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L.A. Beat

LMT makes auspicious return with Newsies

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 To borrow a line from Evan Row’s Davey, Lethbridge Musical Theatre made an “auspicious” return to the Yates Theatre with a big collaborative production with Chinook High School of Disney”s  Broadway hit “Newsies”  Reid Mills plays Crutchie in Newsies. Photo by Richard Amery
The two week run ends tonight at the Yates Theatre.
 As expected, the kids steal the show , as well they should as they have been rehearsing for it  as part of their curriculum since September.

 Plus it is all about kids– particularly child labour in 1899, New York City, where the newspaper delivery boys have finally had enough when publishing magnate John Pulitzer decides to increase  revenue by increasing the price of the paper for the the newsies, which falls on them as they have to buy the papers and then sell them.
 That leads the boys and girls , inspired by an ongoing trolley strike, to go on strike themselves.
As expected in a musical, there is a lot of singing and dancing.

 The cast sing beautifully together as a chorus throughout. You can tell how much work director Dave Mikuliak put in with them.

 And the leads, Talmage Conrad as Newsies leader Jack Kelly and  Nicole Furlan as  Katherine Plumber who I have never seen perform, shine. I look forward to sNewsies ends tonight at the Yates Sterndale Theatre. Photo by Richard Ameryeeing more of them on stage.

Reid Mills  brings out of  pathos of the crippled  Crutchie, which is especially  heartbreaking when he gets beat up by  strike breakers. Evan Row plays the brainy new newsie Davey, who ends up taking charge of the strike as Jack Kelly retreats to paint Medda Larkin’s theatre. His innocent, yet wise little brother Les, played by Ammon Orr, almost steals the show though.

 And I really enjoyed Jillian Bracken’s  worldly theatre owner Medda Larkin.

 There are a few familiar faces from the local theatre scene including Aaron Tyslau as Weisel, and Jillian Bracken as theatre owner Medda Larkin, and John  Poulson as fantastic  governor Teddy Roosevelt who saves the day at the end. Tony Zapone plays an excellent evil John Pulitzer
 I was very impressed with the dance choreography done by Alisha Hornberger and her sister Hillary. The kids jump, leap , dance and  do cartwheels and somersaults throughout the show with boundless energy , rush all over the stage and up and down the stairs. They even greet the audience at the beginning of the show, handing out programs, which are designed to look like newspapers.

They perform on an open stage with multiple movable  set pieces and  a multi-media backdrop of 1890’s New York City.

 The music drowned out some of the quieter voices from where I was sitting in the capacity audience.
 But their voices and the ensuing story ring true. as true today as it was back then, conveying the message that is  possible for young people to change the world.
 The last show is at 7 p.m. tonight.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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