Guest post by Jessica Prescott and Rosie McCann
Are you wondering what that title could possibly be referring to?
We’ll tell you in just a minute. But first, we have to give a big thank-you to our dear old pal, Naomi, for letting us write this guest post—
“About what?” you ask.
*coughs* Um, yeah—about that—
So . . .
GUYS, WE SAW NEWSIES THIS WEEKEND.
LIKE, THE ACTUAL BROADWAY SHOW. LIVE. IN THE THEATER. NO KIDDING.
AND IT WAS AWWWWWWWWESOME!!!!!!!!
We want to tell you the whole story from beginning to end. We’ll take turns. (Yes, we are very polite and we know how to take turns. Ahem.) From now on, Jessica’s thoughts will be in blue (like so), and Rosie’s thoughts will be in red (like so).
Let’s begin, shall we? So. One night I was talking in a languid manner about some book or other to Jessica, when she said ‘Wait.’ So I waited. Turns out, she’d heard one of our younger sisters mentioning that NEWSIES WAS COMING TO OUR THEATRE!!!! I promptly lost my head and proceeded to feverishly grab the laptop next to me and google it. AND IT WAS TRUE!! I started screaming and gasping, “It’s true! They’re really coming! Jessica, look!!!” She came back into the room and was immediately greeted by more of my unintelligible gasping.
“Relax,” she said.
Then, “How much is it?” she said.
Yep, I’m afraid I really said that. ;)
RELAX?? Sorry, but that was not humanly possible at that moment. I kept screaming. I couldn’t help it, though I sure our family thought I’d gone loony! I mean to say. Relax? :P Nope.
Soooooo. Despite my fumbling, I was able to find out pretty quick that the lowest priced tickets were $35 each. What? But we couldn’t back down now. We decided to ask our Dad to go with us. And so – Jessica went intrepidly downstairs to Open Negotiations. Just kidding.
So, I went and told Mom and Dad about it in what Rosie calls a “thoroughly reasonable and self-contained manner.” (Thank you for the good press, m’dear. Much appreciated.) Long story short, I offered to pay for about three-quarters of the ticket price if Dad would go with us—because, after all, you can’t ask your Dad to pay $90 or whatever to go see a show that he’s never even heard of and doesn’t know if he’ll enjoy. Not right, Jeeves. And Dad said, OK, that’s a deal; so Rosie and I ran back upstairs to order tickets online. And then we went to bed (although whether we went to sleep immediately is another matter altogether).
Annnnnddddd . . . two weeks later, it was SHOW TIME!!!! *shivers with excitement and squee-ness*
When the overture began AHHHHH THE THRILLS. “Now . . . Is . . . The . . . Time . . . To . . . SEIZE . . . THE . . . DAY . . .”
The spotlights went on and there was Jack (JACK!!! I had to stop myself from screaming. Understandable, I’m sure :P) and Crutchie up on the top of Jack’s “penthouse.” Ach, the chills when Jack started singing “Santa Fe”!! Joey Barreiro was a WONDERFUL Jack. His voice was amazing, and just the passion and emotion he displayed . . . !!! And then at the end of the song, when he puts his arm around Crutchie and sings “Don’t you know that we’s a family? Would I let you down? No way!”, it was just – awwwwww the FEELS! AND IT’S JUST THE FIRST SCENE. Like What Even. I couldn’t believe how emotional I felt :P Gah.
Yeah. Can we just take a minute here to reflect on the sheer awesomeness that was Joey Barreiro’s Jack Kelly? He was just SO COOL. He’s a real Italian New Yorker, which of course is absolutely perfect for this show ‘cause it’s all about New York City. His accent is perfect, his looks are perfect, and he’s just got this fantastic, hard-hitting passion and intensity, but in a really direct and down-to-earth and almost “practical” sort of way . . . So yeah. He’s a great Jack. I think he’s my new personal favorite, honestly. (And all the Jeremy Jordan fans rise up in a body and throw rotten tomatoes at me. And I smile serenely and say, “Sorry, guys, I know Jeremy is awesome, BUT YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING TILL YOU’VE SEEN JOEY.”)
