Extra! Extra! “Newsies” Is A Smash!

SAMANTHA KOLB | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST

I recently had the pleasure of attending the musical “Newsies”at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. The PAC has a wonderful student rush system. If there are any seats available during any night of a performance, a student I.D. and $25 will get you a seat. I managed to sit on the ground floor orchestra seating, along with a few good friends. Aside from the initial pandemonium and chaos of waiting in line outside for a half an hour, once the doors opened and we bought the tickets, I felt much calmer. It was a riveting experience once the tickets were in our hands, and jokingly I now understand why it’s called student “rush”due to the feeling one gets after purchasing tickets to a nearly sold-out show.

The story of the musical is based on a Disney film from 1992 that flopped dramatically. The story follows some basic cliché, with a newsboy Jack Kelly who begins and wins a strike for all the Newsboys in New York.. This is based on a real-life newsboy strike of 1899. There is, of course, some romance, friends who are more like family, an appearance from Governor Teddy Roosevelt and spectacular dance numbers that won a Tony Award for best choreography in 2012. The jumping splits, backflips and tap dancing justified that award.  I must admit my mouth hung open for the majority of the show. And the people who sat in front of the group I came with gave us some dirty looks due to our laughter and applause being loud and enthusiastic. I call that being a good audience member.

Being an avid theatre lover, this opportunity is one I highly recommend to everyone. Not only was I receiving Broadway level entertainment for a quarter of what it costs, but I was also immersed in a story for a solid two hours or so that wasn’t a T.V. show or a movie. I have nothing against such things, but there is something to be said about live theatre that cannot be said about movies or things seen on television. And it’s difficult not to appreciate the raw talent and dedication to those who do this professionally. As one of the musical numbers states, “Now Is the Time to Seize the Day”for seeing a Broadway show. The PAC has a wonderful season lined up as well, with posters for “Cinderella,”“Motown the Musical”and “Chicago”advertised on the doors outside. The show was fantastic, and the experience is one that will stay with me for years to come. I highly recommend using your student I.D. for as many things as possible, and that especially goes for theatre.

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