Okay everyone, teenage me is freaking out right now. I lost count of how many times I watched the 1992 Disney musical Newsies, and when I heard they were making it into a Broadway musical, I was so excited! Of course living in Minnesota didn’t really allow me the luxury of going to see it, but now my wait (and possibly yours) is over! Broadway’s Newsies has arrived on Netflix!
The recording of the performance features many from the original Broadway cast including Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl) as Jack Kelly, Kara Lindsay as Katherine, Ben Fankhauser as Davey and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie. The film was originally shown in movie theaters by Fathom Events and was wildly popular. Now we finally fully understand why.
First, the acting is phenomenal. Sorry Christian Bale and David Moscow, but these guys are just SO talented and much more suited to their roles than the original film cast. Jeremy Jordan brings a vulnerability to the character that was not there in the original film, and though he longs to go to Santa Fe he doesn’t wear a ridiculous cowboy hat around. In particular, during the reprise of the song Santa Fe, Jordan’s performance leaves me speechless and heartsore.
Likewise, a song added to the Broadway score called “Letter From the Refuge” sung by Crutchie (Keenan-Bolger) is equally affecting and feels so authentic that it hurts.
The musical adds a few songs and they are all memorable and perhaps equally as important, purposeful. No surprise when you consider that the Broadway hit has a score by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and the book was written by Harvey Fierstein. The added songs also allow for the introduction of a new character, Katherine.
If there’s one complaint I had about the original film it was the contrived and useless love story between Jack and David’s sister Sarah. Katherine leaves behind the shy and vanilla blandness of Sarah and replaces it with a sassy educated and strong female character who actually seems like she could keep up with Jack. I won’t spoil too much, but let’s just say she was my favorite change and was by far the most surprising.
The Broadway production also replaces Meda “The Swedish Meadow Lark” with a Jazz singing diva who steals every scene she is in. She provides levity and undeniable talent.
Just go watch the it already….