The scene where Jack, Davey, and Les have to run away from Synder (you know, the guy who runs that awful so-called orphanage, “The Refuge”) is really cool. Davey and Les had just offered to take Jack home with them and have dinner, and Jack is like “Uh, that’s real nice, Davey, but – no thanks – I just – um – remembered I have to meet a guy – he’s probably wondering where I am . . .” Jack’s kind of trying to put up a tough-guy front, ‘cause he doesn’t want anyone to know how lonely he actually is. By the way, when Davey says “You could meet our folks” and Jack says “You’ve got folks?”, it’s just soooo sad . . . Then Snyder spots them and they run away into the theatre. Medda Larkin is there, and she yells at them something along the lines of “no naughty boys in the theatre at this hour.” And Jack says, “Not even me?” and he goes down and hugs her. It’s so sweet! She is such a wise and loving person, a kind of mother figure to Jack :)
And now we come to . . . “The World Will Know.” ALL DA FEELS.
This scene was just soooooooo well done—but hey, is that any surprise? ALL their scenes were well-done. You can just feel the newsies’ shock and anger and desperation, really, when they find out the price has been raised. They know they can’t afford it, but they feel trapped—they’re all like, “What do we do now?” And when Jack is like, “We STRIKE!!!”—well, suffice it to say that we got thrills. Lots of them. Only, it’s not so simple as that, because you can’t just “go on strike” and hope to win if you’re a bunch of rag-tag orphans with no money. Or . . . can you? ;)
Well, long story short, Jack and Davey manage to rally the other newsies to defy Pulitzer and go on strike—it’s so cool how those two work together, by the way. Jack is the “boss,” definitely, and he’s the one with all the charisma and fire, but Davey is the one with the “brains” who knows how to make a logical argument and convince people . . . and there are moments in this scene where Jack is kind of “at a loss” and fumbling for the right words, but Davey steps in and says it for him. Gah. I LOVE DAVEY. And then they all start dancing and singing and it’s EPIC. I have no words, folks. None.
Oh, and I especially love the part where they sing “The world says ‘no’—WELL, THE KIDS DO TOO!!!” They all line up, close together, right at the front of the stage and they’re looking up at the audience and they’re just so MAD that you can’t see how it’s possible they could ever lose. They look about ready to take on the entire universe.
But when no one else is showing up to help them, (it’s so heartbreaking, btw, when Jack calls to Specs “Can you see anybody else coming?” and Specs gives him a mournful thumbs-down), all the newsies are kind of frantic. They have to live. If they don’t sell papers, they can’t eat! They start to talk about giving in to Pulitzer. Jack doesn’t know what to say, and he turns desperately to Davey. “You tell them, Davey.”
“Now is the time to seize the day . . .” Davey goes back and forth among the newsies, trying to rally them. When he sings, “Courage cannot erase our fears – courage is when we face our fears”, a thrill just ran through me and I wanted to jump up and sing with him. It was such a GREAT MOMENT, guys!
And then when three boys show up and pick up stacks of newspapers!! THE TENSION! But Jack just looks them in the eye. “I know someone put you up to this, boys. But you gotta strike! It’s not just about us. This is for every kid in every sweatshop and every factory and every alleyway in New York!” They hesitate for one long second, while the audience holds their breath – then one kid shouts “I’m with you!” That’s the turning point . . . and its soooo awesome.
NOW IS THE TIME TO SEIZE THE DAY!!!!
THAT IS SUCH A GREAT SONG, YOU GUYS. But, of course, it can’t last long—it’s followed by a fight with the Delanceys and Pulitzer’s other guys, and the newsies lose, badly—and, worst of all, Crutchie gets taken away to “The Refuge.” NO! NOT MY BABY! LEAVE HIM ALONE! But they take him away, and Jack is about frantic . . . and he goes back to his rooftop and sings “Santa Fe.” It’s just . . . heartbreaking. I tell ya, guys, that Joey Barreiro is Something Else. He pours everything he has into that one song and it is INCREDIBLE. So much emotion. There’s even one part where he turns away from the audience and leans on the railing, just sobbing . . . Like a kid—a hurt, lonely kid. Which is what he really is, for all he tries to put on a “tough guy” front. Sheesh. Jack, I LOVE YOU.
