The high-octane First National Tour of Disney’s sensational 2012 Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical, Newsies, roared into the Durham Performing Arts Center, hitting on all cylinders, thanks to the dynamic direction of Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun and the combustible choreography of Tony winner Christopher Gattelli, whose exuberant dance numbers are poetry in motion. In newspaper parlance, Newsies delivers! Its “wow factor” is second only to that of the spectacular tour of 2013 Broadway Revival Pippin, with spectacular high-flying acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts de la Main, which rocketed DPAC patrons to their feet after each and every performance May 12-17 like they were launched from Cape Canaveral.
A new-and-improved version of the 1992 Disney movie musical, which dramatized the 1899 New York City newspaper strike, this touring version of Newsies stars the charismatic Dan DeLuca as plucky New York newspaper delivery boy (i.e., “newsie”) Jack Kelly, who organizes the ragamuffin newsboys of lower Manhattan to strike against a capricious price increase by greedy New York World publisher Joseph Pulitzer (played with panache and a knowing wink by a wonderful Steve Blanchard). Stephanie Styles is a delight as New York Sun cub reporter and proto-feminist Katherine Plumber, struggling to gain respect from her male chauvinist superiors while not-so-secretly sympathizing with the ragtag band of newsboys who support themselves and their families by peddling “papes” to passers-by on the streets of Manhattan.
Other performers of note include Jacob Kemp, who plays novice newsboy Davey Jacobs; spunky Anthony Rosenthal, who alternates with Vincent Crocilla in the role Davey’s precocious little brother Les; Zachary Sayle, whose pitiful plight as Jack’s gimpy pal Crutchie tugs at the audience’s heartstrings; and Kevin Carolan, who regally portrays jocular but sometimes imperious New York Governor Teddy Roosevelt. But it is Angela Grovey as the flamboyant vaudeville theater owner, friend to future President Roosevelt, and newsboy strike sympathizer Medda Larkin, who makes the most indelible impression as she belts her signature song, “That’s Rich,” and sashays through the action.
Scenic designer Tobin Ost’s soaring set — three ingenious movable multilevel square steel towers, with interior stairwells and exterior scrims that can be lowered like lampshades to provide projection screens for vintage photos and other scene-setting illustrations, the terrific turn-of-the-century outfits by costume designer Jess Goldstein, and vivacious musical staging help make Newsies look like a million bucks. But it is the animated live orchestra, conducted by James Dodgson, which is the cherry on top of this delicious musical Sundae.
“Seize the day!” Buy your tickets NOW … before the show sells out!
SECOND OPINION: June 4th Raleigh, NC BroadwayWorld.com Raleigh review by Jeffrey Karasarides: http://www.broadwayworld.com/raleigh/article/BWW-Reviews-NEWSIES-National-Tour-at-Durham-Performing-Arts-Center-20150604 and May 26th preview by Jeffrey Karasarides: http://www.broadwayworld.com/raleigh/article/BWW-TV-Meet-the-Creative-Team-Behind-NEWSIES-20150526; June 3rd Durham, NC Herald-Sun review by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/showcase/x219733082/REVIEW-Extra-Extra-Newsies-is-great and May 28th preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/lifestyles/entertainment/x219731195/-NEWSIES-AT-DPAC-Jacob-Kemp-in-musical-about-1899-newsboys-strike (Note: You must subscribe to read this article); June 3rd Burlington, NC Times-News review by Rachel Teseneer for “Teens & Twenties”: http://teensandtwenties.com/newsies-excels-on-all-levels/ and May 27th preview by Rachel Teseneer for “Teens & Twenties”: http://teensandtwenties.com/actor-enjoy-his-role-in-disneys-newsies/; and May 29th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Roy C. Dicks: http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article22610694.html. (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the June 2nd Triangle Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2015/06/stop-the-presses-disneys-newsies-blows-into-dpac-on-june-2nd-for-eight-exuberant-performances/.)
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents Disney’s NEWSIES at 7:30 p.m. June 4, 8 p.m. June 5, 2 and 8 p.m. June 6, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. June 7 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.
TICKETS: $46.54-$173.39 (including fees). Click here for DPAC Special Offers.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1984863.
GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.DPACnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RInfxt21PDY.
THE TOUR: http://www.newsiesthemusical.com/.
TOUR CAST: http://www.newsiesthemusical.com/cast.
CREATIVE TEAM: http://www.newsiesthemusical.com/cast/_creative_team.
STUDY GUIDE: http://newsiesthemusical.com/pdf/NewsiesStudyGuide.pdf.
DPAC‘S SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: http://www.DPACnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series-2014-15/tickets-to-individual-shows.
NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 8 p.m. Friday, June 5th, performance.
DPAC AGE RESTRICTION (Kids at DPAC): “All guests require a ticket, regardless of age. Children under the age of 6 will not be admitted to the theater. Children must be able to sit quietly in their own seat without disturbing other guests. As a further courtesy to our guests, DPAC recommends one parent or chaperone for every one child in attendance.”
Newsies (1992 movie musical): http://movies.disney.com/newsies (official website), http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/21492/Newsies/ (Turner Classic Movies page), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104990/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsies (Wikipedia).
Newsies (2011 Paper Mill Playhouse and 2012 Broadway musical): http://www.newsiesthemusical.com/ (official website), http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000427 (Music Theatre International), http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?id=491209 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/Newsies (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/Newsies (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsies_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia.org).
Alan Menken (music): http://www.alanmenken.com/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=12135 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/AlanMenkenStudio (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/aimenken (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Menken (Wikipedia).
Jack Feldman (lyrics): http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=79622 (Internet Broadway Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Feldman_%28songwriter%29 (Wikipedia).
Harvey Fierstein (book): http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=6157 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/harvey.fierstein (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/harveyfierstein (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Fierstein (Wikipedia).
Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail email@example.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)