Theatre Review

‘Newsies’ is dance lovers delight at TBTS

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Producer Bill Hanney brings the Broadway musical, “Newsies” to Theatre-by-the-Sea, complete with a fresh, young cast of singer/dancers who use their talents to carry the slim but upbeat story to a satisfying conclusion.

New Zealander Clay Roberts does his best to deliver a New York accent as Jack Kelly, the “newsie” who rallies his fellow newspaper deliverers to fight the millionaire publisher, Joseph Pulitzer. Pulitzer sells the papers to newsies who must reclaim their money by selling all that they buy or they are stuck with unsold papers they have paid for. When the paper raises the prices to the newsies, the young men rebel and go on strike.

Director Richard Sabellico has recreated life in lower Manhattan in 1899, calling on Kyle Dixon for great movable, two-tier sets and David Costa-Cabral for period costumes. There is a bit of history and a love story added to the lively songs and dance routines, making “Newsies” an uplifting fun show.

You’ll be rooting for the underdogs and hoping that Jack and Katherine (Katie Claire McGrath) will hook up. Author Harvey Fierstein throws in a bit of a twist near the end that we didn’t see coming.

McGrath is the daughter of Michael McGrath, who graced the Theatre-By-the-Sea stage for many years before moving on to a successful Broadway career.

The large cast includes many talented young actors, plus two veterans: Cranstonian Tom Roberts and Associate Producer Thom Warren, who carry a number of supporting roles requiring some quick costume changes.

“Newsies” is the perfect summer show with its positive messages, historical background,and great group singing and dancing. At Theatre-By-the-Sea through August 10. Call 782-TKTS for reservations.

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