I love a good underdog story and Disney’s Newsies is such a story. When the original movie was released in 1992 it met with terrible reviews (including razzie awards) and a poor box office. I as an 11 year always enjoyed it (I remember going to the theater and getting an actual Newsies newspaper with our ticket!). Then in 2012 Disney brought back together the team including Alan Menken and reworked the film for Broadway and it was a great success! It went from razzies to Tony Awards and made Jeremy Jordan a Broadway star. As a fan of the movie I was thrilled to see this all take place.
Now we have a new production at Centerpoint Legacy Theater in Bountiful and after an outstanding production of Music Man the folks at CPT crush it once again. They never fail to put on Broadway level quality shows that excel in every way from sets to costumes to performers.
For the MWF show I attended we had Matt Taylor as Jack Kelly and Jordan Peterson as Katherine Plumber. They had great chemistry together and did a wonderful job with all their scenes. Rick Murdock is appropriately stodgy as Joseph Pulitzer and Brandon Smith is very likable as Crutchie.
As you can see from the trailer above the dancing is the real standout of this show. I am always amazed at the way talented people can sing and dance at the same time and make it all seem effortless. I can sing decently but not dance and especially not both together! The highlight is a clogging sequence that uses the newspapers as the floor. It’s mesmerizing.
Going all the way back to the movie, the story of Newsies is very engaging. It’s exciting to see these young men gather and fight for their rights against Pulitzer. I think it would be a great way to talk about labor unions and the importance of workers rights with kids to take them to this show. The reworked Broadway version takes away most of the cringy parts of the movie and uses the adult characters to a minimum. This makes it work much better.
If you have a chance to see Newsies at Centerpoint Legacy Theater in Bountiful (It plays through July 19th) I highly recommend. Also cheers out to my friend Camille who does an amazing job on the sound crew.
8 out of 10
Here is my review of the movie for Family Movie Night