Newsies on the Road

Newsies_(musical)_poster

I saw Disney’s Newsies the musical for the first time during opening week on Broadway in New York. I never knew much about the show and it blew me away. What I remember most about the show was the phenomenal dancing, all male dancing. There is something very powerful and mesmerizing about all those guys spinning, leaping and flipping in unison. The dancing is what I looked most forward to when I got the invite to review the show at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

It did not disappoint.  I can’t tell you how many times the choreography gave me chills. It was honestly better than I remembered. Seize the Day had me wanting to run from the theater to start changing the world for the better, while simultaneously completing insanely difficult dance moves and acrobatic tricks. However, the dancing wasn’t the only part of the performance that had me moving. This time the lead girl, Katherine, truly resonated with me.

I’ve been slacking on work lately…. Even after 16 months I can’t seem to juggle stay-at-home Mom/blogger/tutor/what have you. (Although, I have discovered many other bloggers secret: a babysitter. I should really look into those…) In any case, the female star of Newsies, Katherine played by Stephanie Styles, is a true hardworking, witty, stand-up for what is right, seize the day kinda gal. She’s basically a Lorelei Gilmore for the 19th century, and I adore her. In fact she’s this week’s #wcw.

playbill

Her character, which doesn’t even exist in the movie, is a super cool girl that you not only want your daughters to look at as a role model, but that you yourself will look up to and love. There are a few notable changes between the movie and the musical, and in my opinion, they improved the show, especially with Katherine’s character. It’s nice to have the strong woman who can hold her own in the almost all male cast.

play

Speaking of the male cast, they are bursting with talent. Yeah, they can dance their asses off, but they can also sing as well as any other musical cast, act and entertain an audience that ranges in age from preschoolers to senior citizens. Husband and I were both impressed and entertained from beginning to end.

date night

If you want to see Newsies in Nashville, you have a few nights left to catch it! For those of you outside of Tennessee, don’t forget to check out their tour schedule. AND, for all the locals you MUST take a peek at the line up for next year’s Broadway season! I am stoked!!!

Cheers!

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Months and months ago I heard the exciting news that Annie was coming to Broadway. Annie is one of my favorite musicals and I could not wait to make plans to see the show live and on stage. Annie opened in November, and I did not get around to seeing it until the day before I left NYC! Zoey went with me and we were both thrilled to see Jane Lynch perform as Miss Hannigan, and my friend, Amanda (a former high school alumna), perform on Broadway.

annie

We had really great seats and managed to get there with 5 minutes to spare; just enough time to stock up on theatre junk food and a Strawberry Banana Annie Smoothie.

annieonbroadway

The show was fantastic! Jane Lunch was hilarious (to be expected) and seemed to pull the whole show together. Zoey actually saw Annie a few months ago, and she said it felt like a whole new show this time around. Her comedic timing and stage presence was perfect. She was born to play this role…well this role and Sue Sylvester.

Annie

The orphans were some of the best children on Broadway I’ve seen. Their talent is right up there with the cast of Matilda. There is one very small girl, Molly, who is too cute for words. She’s the kind of little girl you just want to put in your pocket and carry around with you. All the orphans were funny, witty, good dancers and future threats to the older Broadway performers.

"It's a hard knock life!"
“It’s a hard knock life!”

Then there was Amanda. How cool is it to go to a show and be able to say, “I know her!” Amanda has been beautiful and talented her whole life. She’s one of those girls who appears “has it all”. (Although, we know that’ s never true.) She is rare…she was head cheerleader, a beauty queen a dancing star and basically everything a girl wants to be in High School, yet still a genuine nice good person. Recently, she even ran her first marathon. What can’t she do?! I loved watching her sing, dance and act in Annie  She has a blog too, so be sure to check her out!

After the finale and the bows, the cast came together and informed the audience that we were all to be part of a Birthday celebration! The original and current composer of Annie, Charles Strouse, turned 85 that night! They brought him on stage, gave him cake and balloons and the entire audience sang “Happy Birthday” to this sweet and talented man.

birthday

The best part of the whole night was getting a backstage tour from Amanda. After the show she took us on stage, behind the stage and in the wings to give us a grand tour. We got the inside scoop and learned all about how the actors know where to go, when to sing, where the props go and how big pieces seem to magically appear on stage. The back stage area is surprisingly teeny, so most of the props and set pieces have to be stored on top and over each other. There are literally pieces that are stored thirty feet up on cables. They have to use the space above them in order to fit everything they need.

backstagetour

Annie was the grand finale of my many theatre visits in New York. (I saw over 30 shows on Broadway in the last two years!) It was the cherry on top. The next Broadway show I’ll see will be as a tourist!

Cheers!