By Riley Steffens ’22
The show takes place in New York City in 1899, opening with two “newsies”–newspaper boys–on a rooftop, longing for a life out west. The lead newsie, Jack Kelly, played by JP Micallef ‘20, was a charming character who instantly captured the audience with his accent and dance moves. The cast was mainly made up of newsie boys and girls, Jack’s love interest–Katherine Plumber–and the antagonist, Joseph Pulitzer, owner of a major newspaper.
In the show, Jack and the newsies face a problem–their rights are not being taken into account by their employer, Pulitzer. The mogul decides to raise the prices of newspapers for the newsies to an unlivable amount. After all, the newsies are financially struggling kids. Jack decides that they should form a union to strike against the newspapers, and with the help of all the newsies across New York City, they hold a successful strike. Along the way, Jack meets Katherine Plumber, an ambitious freshman news reporter. Katherine sees the newsies’ efforts as her breakthrough story and writes an article that gets them on the front page. Eventually, Jack and Katherine fall in love, the newsies make concrete, lasting change in their industry, and the rights of all child laborers are fought for.
The closing night show was fantastic. The director of Newsies, Mr. Peter Canavese, can attest to this. “We had everyone there the last weekend and the show was really clicking, it’s great to see it all come together,” he stated. The high energy dances intermixed with witty dialogue and empowering musical numbers made it extremely entertaining. The dancing in Newsies was one of best parts about the show, all of it was incredibly exciting, with lots of turns, flips and jumps. It was magical to witness all of the newsies being in sync with each other. One of the best numbers was “Seize the Day.” The song itself is so hopeful and upbeat, and the lyrics are truly heartwarming. Bellarmine’s cast had amazing vocals throughout the show, another highlight being the song “That’s Rich.”
Overall, Newsies was a fantastic performance and joy to watch. It was an incredible musical that the Bellarmine theater crew outstandingly produced. It kept the audience in a great mood. There was even a plot twist that had everyone in the theater gasping out loud. With so many fun turns and twists, it’s impossible to imagine anyone falling asleep during Newsies. Bellarmine’s cast put so much hard work and effort into the show and it was very evident. The end product was close to flawless. This show successfully portrayed the magic of high school theater, as everyone in the cast poured so much of themselves into their performances. Bravo, Bellarmine. Next year’s musical will without a doubt be highly anticipated.