Review: Town Hall's NEWSIES is Striking

now through December 30

By: Dec. 16, 2022

Review: Town Hall's NEWSIES is Striking If you're a millenial like me, Newsies is one of those musicals that made you wait a pretty long time for a stage adaptation...but man was it worth it.

Based on the 1992 Disney movie-musical, Disney's Newsies finally made its way to a Broadway stage adaption a couple decades later in 2012, where it won a Tony Award for Best Original Score.

The show follows the true story of the Newsboys' Strike of 1899, when newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer raised the price of his papers 10 cents per 100, causing the newsies to work a little harder just to break even.

Review: Town Hall's NEWSIES is Striking In the musical, the strike is led by Jack Kelly (a feisty and perfectly cast Elton J. Tanega), an older newsie who teams up with newbie newsie Davey (Camden Deal) and his little sister Les (Macaelle "Mac" Vasquez at this performance) to lead a revolt with the rest of the New York newsies. They're assisted by journalist Katherine Plumber (Kelly Maur) and Medda Larkin (Rajdulari), who owns a vaudeville theatre.

Review: Town Hall's NEWSIES is Striking The cast is an overall delight, also featuring great performances from Kong Vang as Crutchie and Eric Fry as Pulitzer. What's neat about the Town Hall production, directed by Steve Wilson, is the cast of Newsies features both boys and girls, which is more historically accurate to the children who participated in the real strike.

Most professional productions stick with a cast of all boys for their newsies. The expansion of genders allowed the show to explore some deeper insight into the vigor of young females in the workplace at the time.

Review: Town Hall's NEWSIES is Striking Choreography by Debbie and Ronni Stark is electric and a thrill to watch, seeing young actors do all sorts of tricks and while passionately hitting their marks. (Bonus high five to Jasmyne Pierce and her backflips).

The show is at its strongest with the music of Alan Menken (whom you may know from other Disney musicals like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid) with lyrics by Jack Feldman. The movie score remains fairly intact aside from a few lyrical changes and a few additional character songs. The book was adapted for the stage by Harvey Fierstein.

Disney's Newsies runs at Town Hall Arts Center through December 30. At the time of publication, the production is sold out. For more information, contact the box office.

Photos by RDG Photography