This past Saturday, S.W.E.E.T. sponsored a trip for students to see the musical “Newsies” at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Pa. This highly anticipated event was a huge success, with many students attending.
“Newsies” tells the true story of the Newsboy Strike of 1899. This Disney musical is about Jack Kelly, a newspaper delivery boy from New York City. Kelly tells his best friend Crutchie that his goal in life is to become an artist in Santa Fe. Newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer raises the stakes for the boys when he increases the price of the paper. The boys receive help from Katherine Plumber, a reporter, and soon realize their potential.
“Newsies” is infamous for being a high octane musical with amazing choreography. It was written by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, who wrote “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid.” The book was written by Harvey Fierstein, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli and directed by Jeff Calhoun. The musical is promoted as a feel-good family musical that everyone can enjoy. “Newsies” gained many accolades during its run, including the Tony Award for Best Score and Best Choreography.
There were 58 students that attended the trip on Saturday, Nov. 1. The show was staged at the Kimmel Center, which has its home on Broad Street in Philadelphia. It opened on Dec. 16, 2001 and has produced such shows as the “Lion King,” “Stomp” and “Annie.”
The Kimmel Center is known as Philadelphia’s supreme performing arts center. It holds four theaters, including the 2,500 seat Verizon Hall, the 650 seat Perelman recital theater, and the 2,688 sq. foot SEI Innovation Studio, as well as the iconic 2,900 seat Academy of Music.
Sophomore Monica Venturella attended the trip and was asked about her favorite part of the show. “My favorite part was at Medda’s theater. I really enjoyed the emotion the actor who played Medda had in her voice and movements. She was able to make Medda seem powerful but with a sensitive side.”
Audience members are the best critics, so when asked what she thought could have been improved Venturella said, “The only thing I think could have been improved was the actor who played Jack needed to be louder. In some of the songs the other members overpowered his voice.” Monica loved the trip. “I would definitely do this again! It was an amazing opportunity.”
Abigail Gould is a sophomore who went on the trip. Gould said, “Newsies is my favorite show, and I have to see a professional play for my acting class. It was a very impressive show. The choreography was excellent, and I was really impressed overall.”
Junior S.W.E.E.T. member Marissa Peduto said, “[S.W.E.E.T.] chose ‘Newsies’ because they try to go to New York or a Broadway show, and it’s in Philly, which is local and cost efficient. You’re not paying full price as OSA pays for some of the tickets.”
Peduto also added that many students were excited about this trip because of the musical’s popularity and because of the price. “On Oct. 20 tickets sales started. By the end of closing on Monday, there were 11 spots available. Out of the 56 available, only 11 were unfilled after one day of sales. There is currently a wait list; sign ups were filled up by Wednesday,” Peduto said.
S.W.E.E.T. has done its job by providing another exciting opportunity for students this semester.