Disney’s “Newsies” visited the Denver Ellie Caulkins Opera House on a wave of excitement and passion. With songs composed by Alan Menken, who also wrote for such landmarks as, “The Little Mermaid,” and, “Aladdin,” the show emblazoned headlines everywhere from March 23rd to April 9th .
Based on a 1992 movie starring Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, and Robert Duvall, the show takes place in the down-and-dirty late 19th century, during the New York City paperboy strike.
Jack Kelly, a passionately outspoken newsie, is outraged by rising prices of the papers that he and his brothers already struggle to sell. In his exasperation, Kelly drives dozens of other newsies to rebel against the most powerful man in New York city – the owner of the newspaper stands, Joseph Pulitzer – and in turn looks to unionize.
The movie did not take well with audiences at first. It lived in theaters for only a few weeks, and received many negative reviews that shook its otherwise strong Disney foundation. However, very recently Broadway has revived it, and popularity for the show has soared.
The story itself is riveting. While Disney has been known to not be entirely groundbreaking in the recent years, no one can argue that their projects through the 1980s and 90s still reside in the Hollywood Hall of Fame.
The music was not altogether original, but the songs find their way deep into your memory. However, the songs were likeable and drove home the theme of the show itself.
The characters by far were the highlight of the show. From the hilariously egotistical and charming Jack to the wild and ambitious female writer Katherine, the character development was unparalleled and the chemistry between actors was palpable.
Overall, the show was an instant hit. Watching it, one was transported directly into the story of these impressive characters, and it was easy to find yourself cheering at the high points, and crying out at the low.
The actors who played Jack and Katherine are fresh in the theater business, but without learning otherwise, it was nearly impossible to tell. Overall, it was a job well done by this cast of young blood.