Theater Review: 'Newsies'

I’ve heard them called "gateway musicals": Shows that invite in younger fans, kids under 70 who find themselves curious about this "musical theater" they’ve heard so much about. Quality and style can vary widely, but they tend to be more recent additions to the Broadway canon. (Golden-age classics and spring-semester mainstays don’t count: Gateway musicals must be tough to mount in high-schools, because without the struggle, where’s the allure?) Rent and Into the Woods both qualify, but so does Chess, that shapeless Reagan-era Halloween bag of goofy delights, and Jason Robert Brown’s oddly irresistible pity-party The Last Five Years. What’s required is a peculiar combination of soul-swelling optimism and anthemic pathos (or bathos, in a pinch). You’ve just described every musical ever written, sneer the cynics, but no: It’s harder to fake than you’d think. Read More...


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