For an exclusive three-day engagement last week, Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical! was shown in movie theaters across the country, visually presenting the audience with an up-close view of a live Broadway-style performance.
Newsies is about a young man named Jack Kelly who is the head of the newsboy group who buys newspapers from the paper’s manufacturers and re-sells them to the public. When the price of the newspapers goes up, the newsboys organize a citywide strike on every newspaper in town to demand the price to decrease to the original cost. The story of Newsies is based on the actual event of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in Brooklyn, New York, and was first adapted by Disney in 1992 into a theatrical movie starring Christian Bale. In 2012, Disney turned the movie into a Broadway musical, and then took that musical on tour across the country that even made a stop in Denver last year. Now, the live stage production has been captured on camera and gone back to the theatrical screen, bringing all the songs and dance numbers of Newsies for a new audience to enjoy.
The creative aspects of this show (the songs and dancing) are nothing short of remarkable. The talent and effort of all these performers comes out as they are flipping, tape dancing, and literally leaping from one side of the stage to the other. Each of the songs evokes every raw emotion of frustration and hope of this cast of characters, expressing not only that these characters are standing up for poor wages and better treatment, but they also stand up for the greater child labor issue that was underway during the start of the 20th century. There’s also supportive and empowering women characters who are just as big of an influence on the strike as the boys are.
To bring relevance of this musical to our community here at Regis, this story highlights the Jesuit value of contemplatives in action, which states we should not only recognize social problems in the world but take action to solve them. The newsboys and their supporters recognized the lack of representation in the chain of command and the injustice in child labor practices, and they all come together to form a union and go on strike in order for those injustices to be changed. While none of these ragtag newsboys have spirituality or faith to fall back on, they all share a familial bond with one another and that drives each of the boys to look inside themselves to stand up and speak out in a world that has suppressed them.
An encore showing of Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical! Will be shown in movie theaters on Saturday, March 4. To search for your nearest theater and find ticket information, go to www.fathomevents.com or www.newsiesthemusical.com.
Allison Upchurch Staff Reporter