Music by Alan Menkin
Lyrics by Jack Feldman
Book by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Jeff Calhoun
Here at we have a special fondness for Jeff Calhoun, director of "Newsies." Jeff directed and choreographed the revival of Broadway's "Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" which opened on Broadway on July 24, 2003. This production, staged by the and , was notable in that it featured both and hearing actors performing together. Deaf West Theatre being a local theatre in the NoHo Arts District, made an entire arts community feel that they too made it to Broadway! Applauds to Jeff Calhoun!
On this opening night of “Newsies” I was accompanied by Nancy Bianconi, publisher of , and although she was excited to see one of her favorite musicals, she was a little concerned that after seeing "Newsies" on Broadway…twice…seeing it performed by a touring company might be a bit disappointing. However, her fears soon vanished as the show began and her joyful screams of “Bravo” rang throughout the entire show. Afterwards she confided, "After 40 years, "West Side Story" has now been replaced by "Newsies" as my favorite musical.”
The story is pretty simple, a group of ‘Newsies,’ the young boys who sell the newspapers on the streets for the huge companies that produce them, and who are paid only pennies for every sale, band together to protest the reduction in their pay, and form a union, kicking off the labor revolution and the beginnings of the child exploitation laws in the U.S. So it’s a compelling and riveting plot, filled with poignant and heartbreaking moments and roof raising numbers. The dancing is explosive and acrobatic, bursting with energy with intricate and mind boggling routines, and performed by some of the most exciting and versatile dancers to have graced the Pantages stage.
If you love dance, this is a show that simply cannot be missed.
“Newsies” also has some lovely and beautifully performed songs and some great fun with famous characters of the times, like Theodore Rosevelt. But it's at its heart a spectacular and hugely enjoyable dance extravaganza of a show.
The set is remarkable, and brilliantly engineered, making a gorgeous presentation of the mechanics of the age in which the show is set. New York was exploding in every direction at the time with buildings and bridges and towers scraping the sky. I loved how that was incorporated into the heart of the show.
It’s also important to mention that this is exactly the kind of show you could bring your children to, in fact I saw quite a few in the audience and they were all beaming with delight, some even dressed up as ‘Newsies,’ which was adorable. But isn’t it wonderful when you can bring your entire family to the theatre, and not kicking and screaming!?
As usual The Pantages Theatre itself plays its reliably magical role in the evening’s entertainment. It’s such a beautiful theatre and really makes every show shine all the more brightly.
So I highly recommend “Newsies” at The Pantages Theatre Hollywood. The Broadway touring company, chock full of original cast members, is only there for a short while before it moves on across the country, so don’t dawdle!!!
“Newsies” - only 7 performances!!!
August 31st - September 4th
The Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028