)
Oscar Delancey/Extra Newsies – Josh Butcher
Morris Delancey/Extra Newsie – Ethan Gebauer
Darcy/Extra Newsie/Goon – Chris Flach
Bill/Extra Newsie/Goon – Bruce Johnson
3 Scabs/Extra Newsies – Nahum Cummins, Benjamin Griesinger, & Peter Keyes
Cameraman/Extra Newsie – Ethan Thatcher
Spot Conlon/Headline Man/Goon – Jonathan Drake
Deli Waitress – Gillian Hayes
Adult Roles (w/Doublings)
Pulitzer/Goon – Samuel Germany
Wiesel/Stage Manager/Mayor – Michael Lyons
Seitz/Jacobi/Policeman – Ismael Ortega
Bunsen/Policeman – Paul McAndrew
Roosevelt/Nunzio/Goon – Michael Hayes
Snyder/Guard – Jeremy Hamilton
Medda Larkin/Nun – Sydney Cornelius
Hannah/Nun/Bowery Beauty – Camille Russo
Nun/Woman/Bowery Beauty – Shannon Allen-Schuetz
Nun/Bowery Beauty – Makenzie White
Nun/Bowery Beauty – Abigail Vinson
Piano/Conductor – Dr. Sam Germany
Trumpet – Pedro Maldonado
Reeds – Dennis Ingram
Trombone – William Balser
Guitar – Nicholas Smelser
Bass Guitar – Keith Smelser
Percussion – Jared Bacon
Keyboard 2 – Beth Thomas
Reviewed Performance: 10/13/2018
Reviewed by Chris Hauge, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Now that I have deployed the required cliché for a show based on the newspaper business to get your attention, it’s time to flesh out the body of this article and explain all the hoopla. First, I was unfamiliar with the company and it has been producing shows for 26 years. That has been the wonderful thing about this position. I am introduced to talent that has been thriving right under my nose. And what a wonderful way to be introduced to Family Music Theatre.
“Newsies-The Broadway Musical” is an adaptation of the 1992 film “Newsies”, starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall, Ann-Margret and directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega. The story is based on historical events in turn-of-the-Twentieth Century New York City. Incited by a raise in the cost paper carriers paid for the papers they sold, the newsies, primarily boys with some of them orphans and others helping to support their families, moved to form a union and strike against the newspaper companies. This pitted them against all the newspapers in the city, including those owned by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. The plot of the movie and the musical throws us into a David versus Goliath battle and makes it very clear who the audience should root for.
We are thrown onto the streets of old New York joining Jack Kelly (Jacob Clinton) and his disabled pal, Crutchie (Mark-Andrew McMeans) and their fellow newsies and they try to make a meager living selling ‘papes’ to the public. On our journey we meet aspiring journalist Katherine Plumber (Abigail Holmes) who helps publicize the plight of the paper carriers, provides a romantic interest for Jack, and ends up being a both a blessing and a curse to the cause (emphasis on blessing). Helping their family, Davey (Eli Lackey) and his brother, Les (Connor Moss), become newsies and become pupils of the super confident veteran, Jack. And there are the countless other paper carriers who find their wages in jeopardy from the rich and powerful. Will right overcome might? Will Jack and Katherine get together? Will all end happily?
While the answers to these questions are not hard to guess, Family Music Theatre makes the journey to the resolution fun and emotionally satisfying. The energy projected by every member of the cast is tremendous. There is a joy exuded that is wildly infectious. Dr. Sam Germany has assembled a wonderful cast and has paced the show beautifully. We feel the joy and the pain of these characters and, because the performing space at Cedar Valley Community College, puts the audience and the cast close together and we get swept up into the story.
The set is a series of scaffolding which allows multiple levels and allows us to easily travel through the world of the paper carriers. Using various set pieces, we go from newsies square to a Delicatessen to the gilded office of Joseph Pulitzer to a New York music hall with ease. My hat is off to the technical director, Dee Longino, Cedar Valley College theatre specialist, Michael Lyons, and set construction coordinator for the seamless integration of lights and set. It all adds an extra touch of magic to the proceedings.
An instrumental ensemble provides a strong background for the singing and choreography. Stacia Woodlan gives her cast dances that soar and at times seem to want to burst the boundaries of the theatre itself. Whether rallying the troops or providing a touching compliment to an intimate moment, Ms. Woodlan’s choreography is simply wonderful.
As leader of the strike, the character of Jack Kelly must have wagonloads of charisma and Jacob Clinton has that and a bit more to spare. He is a charming singer and when he begins to gather the newsies around him, his power is such that the audience wants to join him onstage to fight for the cause. Mr. Clinton shows us the emotional arc of his character with ease and grace and when his character is backed up against a wall we can feel his anguish and applaud his resolve. His roommate in his rooftop ‘penthouse’ is Crutchie, played with all the confidence in the world by Mark-Andrew McMeans. The part could dissolve into pathos, but Mr. McMeans gives his character grit and neither his bad leg nor his bleak circumstances will defeat him. He also provides a well-deserved come-uppance to one of the more despicable people in the play with swagger of someone who will always come out on top.
Abigail Holmes plays a part that could be the obligatory romantic interest, but she makes the character of Katherine so much more. With a lovely voice and great self-assurance, Ms. Holmes gives us a woman seeking to break free of societal restrictions. As a reporter she becomes the voice of the strikers and as an equal she comforts and encourages Jack. Ms. Holmes enters our hearts and stays there through the show.
As the newcomers to the world of paperboys, Eli Lackey and Conner Moss as Davey and Les, end up helping the cause. Mr. Lackey’s Davey ends up being the intellectual heart of the strike and provides the words Jack uses to inspire the others. Davey may not want the spotlight, but he has the resolve to see what has been started to its conclusion. Mr. Lackey sings very well and is especially stirring during the number “Seize the Day”. Mr. Moss is a natural comic actor and his Les is all angles and facial expressions. When he learns to harness all his potential, he will be a comic force to reckon with. Samuel Germany makes a wonderfully wicked Joseph Pulitzer and uses his voice as a subtle weapon with which to overcome his perceived foes.
And to all the actors of this show, I wish to express how much your joy and energy impressed me. You all got the chance to shine at various points of the night and none of you missed the chance to make the most of it. I am always amazed at the dedication and work that a cast expends to put on a show and you gave the audience and myself an unforgettable experience. Thank you for the joy and inspiration you give in this production.
So, stop the presses and put in the following headline. “Family Music Theatre scores big hit with “Newsies-The Broadway Musical”. Come one, come all!
Family Music Theatre
October 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, 2018
Fridays-Saturdays – 7:30PM, Saturday Matinees – 1:30PM
$8 Children (Ages 4-12), $10 Seniors (55+), $15 Adults, $10 Student Discount with ID
Cedar Valley College-Performance Hall
303 N. Dallas Ave, Lancaster, TX 75134
Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Cedar Valley College Cashier’s office Monday-Thursday 8:00AM – 7:00PM and Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM or by calling 972-860-2994
For more information please visit www.cedarvalleycollege.edu/fmt