Sheesh is right. You all know I am physically unable to actually cry over books, plays or movies (sorry, it’s not like I don’t want to!!) but when Jack sang “Santa Fe” I had tears in my eyes. The stage was all blurry. The other song that did that to me was Crutchie’s new song, “Letter From The Refuge”. On that song, I was soooo afraid that I was just going to start sobbing right in-theatre. It is ABSOLUTLELY HEARTBREAKING!! Crutchie’s in bed, all over blood from the beating Synder gave him. It’s a small cramped bed, that he’s sharing with another fellow . . . He writes a letter to Jack. “Guess I wasn’t much help yesterday . . .” (Just – I’m going to break down thinking about it, especially when the guy in the bed hits him “Otha people are tryin’ t’get some sleep here!”) And he signs his letter, “Your friend . . . your best friend . . . your brother, Crutchie.” His voice is just literally trembling with emotion. And I am shaking in my seat. And can barely see for the tears.
“King of New York” was awesome, too—a lot more cheerful, obviously :D And here I’d like to pause to give a special shout-out to one of the best members of the entire cast: Race, played by Benjamin Cook. He’s absolutely HILARIOUS—stole every single scene he was in. He’s got this really strong, really high tenor voice (high for a guy’s, I mean) and the BEST facial expressions and just soooooooo much humor. When he flings out his arms and yells, “Cut out your moanin’ and let’s all pause to drink in the moment . . . I’M FAMOUS!!!!” And then, of course, we get into one of the most rollicking songs in the whole show—“Ya don’t need money when you’re famous—they gives ya whatever ya want, gratis!” I just loved it.
I was really, really looking forward to hearing “Brooklyn’s Here,” because it’s my favorite song in the entire show—and Spot Conlon and his boys certainly did not disappoint me there :) It was way, way, WAY more exciting than just listening to it on the soundtrack. SO. MUCH. ENERGY. And it comes at a really low point in the story, too, when Pulitzer’s just about broken Jack’s spirit and everything is horrible . . . and then, all of a sudden, we have the cavalry coming over the hill :) “Now them soakers is in for a soakin’ . . . What a sad way to end a career . . . They’s a joke, but if they think we’s joking . . .” YES YES YES.
Then comes “Something To Believe In”, which, by the way, was Dad’s favorite song. I loved it too.
“Guys like me don’t end up with girls like you.” And when they start singing. “The world finds ways to sting you . . . and then decides to bring you SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN” - I can’t even begin to describe how it affected me. There is so much emotion!!! Jack finally has someone!! “For sure?” “For sure.”
They are so sweet!
“And if you weren’t an heiress, and if your father wasn’t after my head . . .”
“You’re not really scared of my father.”
“No. But I’m pretty scared of you.” Awwww . . .
“I have something to believe in . . . Now that I know you believed in me.” AND THEY KISS. All da FEELS, peoples!!!!!
AND THEN THE ENDING SCENE. THE ENDING SCENE, THOUGH. When Pulitzer finally, finally gives in. And when Jack goes out on the balcony and yells, “Newsies of New York—WE WON!!!!!!!” and they all start cheering—I JUST CANNOT TAKE IT. It’s too much. And then Crutchie comes back from the Refuge—and Jack hugs him—and Katherine and the other newsies convince Jack to stay with them instead of heading off to Santa Fe—and he and Katherine kiss again—AND ALL THE NEWSIES ARE CHEERING LIKE MAD . . . GAAAHHHH. Okay. I have no words. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it was amazing. I wasn’t crying, but my heart was pounding like crazy.
When they came out for their bows, too . . . Only, being the Newsies, they don’t just walk out calmly. They dance onstage and do cartwheels and spins and backflips and everything—and you better believe the audience is cheering. (I was, too ;) ) It was epic. And when Jack came on, last of all—well, I pretty much lost it. I just started screaming “JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!” I’m sure I sounded like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert—but hey, I don’t care, these guys are better than Justin Bieber and they deserve some fangirling, too.
Man, the EMOTIONS. It was over. IT WAS OVER. I was sad that it had ended. And I couldn’t believe that we’d actually seen it. The whole thing. But at the same time, I was just OVERFLOWING with happiness to see Jack and Crutchie reunited, and Katherine at Jack’s side. Ach, I can’t even. FINALLY, Jack is happy. The newsies have WON. And Pulitzer is in his proper place. The FEELS, I mean to say, what? I just couldn’t stop screaming. And I didn’t care :P
Let’s give it up for the NEWSIES OF NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn’t agree more, Rosie. And remember, all of you: “Now is the time to seize the day . . .” (You’re welcome.)
Thanks again, Naomi—we had a blast! And thanks to all of you who actually managed to sit through that ;)
Thank you girls for writing this. I'm so jealous, I can't even.