Newsies is part Oliver! (orphan boys living on the street), part West Side Story (street fighting/dancing), part Annie (a love of NYC and an appearance by a Roosevelt), and even part RENT (dreaming of leaving NYC for Santa Fe, hanging out at a cafe where they can't afford to buy anything). And it's also all Disney, i.e., predictably pleasant. Of course the charming young hero Jack and his band of boys are going to succeed in overthrowing media giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, with the help of Governor Teddy Roosevelt, natch. And of course Jack is going to fall in love with the plucky reporter (is there any other kind?) Katherine.* But it's all quite fun, with an inspirational story to boot, and provides the framework for some great musical and choreographical moments.
|Jack (Aleks Knezevich) leads the newsboys (photo by Rich Ryan)|
|Katherine (Ruthanne Heyward) and the boys (photo by Rich Ryan)|
|the cast of Newsies on the bridge (photo by Rich Ryan)|
|the cast of Newsies flying high (photo by Rich Ryan)|
This Newsies is a big, bold, energetic, rousing regional premiere of a successful recent Broadway hit, and definitely worth the drive to the Western suburbs. Only in Chanhassen does the Minnesota summer last from March to September, so you have plenty of time to take in this year's summer blockbuster musical hit (click here for info and tickets). And mark your calendar now for another regional premiere this fall/winter - Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn!
|as seen at Ellis Island|
*Plot summary borrowed from what I wrote about the Broadway tour a few years ago.
This article also appears on Broadway World Minneapolis.