Review Roundup: DISNEY'S NEWSIES at Orlando Repertory Theatre
Based on true events, NEWSIES follows Jack Kelly and his gang of newsboys as they fight for their rights during the the Newsboys Strike of 1899. When publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises the prices of papers at the newsboys' expense, Jack and his friends fight back with help of a spunky, upstart reporter Katherine Plumber. Together they find out what can happen when you stand up for what you believe in!
The show stars Anthony Pyatt, Jr. as Jack Kelly, Meredith Pughe as Katherine Plumber, Daniel Tracht as Davey, Dustin Batchelor as Crutchie, Camila Camilo as Medda Larkin, and Ralph Daniel as Joseph Pulitzer. The show also features Kory Adams, Bob Bradenburg, Colby Connor, Giancarlos Coris, Ryan Corridoni, A.J. DeLeon, Damon Dennin, Cameron Elliott, Alyssa Flowers, Brady Foley, Michael Lopez, Jeremy Marchena, Justin Mousseau, Hannah Beth Neal, Stephen Pugh, Dustin Russell, Frank Siano, Erick Sureda, and Joel Swanson.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Matthew J. Palm, The Orlando Sentinel: Director Steve Mackinnon has found actors who wholeheartedly bring their characters to life: Dustin Batchelor's earnest Crutchie, Ralph Prentice Daniel's slimy Joseph Pulitzer, but most crucially: J. Anthony Pyatt Jr.'s Jack, the scrappy yet sensitive newsboy who starts a revolution. Pyatt's singing voice, while not the purest, suits this streetwise character just fine. Pyatt makes Jack just cocky enough, and he's captivating as all get-out.
Kristy Johnson, BroadwayWorld: As per standard with a show like "Newsies", the ensemble makes or breaks the show: With the Orlando REP's production, audiences won't be able to help falling in love with every single scrappy Newsie. Standouts included Cameron Elliott's 'Race', who managed to pull laughs out of the kids and adults alike; and Erick Ariel Sureda, who's energy as 'Romeo' never dropped below 100%. The combination of J. Anthony Pyatt Jr.'s quick, confident 'Jack Kelly' as the leader of the pack and Daniel Tracht's 'Davey' as the brainy sidekick is a winner.
Photo: Ashley Willsey & Elina Moon