The Broadway hit on the big screen for one day only
Newsies is the story of a bunch of down and out newsboys in New York City in 1899. Already struggling to stay afloat hawking newspapers on the street, the newsboys are left appalled when publisher Joseph Pulitzer (in collusion with other newspaper owners such as William Randolph Hearst), raises the price the newsboys must pay for their papers, all so that Pulitzer can maximise his profits.
But Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan), a cocky, outspoken newsboy is having nothing to do with the price rise, and becomes the spokesman leading the charge against the publishers. Organising the motley crew of newsies into a union proves no easy task, and when Jack floats the idea of a strike, powerful forces begin to align against him and his gang.
Based on real events, Newsies the musical was derived from a 1992 Disney film starring Christian Bale, which was a commercial flop but enjoyed an afterlife as a cult classic. The Disney musical premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011, before transferring to Broadway the following year. It ran for two years before the show was taken on the road, playing in 65 cities across the USA. This filming of Newsies took place at the end of the national tour in Los Angeles and features the original Broadway cast, including Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly, Steve Blanchard as Joseph Pulitzer and Kara Lindsay as Katherine, a young reporter trying to make her big break.
With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and Harvey Fierstein's book, the musical numbers are brash and bold, with plenty of dancing and heart-stopping acrobatics thrown in for good measure. And although it's impossible to recreate the excitement of a stage experience on film - especially a show as spectacular as Newsies - the filming of Newsies is fantastically well done. The camera work and editing are clear and crisp, catching in intimate detail the work of the actors. Newsies might have finished its stage run for now, but the screening of the musical in theatres is a great chance to experience the magic of the Broadway show.
Newsies will be screening at cinemas across Australia on February 19.