Broadway Across Canada's Newsies

It’s morning in 1899, and New York’s young and homeless newspaper delivery boys arise from makeshift homes atop buildings and fire escapes.

Newsies opens with main character and hero Jack Kelly (performed by talented Joey Barreiro) who longs for a better life — and the determination to make it happen. The newsboys hope for a good headline that will help them sell the New York World, a newspaper that they depend on for their living.

Broadway Across Canada's Newsies

Newspaper owner Joseph Pulitzer (Steve Blanchard), in an effort to make more money, increases the price the newsboys pay for the papers they sell. Jack and fellow newsboy David organize a strike along with the other outraged newsies, setting the stage for the two and half-hour musical currently playing at the Queen E Theatre.

Disney’s Newsies is loosely based on the true story of the newsboy strike of 1899, an event that brought attention to the plight of child labour in NYC.

History provides a backdrop for morality, courage, friendship and of course, love. Combine these virtues with some catchy songs and energetic dance and you’ve got the recipe for an entertaining, successful musical.

Zachary Sayle, Joey Barreiro
[Zachary Sayle, Joey Barreiro; photo by Shane Gutierrez]

Newsies is well paced, the set design superb and the dancing, singing and acting on point. Everything about this production is well orchestrated and executed. The audience was a mix of young and old and everyone seemed to enjoy the show, honouring the hard-working cast with a standing ovation.

There’s physical humour that garners chuckles as well as spotlight moments allowing the various characters to connect with the audience. The energy, skill and acrobatic ability of the ensemble cannot go unmentioned and is a key component of this musical’s wild success.

Broadway Across Canada's Newsies

I attended the show with my 11-year-old friend Capri Minichiello; she had this to say about Newsies:

“At Newsies I loved when they were dancing all the time! It was fascinating and interesting, I got inspired. I am a dancer my self and I have never seen so many all at once with so much energy, strength, and power, it was crazy! Another thing I loved was their enthusiasm, they had good facial expressions. It took me thru a journey like I was really there.”

To further enhance your Newsies experience, visit the Newsies website, check out Disney Theatrical Productions’ wellness and fitness program Get Up and Go video and learn the choreography by Tony award winner Christopher Gattelli. Newsies will leave you with a spring in your step and the inspiration to “seize the day”.

Presented by Broadway Across Canada, Newsies continues through July 10 at the Queen E.

Where not expressly mentioned, photos by Deen van Meer.

About Our Contributor MJ Ankenman

MJ Ankenman

MJ moved to Vancouver in 2005 and has been keeping busy ever since, enjoying all that the West coast has to offer, sharing discoveries through her writing and photography. MJ’s interests include yoga, biking, hiking, and enjoying BC wine. Follow MJ on Twitter @urbanista.


  • Comment by Rose — July 6, 2016 @ 6:21 pm

    It was real refreshing to also see a 11 yr old’s opinion , especially when trying to pick events for the summer holidays with children and grand children. Lovely

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — July 7, 2016 @ 8:58 pm

    Hi Rose,

    We’re glad you found it a change from the norm. MJ had a great companion to weigh in on the show and through her experience I can definitely confirm that Newsies is an entertaining, all-ages show!

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