Extra! Extra! Newsies Take Manhattan By Storm


Move over Billy Elliot, there’s a new Broadway musical about strikes. Newsies, which opens in previews tonight at the Nederlander Theatre and runs through June 10 (as of now…), is the musical version of the 1992 film of the same name. Now, I am not a Newsies the movie fanatic, I’ve actually never seen it. But I did see a dress rehearsal of Newsies last night, and if you can attend one musical this spring, my advice is to see this production—the songs are catchy and the dancing is fabulous. Take your students; it’s a show no dancer should miss.

This Disney production centers on the struggles of poor children who sell newspapers in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. When the evil Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise the price of papers for the Newsies, the kids band together and take a stand. Your students will learn a bit of history and economics, and leave the theatre inspired to take ballet class.

The dancing, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, is remarkable—and that’s an understatement. It’s a cast of almost all men, including So You Think You Can Dancers Alex Wong, Evan Kasprszak, Thayne Jasperson and Jess LeProtto, and a former Ailey II dancer, Juilliard student, Joffrey Ballet Ensemble guy and more. It’s masculine, balletic and acrobatic—think a more-showy West Side Story. There’s even a tap number.

Although you fall in love with every Newsie on stage—they’re funny, brilliant dancers and talented singers—the leader of the pack, Jack Kelly, played by Jeremy Jordan, steals the show. This Newsie isn't a Broadway newbie, but his compelling and fervent performance will really put this Ithaca College grad on the map. Christian Bale, who?

What’s unique about this show is the cast is extremely young. (Yes, there are a few older actors who play adult characters, but an overwhelming majority of performers are under 26.) There are 12 cast members making their Broadway debut—which the director Jeff Calhoun passionately announced before the show—and their fresh excitement and energy is palpable. You can tell that this is not just another job for them; this is it. Which, in a show about young men putting everything on the line for something they believe in, works extremely well.


More info: www.newsiesthemusical.com.  

Photo of Jeremy Jordan in Newsies, by broadway.com


Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.