We sure had a fun Valentine’s Day this year. Usually Nate and I celebrate on this day, but this year I spent part of it with Kelly. Why, you ask? She has asked for a special birthday gift this year….to go see the musical, Newsies at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis. We bought her tickets and they happened to be on Valentine’s Day. She has been waiting for this day since this past summer when she found out this musical was coming to Minneapolis. I doubt she slept much the night before and she was so excited when she woke up Sunday morning. Her friend Johanna also had tickets, so we picked them up and had lunch at Crave before the show.
I didn’t really know a lot about this musical, but did watch the movie in our music class about four or five years ago, but I didn’t remember much about it. If you’re not familiar with it, I did a little “Google” search for you.
Newsies (released as The News Boys in the United Kingdom) is a 1992 American musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is loosely based on the New York City Newsboys Strike of 1899. The film was an initial box office flop and received negative reviews at the time of its release, but later gained a cult following on home video. It was later adapted into a successful Stage adaption on Broadway that won two Tony Awards.
The actual Newsboys Strike of 1899 lasted from July 20 to August 2. The leader of the strike was a one-eyed young man named Louis Ballat, nicknamed “Kid Blink”, who spoke with a heavy Brooklyn accent that was often phonetically transcribed when he was quoted by newspapers. Kid Blink is featured in the film as a minor supporting character (Blink and another real-life newsie, Maurice Cohen, were the inspiration for Jack Kelly), while the role of strike leader is given to the fictional Cowboy. The actual strike ended with a compromise: the World and Journal agreed to buy back all unsold copies of the newspapers. The history of the newsboys strike of 1899 is told in David Nasaw’s book Children of the City: At Work and at Play.
Once we finished lunch, we headed over to the theater to find our seats. Kelly wanted a souvenir and found a cute T-shirt that she could wear to school this week and sort of “show off” where she’d been this past weekend.
The theater had a couple of fun displays up for people to interact with. Remember, this is a Disney production, so we saw an age gap from little kids all the way to grandparents at this show. Kelly and Johanna immediately went to this fun newspaper cut out and asked us to take their picture.
Once the show started, I realized why two 16 year old girls were desperate to see this musical. It’s all buff, good looking 20 something year old boys in this show! Only five girls, which barely see the stage. Okay, now I get it! This is a teenage girls dream show. haha~ This is the main guy who played the lead role of Jack Kelly. I have to say that my Kelly, has good taste in guys. 🙂
Kelly was so overwhelmed at being in the theater, that she was teary and cried for most of the first act. She just couldn’t get over the fact that she was really here! It reminded me of my first time seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert. I did the same thing!
The show was really a lot of fun and very high energy. These guys can really dance, sing, and seem to have a good time up on that stage. It was an interesting story and the good guys won in the end, which makes for a great Disney production. Good clean fun as well.
Kelly and I were so impressed with all the sets they use on stage and how quickly they switch from one to the other, without having the stage go dark. They keep you entertained with one thing, while switching and you don’t even see it happening. Well done.
We both had such a fun day and I’m thankful Kelly asked me to join her. I gave her the option to invite a friend rather than go with her mom, but she told me she wanted to spend her birthday gift with me. So sweet! (sniff-sniff) It was a wonderful time and I’m looking forward to doing this again with her. My next show, I’ll be watching HER on stage in her high school musical of Man of La Mancha in a couple weeks. I better get back on Google and research for my next blog.