NEWSIES at Broward Center for the Performing Arts

On stage through November 29

Newsies can best be described in one word: jubilant. Because no other word quite captures the unbridled joy and euphoric energy that this show inspires. This is the Broadway equivalent of drinking a Red Bull.

Based on the underrated 1992 Disney film, Newsies made its Broadway debut in 2012, with the initial intention of a 3-month limited engagement run. However, the show gained such a fervent fan base – the most dedicated of which call themselves “fansies” – that the show ended up running for two and a half years, sparking a success none involved could have imagined.

South Florida theatergoers now have the opportunity to reap the benefits of that success, as Newsies heads to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale for two weeks as a part of its national tour. Winner of Best Choreography and Best Score at the 2012 Tony Awards, the show’s music was written by legendary Disney composer Alan Menken (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), and features favorites such as “Santa Fe,” “King of New York,” “Carrying the Banner,” and the show’s rousing anthem, “Seize the Day.”

Newsies is based around the true story of the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899. Joey Barreiro takes on the role of Jack Kelly, the leader of a group of down-on-their-luck orphans and impoverished kids – also known as “newsies” — who hawked the daily newspapers to keep themselves afloat. When newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer (Steve Blanchard) decides to raise the price of the papers by a dime, the newsies form a union and start a strike, fighting against the most powerful men in New York for their rights.

As Jack Kelly, Barreiro is charm itself. With a thick New York accent, winning smile, and lovable, rough-around-the-edges persona, he leads the tremendously talented cast (the vast majority of which is made up of young men), with power and grace. He doesn’t dance as much as the others in the cast, but what he lacks in moves, he more than makes up for in musical talent. When he belted out the final note of the impassioned intermission song “Santa Fe,” the audience could barely wait for the lights to come back on before erupting into instant astonished chatter regarding his crystal-clear, souring vocals.

But when all is said and done, the true star of any production of Newsies is the choreography, courtesy of Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli. This is a two and a half hour testosterone-fueled physical spectacle, with gravity defying leaps, backflips, and never-ending pirouettes. The end result: a night of pure, high-energy fun.

Newsies will be playing at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts until November 29th. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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