Review: Newsies "Movie"

Ever since I saw it on Broadway several years ago, Newsies has been one of my favorite musicals. So I was absolutely thrilled when they announced that they were filming it to release to cinemas, especially because I had always wanted to see the original Broadway cast with Jeremy Jordan and Kara Lindsay. 

For those who may not know, Newsies is based on the 1992 Disney film of the same name which depicts a fictionalized account of the Newsboy Strike of 1899. Scrappy Jack Kelly, along with his friends, leads a strike against Mr. Pulitzer himself to stand up for the rights of the young newsboys.

The filmed version absolutely did not disappoint. I thought that it was incredibly well done as the filming style allowed an intimacy that is missing from theatre while still capturing the feel of the show. I particularly loved the filming of the strike scene the descends into a fight as the chaotic style matched the feeling of the scene itself.

The girls all loved the show!
Jeremy Jordan was every bit as stunning as I expected as Jack Kelly. While his vocals undoubtably shine in numbers like "Santa Fe" and "Something to Believe In," it was his acting that impressed me the most. Jordan has a unique ability to pull off comedy and drama equally well, and sometimes within the same minute. The only complaint I could make is that next to the young boys of the tour cast ensemble, Jordan is a bit old for the role of Kelly purely because he was the perfect age when he played it on Broadway.

I had always regretted not getting to see Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber and her "Watch What Happens" was one of the highlights of the show. While the song can fall flat in others' hands, there wasn't a dull moment in her performance.

Andrew Keenan-Bolger was suitably adorable as Jack's best friend, Crutchie. They chose to leave in Crutchie's solo, "Letter from the Refuge," which was added for the US tour and I'm so glad they did. It adds a level of realism about children's conditions at the turn of the century and centers Jack's anger in the following scenes.

My favorite character in the show is the intelligent and well-spoken Davey, played by Ben Fankhauser. I thought that he did a smashing job and was the perfect partner to Jordan's fiery Jack Kelly.

Newsies was a wonderful film experience and I hope that they will release it digitally or on DVD in the future so that I can see it again. Make sure to check the Newsies website to see if it's showing at a cinema near you on February 18 or 22.

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