One of the most telling scenes is when a Newsie pleads with a cop for help after being attacked by goons (which I am one) and the cop hits him. There is a lot more politics in this show than I expected. Workers' rights, unionizing, strikes, goons and cops beating workers, women's rights. And rousing singing and marching that will stir any unionist. And they find a printing press and create their own alternative newspaper telling their story. Well, OK, they couldn't do it without the help of children of the ruling class, but we won't quibble - for now.
Tonight is the final dress rehearsal before opening tomorrow night for a 3 week run (Friday, Saturday and Sunday Matinees). The Newsies are mostly young men - aged 10-early 20s, with a few young ladies playing boys is astounding in its acting, singing, dancing. There are a few older folks - the meanies and I get to play a small role as one of them (I have about 8 lines).
Here is a preview by Kami-Leigh Agard, an excellent reporter for the Rockaway Times who came to rehearsal earlier this week, followed by my own column in The Wave which is published tomorrow.
Of course the heart of the show, aside from the two key leads played by Sam Kelly, a newcomer from Iowa, and Melody Portnoy, making a 2nd appearance after her role in Pippin (more on them next week), are the many young men and boys from ages ten to the early 20s playing the news boys. It is not easy to find so many young males who sing and dance but the RTC is a magnet for talent. Gabby did cast a few young ladies, including RTC super jack of all trades Adele Wendt, she of the glorious red mane, who manages to pull of a miracle: She turns herself into a young boy. Guess who Adele is and win a free mention in this column.