Based on the 1992 film, that is based on the 1899 New York newsboys strike, Disney’s Newsies delivered a very powerful and dynamic show, living up to its hype when it premiered at the Papermill Playhouse and eventually transferring to Broadway, initially as a limited engagement run then turning into an open ended one. It has now shuttered on Broadway, however, continues to delight audience across North America, including this performance at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Offering a mix of traditional and modern that appeals to a vast audience, Newsies is a family-friendly show that hybrids the choreography stylings of West Side Story, the revolution-theme drama of Les Miserables, the gritty look of Rent, and the wholesomeness of Annie.
Alan Menken’s music was truly catchy, and the show stopping performances of leads Joey Barreiro (Jack Kelly), Morgan Keene (Katherine Plumber), and Aisha de Haas (Medda Larkin) were enhanced by probably the true star of the show – the breathtaking choreography by Christopher Gattelli, who won a Tony for Best Choreography in 2012.
Although Newsies will conclude its tour in October 2016, I am anticipating this to become a regional and school production favorite, and should be playing different incarnations in years to come, however, if you are able to catch this Jeff Calhoun version which is in its true form, head over to the remaining cities!