Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

Newsies Is Back at DPAC … and It’s Just as Good the Second Time Around

Joey Barreiro stars as newsboy-turned-strike leader Jack Kelly in Newsies (Disney© photo by Deen van Meer)

Joey Barreiro stars as newsboy-turned-strike leader Jack Kelly in Newsies (Disney© photo by Deen van Meer)

A little over a year ago, DPAC brought Disney’s Newsies to the Triangle. The show must have been pretty popular (our publication reviewed it favorably) since the theatre also opened its new season with an encore production. And, while much of the cast has changed, the perfect direction of Jeff Calhoun and the amazing, can’t-look-away choreography from Christopher Gattelli are still the same, which makes this show definitely worth a second watch!

For those who missed the show the first time-around, it’s a fun musical, with book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, based on the 1992 Disney film of the same name. Its story revolves around a group of down-on-their-luck paperboys in 1899 who decide to set out on a strike against the unfairly raised newspaper prices that are affecting their business.

Morgan Keene and Joey Barreiro star as Katherine and Jack Kelly (Disney© photo by Shane Gutierrez)

Morgan Keene and Joey Barreiro star as Katherine and Jack Kelly (Disney© photo by Shane Gutierrez)

The star of the “newsies gang” is young Jack Kelly (Joey Barreiro), the most outspoken paperboy and the most devoted to the cause of stopping unfair practices. Barreiro is fun and believable in the leading role, and he shares great chemistry with “Katherine” (Morgan Keene), a pretty reporter, with some secrets of her own, who he meets on his quest. Another standout is Turner Birthisel, who plays Les, the youngest (and most adorable!) paper-hawker in the crew. Birthisel brings a lot of fun, energy, and just plain cuteness to the role, making him fun to watch. Also, the always-talented Steve Blanchard gives a great reprisal in his role as the villainous but ultimately likeable Joseph Pulitzer,the man behind the raised paper prices.

And, while the actors are all well-cast, the real star here is Gattelli’s choreography. His “fusion-style” choreography, which features influences from a wide range of dance styles, is fast, eye-catching, daring, and just plain fun. Flips, spins, and all the things that make audiences go “wow” are a part of Gattelli’s choreography, and it’s truly something that has to be seen to be believed.

So, whether you saw it the first time around or not, the verdict is that Newsies is still awesome and definitely not something to miss!


The Durham Performing Arts Center presents Disney’s NEWSIES at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18, 8 p.m. Aug. 19, 2 and 8 p.m. Aug. 20, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.

TICKETS: $30-$90. Click here for DPAC Special Offers.


DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787),, or

Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or

GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587,, or

SHOW: and


THE TOUR: and–499537.








DPAC AGE RESTRICTION (Kids at DPAC): “Please note that all guests require a ticket, regardless of age. Children under the age of 6 are not allowed at this performance. 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): (official website), (Turner Classic Movies page), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

Newsies (2011 Paper Mill Playhouse and 2012 Broadway musical): (official website), (Music Theatre International), (Internet Broadway Database), (Facebook page), (Twitter page), and (Wikipedia).

Alan Menken (music): (official website), (Internet Broadway Database), (Facebook page), (Twitter page), and (Wikipedia).

Jack Feldman (lyrics): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

Harvey Fierstein (book): (Internet Broadway Database), (Facebook page), (Twitter page), and (Wikipedia).


Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click To read more of her writings, click and

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story, Reviews