Jack Kelly and the boys bring their A game to Seattle for a one week production
When I heard the NEWSIES production was making a stop in Seattle, I nearly shit the bed. Arguably the only early 90s musical worth watching outside of the Disney Renaissance, this was the kitchy soundtrack of my childhood (next to Big Willie Style and Killing Me Softly of course). I’m 95% sure my mom played Seize the Day and Carrying the Banner to try and trick us into doing chores or planting the seed that an after school job might be fun when we grew older – fleeting ideas that went in one ear and out the other. Anyway, I dusted off my iPod in preparation for this event, and let me tell you none of the lively songs were missing from this production and there’s no denying Joey Barreiro, who plays leader of the pack Jack Kelly, really is the King of New York with that charming accent.
Spoiler alert for movie fans – there was no Christian Bale sightings. And Crutchie and Medda stole the show. The underlying story of the social class divide and underpaid and overworked youth rang out loud and clear (although did the lack of diversity in casting surprise anyone else?). The ensemble did not dissappoint, tirelessly performed set after set, number after number. I was wondering when they were going to utilize ‘the pape’ as a dance prop and found the symbolism of stomping around on it and throwing it into the crowd absolutely spot on. There’s a reason this Broadway production broke several records as the highest grossing show in the 2011-12 season at over $100M, with a cult-like following that fought to expand the 101 planned performances that year to 1,005. Don’t miss out on attending one of the showings this week – you’ll leave feeling reenergized and inspired to buy your boyfriend a pair of suspenders and one of those trendy paperboy caps.