BWW Review: NEWSIES at Fargo North High
Newsies at Fargo North High Theatre
If you need any more evidence that Newsies is popular just look around Fargo-Moorhead as 3 different productions of the show are being put on this year. What I love about our local theatre community is that you can watch multiple productions of the same show and each school puts their own special touches into the shows. Fargo North High and directors Tom & Rachel Gillen are the next to tackle this show and they did not disappoint. Led by a 22 member pit orchestra directed by Greg Schultz to get the music flowing. I assume most are familiar with the story, but just in case Newsies is based on the real life newsboy strike in New York in 1899.
Some of the big numbers that stood out. One of the first big group number was Carrying the Banner, this catchy tune will have you singing along even if you don't know the words. Another standout out from Act I was Seize The Day which was my favorite dance number from the show.
Dexter Conlin as Jack Kelly was definitely the right choice to play the leader of the Newsies. I recently saw Dexter this past summer as Cornelius in the Trollwood production of Hello Dolly. Conlin was great as Kelly. He can do it all from the acting & singing to the dancing. He really stood out on Santa Fe The World Will Know and Once and For All. Always enjoyable to see him on stage.
Paul Meidinger as Crutchie was very believable and his solo on Letter From The Refuge was superb.
Brandon Winkler as Davey and Josiah Gillen as his younger brother Les were both excellent in their roles. Winkler really stood out on The World Will Know, Seize the day and Watch What Happens. Gillen (6th grade) really held his own with the older high school kids. His singing, dancing, acting and especially his comedic timing were all great. This kid definitely has a future in theatre.
Emily Engebretson as Medda Larkin was able to show off her powerful voice in That's Rich and Audrey Haugen was wonderful as Katherine especially on Watch What Happens. I also really enjoyed Peter Qualey in his portrayal as Joseph Pulitzer.
This show and it's story are so important, especially in this day and age. You still have opportunities to see this show and I recommend that you do.