Timeless Theatre Weekend Part 1: Sat. #NewsiesForever

The entire Newsies story taken from screen to stage back to screen is one of triumph and feel-good entertainment that certainly brings the magic of Disney.

Disney’s NEWSIES: The Broadway Musical made its worldwide cinema debut this past Feb. 15, 18 and 22 courtesy of Fathom events taking the sold-out Broadway musical to more than 700 movie theaters across the United States.

The musical was filmed onstage at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, CA bringing Alan Menken’s music, Jack Feldman’s lyrics, Harvey Fierstein’s book and Jeff Calhoun’s stage direction to audiences for the price of a movie ticket.

The show takes you to 1899 where newsboys took a stand against the giant publishers of the newspaper world in a strike that galvanized the ragtag youth of New York in a classic David and Goliath story.

The superstar cast included the leads and some memorable faces from the Broadway production combined with the national tour cast. It was thrilling to see all the actors link arms to form a new band of brothers who were “all for one!” The comradery of Broadway originals Jeremy Jordan (Jack Kelly), Kara Lindsay (Katherine Plumber), Ben Fankhauser (Davey), and Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Crutchie) shined on screen.

Some of my favorite moments unique to this film version included the varying shots depicting a closer look into a character’s inner thought life. The scenes that highlighted relationships were richly flushed out with details such as those on the rooftop. Kara Lindsay’s “Watch What Happens’ solo took on a whole new level of meaning where you saw and experienced the mental gymnastics her character goes through for each lyric.

Christopher Gattelli’s Tony award winning choreography with signature gymnastics and dance moves is elevated to a new level of appreciation as well. The movie version lets you see the intricacy of difficulty while never losing sight of the dynamic athleticism sweeping the entire stage. For instance, Michael Dameski’s turns on a newspaper ending “Seize the Day” is a standout moment shot from different angles. The tapping sounds are as clear and crisp as ever and the facial expressions tell a compelling story with each leap and head spot.

Other standout moments come from Jeremy Jordan who brings his stage, film and television star power to the newsboy leader Jack Kelly. He is able to find the perfect blend of charisma and chutzpah needed for Jack.   Audiences are swept up in emotion with Jeremy’s powerhouse vocals in “Santa Fe” and are endeared to Jack’s unique relationships to each of the newsboys.

Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber and Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly in Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical (Credit: Disney Theatrical Productions)

Movie theater audiences can cheer right along with the filmed audience when Tommy Bracco (Spot Colon) enters or when Andrew Keenan-Bolger’s Crutchie is released from the refuge. In addition, laughs can be had at jokes that hit right home by Ben Cook (Racetrack), Nico DeJesus (Romeo) and Ethan Steiner (Les). Steven Blanchard’s Pulitzer and Aisha De Haas as Medda Larkin are a joy to watch too!

I am so thankful that more people will see such strong male dancing and be inspired to stand united to make a difference! Both the dance moves and the courageous moves to stand up for one another are timeless visuals to serve this generation and the next! #NewsiesForever

And now “The World Will Know” too as this filmed live version will air once more on February 22 at 7 PM in the United States but also in movie theaters across the world. For more information please visit FathomEvents.com

On Saturday, I had the pleasure seeing Newsies at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre built in 1926.

Pre-show:  Audiences were treated to hearing Disney songs and Newsies signature songs from organist Rob Richards.

Post-show: The audience was invited into the adjacent Disney’s Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop and were given a sample of their famous chocolate. Sweet treats from the menu served as the ultimate grand finale.

Kate Spade Newspaper Print Canvas Tote, Newsies, Stories of the Unlikely Broadway Hit book



Newsies Inspired Printables Available for purchase at Shining Inspiration’s Etsy shop & Newsboy cap from Village Hat Shop

For a different kind of captivating magic check out what I did on Sunday in my next post!
Let us jump from 1899 to 1903 in Timeless Theatre Weekend Part 2: Circus 1903 posted tomorrow!




The World of Oz-Perception, Deception and Perspective

“My people have been wearing green glasses on their eyes for so long that most of them think this really is an Emerald City.” -L. Frank Baum, Oz: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

The  mention of the “Wizard of Oz” acts like a rubberband on my heart snapping me back to  flashes  of green and the vision of Mickey Rooney as the Wizard leaving in the hot air  balloon in the touring musical at what is now the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.    It was my first acting experience on stage with the curtain  being pulled back on how theater magic happens.

Image: William Wallace Denslow

Perception: Perhaps at first thought, the story of the “Wizard of Oz” can be perceived as a children’s tale. However, with deeper thought the book’s message touches on some universal themes of being accepted and valued for individual gifts and character—having a home where you belong.

Deception: The Wizard’s story itself is twisted into a tale of deception with many movie fans forgetting that Baum’s version has an Emerald City made green only by the glasses that framed each inhabitant’s vision.

Perspective: On March 8, “Oz the Great and Powerful” hits movie theaters giving us another perspective of the Oz story. I am looking forward to seeing how director, Sam Raimi interprets a world where hidden desires can be the underbelly of actions.

Perception, deception and perspective can all be useful tools for an actor to understand. It can be helpful to me to understand how each person perceives a situation, how they deceive not only outsiders but themselves and what perspective from my own life experience can I bring. What “glasses” does this person or character wear that frames their worldview?

Movie theaters to experience “Oz The Great and Powerful”:
El Capitan Theatre: March 8-31. Enjoy both the movie and “Mysteries of Magic” show where a live magician will entertain you in the beautiful theater.

6838 Hollywood Blvd  Los Angeles, CA 90028

Cinepolis Luxury Theater (Westlake Village, Rancho Santa Margarita, Del Mar etc.): Check out the reclining chairs with gourmet popcorn, delectable food selections and assigned seating for something a little bit different.

It has been 113 years since Baum wrote his book and many years since my first acting role. Those years have granted me some perspective in knowing what I want to frame my worldview with.

So put on those 3D glasses, happy movie watching and SHINE On! Matthew 5:16

On a magical related side note: “Once Upon a Time’s” Bailey Madison was captivating as young Snow White in the episode “The Queen is Dead.”