Disney's NEWSIES Takes The CRT Stage By Storm

Disney's NEWSIES Takes The CRT Stage By StormCortland Repertory Theatre invites audiences to "seize the day" with their next high-energy summer production: the hit stage version of Disney's movie musical "Newsies"! This exciting musical has music written by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Fierstein, and is based on the film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. Performances of CRT's production will be held at the Little York Pavilion in Preble, and run from July 11 - 28 with evening show times at 7:30. Matinees are available on July 13, 15, 18, 22, and 25 at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or by visiting the CRT Box Office at 24 Port Watson Street in downtown Cortland. Tickets are also available for sale 24 hours a day through the CRT website at www.cortlandrep.org, using the online service ETix. CRT cautions that this is the only approved online ticket service; other online sites charge significantly higher rates for tickets and are NOT approved by CRT.

This family-friendly inspiring musical, based on actual events, takes place in New York City in 1899. Jack Kelly and his ragtag team of newsboys make a meager living selling newspapers on the city streets. But when the prices of "papes" are hiked and the Newsies are hung out to dry, there is nothing left to do but "open the gates and seize the day!" The Newsies organize a strike against Joseph Pulitzer, the greedy publisher of the New York World. But can a group of idealistic newsboys win against such a powerful foe? With incredible dancing and catchy songs, this musical is a treat for the whole family!

Newsies is directed by Mark Reynolds, who helmed last summer's record breaking production of Footloose. Prior to that, he directed CRT's The Kitchen Witches and the children's shows The Velveteen Rabbit, Pinocchio and this year's Dorothy Meets Alice. Reynolds is also a frequent director at SUNY Cortland; his work has been seen in Top Girls, Sunday in the Park with George, The Glass Menagerie and others. Matt Couvillon returns for a third year as choreographer, previously having worked on La Cage Aux Folles, Life Could Be a Dream and A Chorus Line. Music director Joel Gelpe also returns having worked on numerous CRT shows including 1776, A Chorus Line, La Cage Aux Folles, 1940's Radio Hour and others.

Making their CRT debuts are Zack Zaromatidis as the Newsies leader Jack Kelly and Katie Luke as reporter Katherine Plumber, who has her own reasons for helping organize the strike. Numerous actors who appeared in CRT's production Saturday Night Fever are also in the cast, including Woody Minshew as Joseph Pulitzer, Kennedy Salters as Medda Larkin, a theatre owner who helps Jack, Kyle Kniseley as the workhouse warden Snyder and Braden Phillips as Davey, a boy new to selling papes. Some Newsies are played by CRT's Performing Interns including Ian Dominguez Ball as Albert, John Cavaseno as Spot, Camden Garcia as Crutchie, Christian Henry as Romeo and Jacob Smith as Finch. Other newsie dancers include Adam Flagella as Henry, William Patrick Rivera as Race, and Jon Yepez as Specs. Young local talent also appear including Jack Duranceau as Davey's younger brother Les, along with Adam Ackerman as Tommy Boy, Jack Cecere as Sniper, Seamus Gailor as Mush, Jason Gore as Elmer, and Abby McGrath as Buttons.

Also making their CRT debut are Sean Amato and Jordan Schroeder as the bullying brothers Morris and Oscar Delancy, along with Michael Antico as Wiesel, the "bad guy" newspaper distributor. Rob Lescarbeau plays Pulitzer's editor Seitz, with CRT Performing Interns Jahmar R. Ortiz as his bookkeeper Bunsen and Victoria Madden as his secretary Hannah. CRT's Technical Director Dana White Jr. makes a special appearance as Governor Teddy Roosevelt. The cast is completed by CRT's two remaining interns, Stephanie Garofalo and Amanda Walker as Bowery Beauties.

Stage Manager Caroline Gully Brown heads the production and design team. The scenic design is handled by frequent CRT designer Shelley Barish and continuing their work this season are Costume Designer Jimmy Johansmeyer, Lighting Designer Eric Behnke, Props Designer Andrew Carney and Sound Designer Seth Asa Sengel.

CRT continues "Friday Night Talk Backs" at which a Q & A session with the actors, designers and crew takes place after select Friday evening performances. Tickets are also on sale for the remaining productions in CRT's season, including Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning Our Town, plus Women in Jeopardy!, The Rat Pack Lounge and the children's show Dorothy Meets Alice.

Photo Credit: Eric Behnke

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