By COLLETTE CAPRARA FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Families who take the opportunity to experience the Fredericksburg Christian Youth Theater “Newsies” will be swept away by the fast-paced, non-stop action. The musical production includes voices, dances and compelling character portrayals from a cast of over 50 talented young actors.
In choosing this show, CYT artistic director Josh King explained that a sector of cast members was a perfect fit for the “Newsies” story about the triumph of underdogs who show courage and courage. remarkable determination to win their case, whatever the odds.
“We have an incredible group of extremely talented juniors and seniors. It’s one of those shows that is extremely demanding, both mentally and physically, especially when it comes to dancing and I knew they could rise to the challenge,” said King, who also directed and designed the scenery of the show.
As the action begins, we see how every day begins for a young crew of hapless New York newspaper peddlers in the late 1800s. As they fall from their bunks into the flophouse that serves as the home of these young without family, they sing a unified tribute to their role as “Carrying the Banner” (title) to the city. But before they hit the streets, a newsboy who has established himself as a leader among many, Jack Kelly (Christopher Florio), confides in his best friend Crutchie (Giancarlo Santiago) that what makes him really moving forward is his vision of one day heading west. , in the song “Santa Fe”.
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As the story unfolds, reporters learn that business tycoon and greedy publishing mogul Joseph Pulitzer (Caleb Bloom) has decided to boost his bottom line by raising the price qu ‘they have to pay for their bundles of papers, while maintaining the same cost of papers for customers.
Enraged by the injustice meted out to penniless waifs, Jack shares a plan to coordinate a citywide newspaper peddlers’ strike. Supported by fellow journalist Davey (Zachary O’Connor) and younger brother Les (Chance Hansen), Jack’s movement gains momentum and catches the eye of budding journalist Katherine Plumber (Nicole Senkowski). When the police, business empire goons and scabs attack the protesters, Katherine witnesses the brutal beatings they receive.
Seduced by the cause of journalists, Katherine writes a widely read article on the strike. When Pulitzer censors any future writing about the strike or journalists, Katherine writes another piece, exposing the inhumane treatment of young people in the city’s detention center, which many journalists were no strangers to. Using a defrocked press, the youngsters publish their own article featuring Katherine’s article. The readership of this exposé includes New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt, who steps in to secure the journalists’ victory, which is celebrated with a rousing finale on stage.
“With the powerful choreography and energizing vocals, this show will bring a smile to everyone who sees it, and they will go home inspired by the show’s unforgettable message about the importance of unity and the power of united forces to persevere and succeed. . , whatever the odds,” King said. “The show is so much fun with over 50 kids jumping, flipping, running, dancing, singing and just playing on stage. It brings so much joy.
King said every young person will relate to this classic underdog story. “I think every kid has felt that at least once – feeling like they don’t matter or aren’t being heard – and here they understand they’re not alone. .” The satisfaction King felt in directing this production and his enthusiasm for its message are rooted in his own life experience.
As he explains in his “Letter from the Director,” he grew up in a family that felt a calling not only to the stage but also to the baseball field.
“Through experiences in both fields, I was able to understand the energy, loyalty and sense of leadership that I saw in Jack Kelly. I hope families in their Newsies experience can feel the same joy seeing passionate people coming together to accomplish something magnificent,” he said. “It’s not just the story of journalists, but it’s also the story of a group of young children who find a family.”