High-energy ‘Newsies’ Tells Timeless Story

Huck Borden as Les, Daniel Plimpton as Davie, Yolanda W. Rabun as Medda Larkin, and Jason Gotay as Jack in "Newsies."

North Carolina Theatre’s production of Disney’s “Newsies” hit the ground running opening night with singing, dancing and a whole lot of heart.

The show, which will run until Sunday, July 29, at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, stars Jason Gotay as Jack Kelly in a semi-historical story about love, power and friendship.

The spectacle of the song and dance intertwine to tell a story loosely based on the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899.

“It’s for people of all ages because it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s sweet, and the dancers are just amazing,” Gotay said. “I think the choreography is incredible.”

From start to finish, this production of “Newsies” is filled with rhythm and dance as actors twirl, tap and sometimes flip across the stage.

“These dancers are unbelievable not only what they’re being asked to do, which is so exciting and challenging, but the execution and the level of precision, energy, stamina and personality that they bring — it’s just so amazing to watch,” said Gotay. “I think watching these dancers and how they move and how they tell the story with their bodies is definitely something to look out for.”

For child actor Huck Borden, in the role of Les, dancing is also a highlight.

“I love the dancing,” said Huck, 12. “When I heard ‘King of New York’ had a tap-dancing number in it, I was super happy because I love tap dancing.”

Jason Gotay as Jack and Steve Raymond as Crutchie with the rest of the “Newsies” cast

The live musical accompaniment brings to life the story of youth banding together to stand up against injustice from one of the cities’ most powerful men at a time when youth did not have much of a voice.

“It follows these kids who couldn’t be heard,” Huck said. “They wanted to say something but those in power didn’t want to hear them, and it follows how they stood up for themselves.”

Gotay says the story relates to recent protests seen today.

“You’re seeing across the country young people bonding together to fight for a common cause and putting their foot down and refusing to be treated unfairly. That’s exactly what ‘Newsies’ is about.”

The camaraderie that brings the newsboys together is something Gotay says he feels among the actors as well and was looking forward to experiencing during his first time in a “Newsies” production.

“Getting to play this role and do the show and feel that energy, support and strength of those who are in the cast alongside me, I think that has to be my favorite,” he said. “It’s amazing for an actor to dig into a role like that.”

 “Newsies” will run through Sunday, July 29, at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets visit nctheatre.com or call (919) 831-6941 x6944.



1 Comment

  • TD Jasper says:

    Nice write up. I agree that the show was well done and there was energy on the stage by the actors. Maybe you purposely didn’t want to point out the negatives with the most obvious one being the guy – Merwin Foard – who played Joseph Pulitzer. Both his poor vocals and his overacting are better suited for a show on a cruise ship or something.

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