‘Newsies’ wows audience on opening night

By Jakob S. Miller
Times-News correspondent

Erin Andrews, of Burlington, was named the 3-millionth guest at DPAC on Tuesday night / Jakob S. Miller, Times-News correspondent

DURHAM — The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) welcomed both Disney’s Broadway smash hit musical “Newsies,” and its 3-millionth guest on Tuesday night. Erin Andrews, who grew up in Durham and currently lives in Burlington, received a $1,000 gift certificate for the 2016/17 season at DPAC. This was Andrews’ first visit.
Directed by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun, “Newsies” revolves around main characters Jack Kelly (played by Joey Barreiro) the leader of a group of orphaned paperboys who protest the increased price of the papers put in place by greedy Joseph Pulitzer, a publishing titan of New York (played by Steve Blanchard). Katherine (Morgan Keene) is a young journalist who reports on the boys’ strike and helps encourage Jack to continue the fight.
The show was only scheduled for a 12-week run on Broadway, but was extended to 2 1/2 years after intense interest from the public.
The story is accompanied by a fantastic Tony Award-winning score by Allen Mendenhall and Jack Feldman and Tony Award-winning choreography by Christopher Gatelli. This musical includes soulful ballads such as the prologue “Santa Fe,” where Jack describes his longing for a simpler life out west, high-energy group performances by Jack and his fellow “newsies” in “Carrying the Banner” and “Seize the Day,” and even some humorous lyrics in “Watch What Happens,” a song where Katherine details her dismay for Jack’s behavior. Advanced choreography is demonstrated by the show’s 31 back flips and other impressive spins, leaps and tap dancing, making this show a true sight to see.
“Newsies” is a story of a young man yearning to do the right thing to better the lives of people he loves, and using teamwork to reach the common goal of the common people by standing up to the big man. There wasn’t a single pair of hands that didn’t heartily clap after every single scene, with the whole audience praising the performance at each moment possible.
Remember, you can still catch “Newsies” at DPAC today through Sunday.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets range from $30 to $80. For more details or to purchase tickets, visit www.dpacnc.com or call 919-680-2787.

Jakob S. Miller is a rising sophomore at Southern Alamance High School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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