Newsies explodes with dazzling choreography on PCPA’s stages in Santa Maria & Solvang

Coming to the Marian Theatre July 19 – 22 and Solvang Festival Theater July 27 – August 20 is PCPA’s production of Disney’s Newsies The Musical – the Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon. The show is based on the historical newsboy strike of 1899 that shook the ivory towers of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. It leaps onto the stage with soul stirring music, amazing heart, and stunning choreography

Joe Ogren as Crutchie (back), (left to right) Tim Fuchs as Davey, Tyler Lenhart as Jack Kelly, Cory Betts as Specs

It tells how a band of underdogs took on the most powerful names in New York in a fight for what’s right. The poor and orphaned teenagers, selling newspapers for a penny a paper, are pushed to the limit when newspaper moguls Hearst and Pulitzer try to take away more of their meager profits. Jack Kelly becomes the leader who rallies the newsies from across the city to take a stand and strike against the most powerful publishers in the country. Their cause becomes even bigger than any of the newsies imagined when they realize they’re fighting for all the children working in unfair and unsafe conditions across the nation.

Newsies The Musical was the winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography. The stage adaptation played on Broadway from 2012 – 2014 with a national tour that concluded just this past summer. The Broadway run was only expected to play 101 performances, but audiences never abated so the show ended up running a total of 1005 performances. Since 2011 Newsies has played 1,711 performances between Broadway and the North American tour to more than 2.5 million audience members. It received 23 major theatrical nominations, including 8 Tony Award nominations. A movie was made of the Broadway production that included

Tim Fuchs as Davey, Cory Betts as Specs

many of the original cast members. The film was released in February 2017 for a limited three day run in theatres across the country.

Newsies is directed by Micheal Jenkinson with choreography by Michael Jenkinson and Associate Choreographer Katie Wackowski. Music Director is Paul Marszalkowski, Scenic Designer is Jason Bolen, Costume Designer is Eddy L. Barrows, Lighting Designer is Jennifer ‘Z’ Zornow, Sound Designer is Elisabeth Weidner, and Stage Manager is Zoia N. Wiseman. The cast of Resident Artists include Katie Wackowski, Matt Koenig, and Kitty Balay* with a supporting ensemble of remarkable actors and dancers.

THE NEWSBOY STRIKE OF 1899

Tim Fuchs as Davey, Annali Fuchs as Katherine Plumbler, Tyler Lenhart as Jack Kelly

The newsboys’ strike in the summer of 1899 lasted two-weeks and resulted in a considerable decline in circulation of the two most powerful papers in the country. The strike drew rallies of more than 5,000 as the young newsboys called on the public to boycott newspapers The Worldand The Journal. Shortly after the strike began. The public showed their support and stopped buying the offending papers.

Newspapers at that time were sold in bundles of 100 at a cost of 50-cents to the
newsboys who would hawk them throughout the city. When the publishers raised the price to 60-cents and refused to buy back unsold papers it was a massive hardship on the group of poor orphans that largely comprised the child labor force of newsboys.

In the end, Hearst and Pulitzer, though not lowering prices, did agree to buy back unsold papers as a compromise. The newsies’ strike spawned similar actions in other parts of the country as well. The strikes would eventually lead to the introduction of urban child-welfare practices

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