Reviewed by Kevin Pollack
Marking rave reviews all over Broadway, NEWSIES has finally come to Chicago for a limited stay. From what I’ve heard so far, previews have been running fierce and now it is opening night, the night which all actors look forward to; especially since the critics are out, and family members.
As I sat in my seat at the Oriental Theatre, I noticed the gigantic set on the stage. Having seen this movie as a kid and now being one of my favorite movies of all time, I was very curious how the show will turn out on stage; with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by Harvey Fierstein, choreography by Christopher Gattelli and directed by Jeff Calhoun, I knew I was in for a treat.
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, NEWSIES is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.
Leading the sensational cast are Dan DeLuca as Jack Kelly, Stephanie Styles as Katherine, Angela Grovey as Medda and Steve Blanchard as Joseph Pulitzer. I will tell you right now, the choreography is stunning. I haven’t seen great dancing like this since West Side Story!
Highlight numbers include “Carrying the Banner,” sung by the Newsies, “That’s Rich,” a new funny song sung by Medda, “The World Will Know,” “Watch What Happens,” sung by the hysterical Katherine, “Something to Believe In,” a new duet sung by Katherine and Jack, the crazy tap tancing number “King of New York” and “Santa Fe,” phenomenally sung by Dan DeLuca.
I know people that have seen this on Broadway and also seen this touring production and they told me it was just as good. Having seen this for the very first time, I was in tears. Not only was this an amazing production, but it is one of the best shows I have ever seen. The timing was right, the orchestra was spectacular, the sets by Tobin Ost were great, the costumes by Jess Goldstein were perfect and the actors were all remarkable.