No, really, what originally was just a night spent with my bestest friend of 4evsies, as I continue corrupting her with as much theatre as possible (my life’s purpose, quite frankly), had me questioning everything I thought about the original Newsies production that debuted almost five years ago. Kudos to everyone involved for
The Notable Highlights:
- I’ve been opining since Day -15 that filming a live production can look high-end and unlike your typical YouTube bootleg with just a couple of well-placed, hi-definition cameras. Hell, I’ve seen a few National Theatre Live broadcasts that look like they were made with three cameras and a shot of optimism. Well…Disney was clearly having none of that shit. With its bajillions of dollars in the piggy banks, they clearly splurged and had some 429 cameras (y’know, give or take) on hand to capture each square inch of the stage, every facial reaction and all of the non-existent pores on those dancing twink’s faces. It was like seeing the show in person. From the premium seats. And after seeing the Broadway show in-person from the
Christopher Gattelli and his Ragtag Group of Dancers - I can only name a handful of shows where a dance break could illicit spontaneous applause from the audience, but it cannot be denied it is well-deserved here. Gattelli’s choreography is an impressive, demanding and technically proficient feat - especially during “Seize the Day” and “King of New York” - and every single dancer is shante-ing, flipping, tapping and twirling like their lives depend on it. And bonus - I have a bunch of new hyperbolic expressions to incorporate into my daily roticon, my personal favorite being, “I’m so upset that I must angrily pirouette right now!”
Jeremy. Jordan. Enough said - Because Jeremy Jordan is Jeremy Jordan, who can do everything without error, of course his Jack Kelly was so fucking awesome, he obliterated everything that stood in his path. How his performance got BETTER so many years after the fact is beyond me, and it didn’t even have to in the first place. But here he is - fledging every aspect of Jack Kelly for maximum impact. The smooth-talking charmer, the rebel-rousing and social justice advocating leader, the sensitive artist, the adrift soul longing for Santa Fe - every nuance was letter perfect and you can’t look away while he is effortlessly commandeering every single frame (as if you would ever want to). I’ll say it - enough of these teases, concert cameos and one-time performances of covers, Jeremy. Let’s get you back on to Broadway and in the land of Tony eligibility where you firmly belong.
Kara Lindsay is Here and She’s Not Holding Back - Hey girl, where’ve you been? **Insert Google Montage** oh, Wicked it would seem. Anyways...does anyone else think Kara absolutely crushed it?! Like, even with Jeremy Jordan dazzling at every juncture and an ensemble of cute boys WERQing that stage like it's their bitch, she managed to make the Smurfette principal that is Katherine worthwhile?! I say she did and the show is better off because of her. Her Katherine was ON FIRE - poised and determined to execute her own agenda, standing her ground against Jack Kelly while not acquiescing to his initial advances to her, and clapping back multiple times as her womanhood, writing and intellectual savviness are questioned. It would make more timely sense that Katherine has more of a feministic pep in her step considering how the world has changed in the last five years, and with Kara’s fantastic portrayal, she turned Katherine from “that girl who is…there to kiss Jack at the end” (which, y’know, there are worse ways to spend a minute) into a much-improved upon Disney Heroine. Good for Kara on a personal/career level - she is too beautiful and talented to be caught up in the Wicked juggernaut and it’s clear that her post-Newsies career should of had…I don’t know, more of a variety of casting and performing opportunities. Whether that ensues or not, job well done girl.
Photo Credit: Deen van Meer