Talkin' Broadway Regional News & Reviews: Cleveland - "Newsies" - 11/17/14
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Regional Reviews by David Ritchey

National tour

Also see David's review of Topdog/Underdog

Dan DeLuca and Cast
In 1899, the news boys—newsies—of Lower Manhattan went on strike. The boys (and most of the people who peddled newspapers were male) refused to pay the increased rate Joseph Pulitzer wanted to charge them for copies of the paper. These children bought the papers, sold them on the street, and kept the profit and the tips. Newsies is the story of the newsboys' strike against the big newspapers in New York. When the strike started, the newsies discovered a hard truth: no money was coming into their pockets. For some, that meant no food for them or for their families. In addition, many worked to pay the rent and other household expenses.

That is the story of Newsies. The stage version is based on the movie, which was written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. The musical was written by Alan Menken (music), Jack Feldman (lyrics) and Harvey Fierstein (nook).

Unfortunately, even with all of that talent gathered around the story, the songs are not memorable and the plot is obvious. However, the show earned a 2012 Tony Award for the score.

Tobin Ost (sScenic designer) has created a spectacular set, which is metal girders and platforms that move around the stage. This set provides a spectacular background for big songs and is especially effective at the end of big numbers, featuring the cast scattered over the three-story set. It's impressive.

Christopher Gattelli received the 2012 Tony for the show's choreography. And he deserved this recognition. The cast sings and acts but do they ever dance. The choreography earned gasps and applause when the show opened in Cleveland.

Dan DeLuca plays Jack Kelly, the boy/man who plotted the strike. DeLuca has a beautiful singing voice that fills the theater (OK, so he is wearing a microphone). He dances well and he's handsome. He's everything a matinee idol should be.

Les is the youngest and smallest newsie. For that reason, the role is played by two young actors. On the night I saw the show, Anthony Rosenthal played Les. He has as much energy, dancing skills and singing ability as his older and more experienced cast mates. Rosenthal brings a world of charm to the stage when he performs four times in a week. The other four performances are played by Vincent Crocilla.

In summary, the plot and the music are weak. Newsies is saved by choreography, a first-rate cast and the most functional set I've seen in a long time.

Newsies played through November 16, 2014, at Connor Palace in Cleveland. For more information on the tour, visit

Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Jack Feldman
Book: Harvey Fierstein
Based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White
Jack Kelly: Dan DeLuca
Crutchie: Zachary Sayle
Race: Benjamin Cook
Albert: Sky Flaherty
Specs: Jordan Samuels
Henry: DeMarius R. Copes
Finch: Julian DeGuzman
Elmer: Jeff Heimbrock
Romeo: Nico DeJesus
Mush: Jack Sippel
Katherine: Stephanie Styles
Darcy: Josh Burrage
Nuns: Ginna Claire Mason, Angela Grovey, Meredith Inglesby
Morris Delancey: Michael Ryan
Oscar Delancey: Jon Hacker
Wiesel: John E. Brady
Davey: Jacob Kemp
Les: (Tues., Fri., Sat. mat., Sun. Eve.) Vincent Crocilla, (Wed., Thurs., Sat. eve., Sun. mat.) Anthony Rosenthal
Joseph Pulitzer: Steve Blanchard
Seitz: Mark Aldrich
Bunsen: Bill Bateman
Hannah: Meredith Inglesby
Snyder: James Judy
Medda Larkin: Angela Grovey
Stage Manager: Bill Bateman
Mr. Jacobi: John E. Brady
Scab: Evan Autio, Sky Flaherty, Chaz Wolcott
Mayor: John E. Brady
Spot Conlon: Jeff Heimbrook
Bill: Jack Sippel
Governor Roosevelt: Kevin Carolan
Citizens of New York: Evan Autio, Bill Bateman, John E. Brady, Josh Burrage, Kevin Carolan, Ben Cook, DeMarius Copes, Julian DeGuzman, Nico DeJesus, Sky Flaherty, Jon Hacker, Jeff Heimbrock, Meredith Inglesby, James Judy, Ginna Claire Mason, Michael Ryan, Jordan Samuels, Jack Sippel, Chaz Wolcott
Direction: Jeff Calhoun
Choreographer: Christopher Gattelli
Scenic Design: Tobin Ost
Costume Design: jess Goldstein
Lighting Design: Jeff Croiter
Sound Design: Ken Travis
Projection Adaptation: Daniel Brodie
Hair and wig Design: Charles G. LaPointe
Fight Direction: J. Allen Suddeth
Music Arrangements: Mark Hummel
Music Coordinator: John Miller
Music Director: James Dodgson
Associate Director: Richard J. Hinds
Associate Choreographer: Lou Castro
Conductor: James Dodgson
associate Conductor: Faith Seetoo
Assistant Conductor: Chip Prince
Trumpet/Flugel: Paul Baron
Bass: Joe Wallace
Drums: Heinrich Kruse
Keyboards; Faith Seetoo and Warren Prince
Music Coordinator: John Miller
Electronic Music Programmer: Jeff Marder
Music Coordinator: John Miller
piccolo, flute, clarinet, soprano sax, alto sax: Dan Heasley
Trombone, Bass Trombone: Paul Ferguson
Violin: Diana Pepelea-Vardi
Cello: Linda Atherton
Guitar: Joe Parker
Percussion: Mell Csicsila
Synth Sub: Dan Bailey
Contractor: Don Santa-Emma.

Photo: Deen van Meer

- David Ritchey

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