I’ve said it before and I will probably never stop saying it: I LOVE NEWSIES. I loved it the first time I saw it way back in 1992, in the movie theater, alternating between wanting to get up and dance with childish abandon while also processing some very complicated, very adolescent feelings about all those very nice-looking boys thrusting their hips at me up on the big screen.
I actually had NO IDEA the movie was more or less critically panned and considered a “flop” until many years later, and I remember being shocked and kind of disappointed with the movie-going public, because COME ON. It was so fun! I bought the soundtrack on cassette and the movie on VHS! I watched it a million times! It was great!
I mean, it wasn’t perfect. Okay. I got that. I could admit that it was a little corny and stuff, and not very historically accurate, but…but…Carrying the Banner! I defy anyone not to like that song. I DEFY YOU.
Luckily, OBVIOUSLY, I was not the only die-hard fan who rescued Newsies from total obscurity and promoted it to “cult hit” status. There are a lot of us. An army! A union! And thanks to a ton of amateur theater troupes and summer stock interest in a stage version, Newsies is now on Broadway (currently until August 19th, then I assume it will tour), getting nominated for Tony awards and being awesome and stuff. I haven’t seen it yet (*shakes fist at ALL THESE SMALL NEEDY CHILDREN*) but I will. As God as my witness, I will. SOON.
In the meantime, I shall get my nerd fix with the original Broadway cast recording, which was sent to me to “review,” because OH YES, that’s exactly what I do. I review music. Like, constantly. I’m very high-minded and I have excellent taste.
Here’s my review: Even if you haven’t seen the stage production in person, I challenge you to resist the urge to COMPLETELY SQUEE 30 seconds into the familiar notes of the prologue, and to not feel that itch to grab a hairbrush and sing along in front of your mirror to Carrying the Banner and Santa Fe and King of New York and gaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh I’m in junior high again, only with clearer skin and more self-confidence and a vague sense that I would probably creep most of the cast out, but WHO CARES.
Newsies is still my dorkariffic jam, y’all.
All the “best” songs from the musical are here, but quite a few new ones, if you’re looking to justify purchasing a SECOND Newsies soundtrack, because OF COURSE you own the movie version. (I do. Shut up.) Bill Pullman’s character has been changed to a female journalist (and a more interesting love interest for Jack than that drab, do-nothing sister type) (I HAZ A JELUS), and Medda has a new song and a stable of chorus girls. The Brooklyn gang gets their own song-and-dance number and Crutchie is there and all that.
Would you like a free copy? I would like to send you a free copy. Leave your favorite Newsies moment or memory in the comments to enter. I’ll select a (U.S.-based, please) winner this Friday at noon. IT’S A FINE LIFE, YOU GUYS.