Newsies in New York

So as you all may remember, I spent the past weekend in New York City. I went up there with my girl Jasmin so that we could watch Newsies.

It was one of the best weekends ever. New York is a wonderful city full of great food, good shopping, and of course, Broadway. We stayed in a fantastic hotel in Times Square. The Hilton Double Tree-- we stayed on the 37th floor so we had an amazing view of Times Square. It wasn't terribly cold either although usually winters in New York have not been kind to me.

Side note for fellow travelers: If you're going to New York in the winter, I recommend you pack thick, fleece-lined leggings. I found them to be great both for wearing under my skinnies to keep my legs warm and I also was able to just wear them as leggings with my dresses. The internet suggested I get long underwear, but really thick leggings were much easier to find and I got great deals on them at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Plus they're more wearable, I think.
Jasmin in Times Square!
Anyway, we had a great time, hitting up the Disney Store, The M&Ms World, and the Hershey's store. We did a lot of window shopping-- we're both fairly money conscious people, especially when it comes to clothing prices. It's hard for two girls who love secondhand and discount stores to go nuts on clothes in the big city. I'd rather spend money on experiences-- like watching Newsies.

At the Hershey Store!
Me and Jasmin-- Orchestra Seats!
Which was, by the way, phenomenal. I've loved Newsies for years and the Broadway show did not disappoint. There were changes to the music and story to make it better for stage and I think that they were fantastic choices, not to knock the original. I think it made a lot of characters stronger which really helped ease the loss of certain other characters-- Jasmin loves Spot Conlon and so when his parts were smaller in the scope of the Broadway show than in the film, she was a little sad. ("Never Fear Brooklyn's Here" Is one of her favorite lines/scenes.) But it's hard to introduce a lot of medium-sized roles in a stage production since there aren't camera close-ups etc. to help the audience understand their importance-- the main characters have to be established early on usually in order for the story to flow and pace well. Movies are a very different medium and there are a lot of ways that filmmakers can carry a message across to the audience (depending on things like zoom, angle, etc.) that have a profound effect on storytelling that stage productions don't have the ability to do. Personally, I get a little annoyed by people who want to watch an exact copy of the film because it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the unique challenges and advantages of both mediums as well as a lack of appreciation for the fantastic work, choices, and extra goodies that the stage version brought to the table. (Like a love interest with Jack who actually has some real personality instead of just a pretty blank. And Teddy Roosevelt storming in to kick some asses. There was a ton of amazing stuff in that musical.)


The cast is amazing. Absolutely amazing. And I got to see an understudy performance for which I am extremely grateful-- Mike Faist as Jack Kelly was absolutely fantastic. He made my night and his portrayal of Jack had a lot depth. I think he's my favorite. He played Jack in a very real way, his choices just absolutely blew me out of the water.

Mike Faist - Morris Delancey and Jack Kelly Understudy
I'm pretty all about this guy, right now. The terrifying thing is, if I'd not seen him as understudy, I probably never would have known how fantastically talented he is, since the Delancy brothers don't have very many lines or any songs-- Mike really shined and did Jack's character justice. More than that even. I think he brought an authenticity to the character and really portrayed the vulnerability in him and conflict he faced. He did it all throughout his performance, but I was particularly impressed with his singing-- I think too many actors fall into the pattern of trying to make songs pretty, sacrificing authenticity or lightening a heavy moment. He sang wonderfully, but he did it while staying true to what was happening to Jack-- he didn't sacrifice Jack's conflict and fear for the sake of making songs sound as pretty as possible. He wasn't just being a singer, he was also an actor, and I think it's really easy to want to sing a gorgeous song in a pretty way, but sometimes it's just not true to the moment. It's the same kind of thing that Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" has been praised for. It was real, it was genuine, and a lot of renditions I've heard didn't come close to that.

Me and Ryan Steele
The set was crazy cool and the scene changes were very well done. The music I of course, adore. The choreography blew my mind and I totally understood everyone's love affair with Ryan Steele. Definitely a stand out as Specs. We laughed, we cried (I cried more), and were just completely take with the show.

I bought a ton of merchandise. I'm not even upset about it. Totally worth it and in all honesty, probably going to buy more. I even got the poster signed at the stage door! So exciting.

clockwise from top left: Playbill, signed poster, pin, tote bag,
Baseball-style long sleeve shirt, travel mug.
We also ate some really delicious food and saw some amazing sights. We checked out the Fashion District and Times Square and had a really fun time seeing the city and spending hours after the show watching tons of videos of the cast and scrolling through the tags on tumblr.

I also got to meet the people I work for at MTV! We had a good chat (after getting lost on the way) and talked about fandom and weddings. I should have taken a photo, but we had to dash for dinner and our train!

One of the best weekends ever. I'm already scheming ways to get back to watch Newsies again, hopefully with Mike Faist again (what can I say? I'm a fan). In the meantime I'll settle for hoarding merchandise, watching the movie every week and singing the soundtrack.


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2 comments:

  1. Glad you had a great time! My old roommate loves Newsies!

    ReplyDelete