Actor enjoy his role in Disney’s ‘Newsies’

Dan DeLuca / Photo submitted

By Rachel Teseneer
Times-News correspondent

   DURHAM — The musical spectacular “Newsies” is coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center starting June 2.
Winner of two Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography, “Newsies” is known by many as the exciting and energetic retelling of the newsboy strike of 1899. It follows the life of Jack Kelly, a poor newsboy dreaming of a better life. As events unfold, Jack leads his fellow newsboys in a strike against Pulitzer, a dominant newspaper tycoon who cheats the newsboys of their money.
Dan DeLuca, who plays Jack Kelly, said his character is all about breaking down the walls.
“His life is based on survival,” DeLuca said. “(Jack) has to conquer his fears and let people in.”
DeLuca related how the role of Jack Kelly in Disney’s “Newsies” was his favorite to date.
   “There’s so much to him. It’s a marathon vocally, physically, mentally. In the end, though, it’s so rewarding.”
DeLuca said he knew that live theater was for him at an early age.
“I’d seen ‘Peter Pan’ when I was in kindergarten,” DeLuca recalled. “It was the first show I ever saw on stage. That was kind of when I decided ‘I think this is what I need to do.’ ”
Years later, DeLuca is starring in one of America’s most loved musicals. For DeLuca, living the life of a performer is a dream come true.
“With live theater, you have an instant connection with the audience,” he said. “I know that everything I do on stage, the audience will automatically see. Theater offers a connection unlike any other art form. It’s thrilling.”
DeLuca said he believes that everyone can relate to his character, Jack Kelly.
“Jack enjoys his life but has big dreams. He dreams of going to Santa Fe and having this perfect life. We’ve all dreamed of that heaven-on-earth place where everything’s beautiful and we can get away from toxic places in life.”
According to DeLuca, the show focuses on having something to believe in and standing up for it. He said “Newsies” has heart, a lot of it, and even though it’s based on real events in history, it is a relevant story to the people of 2015.
“My favorite moments are when I’m on stage with the rest of the guys,” DeLuca said. “There’s a very real feeling of togetherness and brotherhood. The friendships you’ll see on the stage are genuine. The best shows are when it’s real.”
DeLuca described “Newsies” as “high-energy” and “full of Disney magic without princesses or fairies.” Rough and rugged yet sweet and heartwarming, “Newsies” is guaranteed entertainment.
“The producers wanted it to be better than Broadway,” he said. “I’ve had the honor to work with legends.”
The show is set to run for 2 hours and 20 minutes with an intermission. Shows are 7:30 p.m. June 2, 7:30 p.m. June 3, 7:30 p.m. June 4, 8 p.m. June 5, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. June 6 and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. June 7 at the Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St. Tickets start at $35 and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or the center’s box office at (919) 680-2787.

 Rachel Teseneer is a rising senior home-schooler and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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