Monday, October 20, 2014


                                         PHOTOS BY DEEN VAN MEER

" Hear ye. Hear ye. Extra. Extra. Read all about it" might be the rallying cry of newspaper boys all the way back to colonial times.  They are the energetic, paper-in-your-face kids ready to earn a penny or two hawking the latest headlines of the day, scrapping by on the pittance they earn from the big publishing giants like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.

Hold on to your reading glasses and run as fast as you can to Waterbury's Palace Theater tonight through Saturday, October 25 as "Disney's Newsies The Musical" flies into town.  With book by Harvey Fierstein, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, "Newsies" has been making its own headlines, winning Tony Awards in 2012 for Best Choreography and Best Original Score.

Based on a real newsboy strike in New York City in 1899, it centered on child labor practices, when the kids united to change the way the big powers compensated them.  In the two weeks the boys refused to sell newspapers, circulation dropped from 360,000 to 125,000 and the kids were victorious in having their voices heard.

Now you're invited to get in on the exuberant musical and dancing action as newspaper boys called "newsies" take to the streets to sell their wares.  Often homeless and orphaned, they were not employees of the publisher.  They couldn't return unsold goods.  Working from early morning often to late in the night, they typically earned 30 cents a day.

Come meet Jack Kelly, an enthusiastic hard working Dan DeLuca, who rallies his gang when he realizes the cost of the papers from the publisher has been raised.  Jack gathers his force to protest and finds unexpected support from a reporter Katherine (Stephanie Styles).  With the help of Davey (Jacob Kemp) who is helping the family when his dad is disabled, the boys are encouraged to "Seize the Day."  The police and strikebreakers try to snuff their spirit but, ultimately, Jack's championing of their cause prevails and Pulitzer (Steve Blanchard) backs down on his monetary demands.  Even Governor Theodore Roosevelt rides in to help save the day.

For tickets ($30-70), call the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 203-346-2000 or online at  Performances are tonight at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Help Jack and his pals carry the banner of truth, justice and the American way as they hit the streets of 1899 New York City to battle the giants and win the day.

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