Many moons ago, when I first started getting into musical theatre, I stayed up for the Tony Awards one year by constantly refreshing my timeline, hoping someone would upload the performances so I could watch Daniel Radcliffe and the company of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying perform. The Tony Awards are Broadway’s equivalent of the Oscars, so there I was up at stupid o’clock in the morning waiting for it. Along with the other nominees and performances, there was extra buzz about this Disney musical that was meant to be incredible. And once I saw the performance, I could see why the show was generating the hype. And I’ve been waiting and wanting to see this show since I watched the performance. (Five…. Long… Years…) And I was more than ecstatic when Disney announced they were bringing back some of the original cast to film the stage show for cinematic release.
*image from Google
Based on the 1992 Disney film The News Boys and inspired by the Newsboys Strike of 1899, the film follows Jack Kelly who leads a group of News Boys in a strike against Joseph Pulitzer the increase in price the boys have to pay in order to distribute the newspapers. With a cast lead by Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Ben Fankhauser & Andrew Keenan-Bolger and an incredible ensemble, there’s not one person on the stage who felt out of place in any way. The music by Alan Menken is beautiful and powerful and brings out the best of the cast. Especially Jeremy Jordan. We all know how I feel about Jeremy Jordan.(See here if you don’t.) It was an absolute dream to finally experience his performance. He’s my favourite singer and I had tears brimming when he closed Act 1 with Santa Fé, the emotion was heightened but at no point did it feel overdone or over the top. Same goes for Kara Lindsay as Katherine, a writer at the newspaper which gets the newsboys strike on the front page. She holds her own in the field of men alongside her on the stage. She’s so badass and feminist she gives Princess Jasmine a run for her money.
The choreography is just insane, I don’t know how many times those boys can spin and still walk and talk as usual afterwards! But again, it didn’t feel overdone or over the top, it was incredible to watch. Christopher Gattelli has outdone himself. The tap dancing in ‘King of New York’ was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.
I really hope this show comes to the UK at some point. I’m hoping the film release was Disney testing the waters. Until then, I guess we have to wait until the film is available on streaming or some physical format.
Until next time