“Newsies” shines with talented, impressive ensemble

Written By Baylor Brooks, For The Globe

Newsies is the newest show that Point Park University brought to the Pittsburgh Playhouse. The story takes place in 1899 in New York City with Jack Kelly, the head of the “newsies” as our protagonist. After the newspaper boss, Jack Pulitzer, raises prices for papers in an attempt to spite the newsies, Jack and his friends along with the help of independent writer Katherine Plumber,  join together to lead a strike and fight for their rights as workers. 

Point Park’s production was directed by Dany Herman and choreographed by Rocker Verastique, with the music directed by Camille Villalpando Rolla. The musical stars Ryan Jasaitis as Jack Kelly, Marguerite Reed as Katherine Plumber, and Jacob Miller as Joseph Pulitzer. 

There are many things to love and appreciate about the latest production, but perhaps the thing that standouts most is the ensemble. Every performer shined in the spotlight. The “newsies” have great chemistry and perfectly display the toughness of living on the streets while also showing the sense of hope that each of them holds deep down. The cast is able to simultaneously make the audience laugh as they match the witty dialogue with screwball comedy and endear them with their sincerity. Underdog characters like Crutchie give the audience someone to sympathize with and root for. The ensemble shines from the opening scenes and allows the audience to get immediately invested in the show.

Arguably the most spectacular aspect of the show comes with the choreography. Every actor works in sync with each other and they are able to captivate the audience with their perfectly coordinated performance. The cast is constantly running and dancing around the stage without missing their mark. Several times the audience would be in awe at the performers conducting their act. This helps keep the momentum of the musical going, never wasting a moment. Even after the intermission, the show kicks itself back into gear with the newsies celebrating at a local bar. The choreography and performances by the cast of Newsies shine and wow the audience,

Newsies is a musical known for its powerful anthems, perfectly capturing the hunger and angst of the young cast. The latest production is able to bring those songs to life and perform them with great skill. Many songs played throughout the Playhouse and caught the attention of the audience. Standout performances include Jordan Tidwell’s performance of “That’s Rich” in Medda’s theater, Marguerite Reed’s performance of “Watch What Happens” at Katherine’s Office, and the newsies strike anthem of “The World Will Know” led by Ryan Jasaitis. These are a few of the many powerful songs that rang throughout the show.

The  story of Newsies is one that is able to truly connect with the audience and pull them into a rousing story of triumph and working for what is right. The stellar ensemble, breathtaking choreography and amazing vocal performances by the cast help pull you in even more. The themes of rebellion and standing up to corrupt authority are just as relatable now as they were one hundred years ago. Point Park’s production of Newsies captures these ideas and translates them perfectly to the stage.