In the Spotlight: “Newsies”


Courtesy of the Paramount Theatre

By Sara Hursey

As I took my seat in the theater, I was filled with a buzz of excitement. I had been looking forward to seeing this musical for a long time, and the day had finally come. “Newsies” was at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, and I asked my grandparents to see it as soon as I found out.

Disney’s “Newsies” tells a dramatized version of the Newsboy Strike of 1899, and is based on the 1992 movie of the same name. In “Newsies,” a group of Manhattan newsboys plan a strike when they are forced to sell more papers to make the same profit. The production I saw was directed by Jim Corti, and has music written by Alan Menken, who also wrote the music for “The Little Mermaid” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

A highlight of the show is the impressive singing and dancing of the newsboy ensemble. They are featured in half a dozen full out dance numbers filled with great harmonies and heart.
My favorite songs include “The World Will Know,” “Carrying the Banner,” and “Watch What Happens.” These songs are mood-lifters and are inspiring when you are having a rough day.

In both the Broadway production, and the production staged at the Paramount, the set design enhanced “Newsies” even more. The Paramount had a few large buildings on their stage. At first, I could not tell if they were painted or practical, but when the newsies started dancing and climbing all over them, I was amazed at the attention to detail the background contained.

“Newsies” has the classic feel of Broadway, and it includes a tap number to round it out. “King of New York” gives the audience a feeling of hope. It is so much fun to watch, as it is clear that the cast is enjoying themselves while dancing their hearts out.

If this show sparks your interest, I have good news! On Disney+, there is a recording of the Broadway production. “Newsies” is a feel good show that is empowering with a great message. Its energy is contagious, and the songs will stick with you. If you need a pick-me-up, give “Newsies” a try! You won’t regret it.

Click the following link to access the “Newsies” Broadway trailer: