Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Newsies Addiction

 photo here


I feel like I need to take a quick break from my posts about the YMCIA's awesome intervention in my life to explain the significance of my seeing Newsies on Broadway.

First there was Newsies, the movie.  It came out in theaters in 1992, a few months before Allen and I were married (20 years ago!) and I was super excited to see it.  It didn't have a very long run in theaters because there are too many people who can't appreciate awesomeness.  This was good news for me, however, because I got to see it at the dollar theater.  Repeatedly, with whomever would accompany me there, and at least a few times all by my lonesome as well.

When I went home to work for the summer before we got hitched I bought myself a VHS copy of Newsies and enjoyed it as often as I liked.  Which was pretty often.  Most of my friends were not fans of the movie, which was somewhat bothersome to me.  I was undeterred by those around me and blared my Newsies cassette from the tape deck of my 1976 Dodge Aspen everywhere I went.  I became a bit obsessed with the story in the movie and how it compared to the real Newsboy Strike of 1899.  Because the internet was pretty much unheard of I researched the true story behind the movie at my local library.

Once I ran out of research options I watched the scene where Jack sings Santa Fe repeatedly and memorized his dance number on the streets of New York (it starts at 1:43, just sayin') so I could bust the same moves along with him as he sang.  

I also became a huge fan of two of the actors in the movie, Christian Bale and Bill Pullman.  Christian Bale because - well, hello, he's Christian Bale. (And Batman.  And smokin'!)  And Bill Pullman because he has a great smile and was always playing such great nice-guy characters.

I decided that Disney would have to eventually make Newsies into a stage play and I would make it a priority to audition for it.  At first I wanted to be Sarah with her one-sentence solo (Think about seizing the day!), but I realized that I would be getting too old to play her part so I thought I could try out for Medda... but had a better chance of getting the 30-second part of Patrick's mom (and have a nice little solo).  As time went on and no stage production was happening I eventually resigned myself to the fact that I would have to be one of the nuns in the opening number.  And I was okay with that.

Once I got married my obsession died down quite a bit.  This was probably a good thing.  However, I did continue to listen to my cassette tape enough that it needed to be replaced a couple of times.

Throughout my life I have met many (okay, most) people who had not seen Newsies and I'd lend them my VHS tape with the promise that they'd love it.  The feedback was mixed, but mostly people didn't share my enthusiasm for the show, which continues to baffle me.   Because COME ON!  How can you go wrong with Christian Bale's hotness, Bill Pullman's niceness, a whole cast of guys who can sing and dance, and a little bit of history thrown in?  I was so in love!

When Newsies came out on DVD I was excited to purchase a copy and see what special features would be included.  It was grand.  This is one of the few movies that I do not keep with our family stash - it has a special place in my cupboard and none of the kids are allowed to touch it without permission.

Well, once the internet became popular (yeah, I'm old) I started doing periodic searches on Newsies there.  I found out little tidbits about the actors of the show, where they are today, that sort of thing.  And then, last November, all of my dreams came true.  I did my typical search and found this article stating that Newsies would be on Broadway.  Oh, be still my wildly beating heart.  It finally happened!  They turned my beloved movie musical into a full-fledged stage production at the Paper Mill Playhouse and it was so amazing (of course it was!) that it was going to Broadway.

The only problem with this whole situation is that there was no guarantee of an extended run or eventual touring company.  This meant that in order to see Newsies on stage I would have to somehow get from Utah to New York City.  How could I make this happen?  Allen and I are not big travelers unless we take a vacation with our family or a quick jaunt to Salt Lake City for our anniversary.  It seemed purely selfish to even suggest that we make a trip to New York just for me.  Think of the cost and time involved, too.  It was all too much.  I mean, sure, it would be fulfilling TWO of my life's dreams, but I still had a hard time believing it was possible.

I satisfied my renewed obsession for all things Newsies by checking daily for new Newsies postings on YouTube and the internet in general.  Through the magic of the online world I met much of the Broadway cast, saw a few of their (AWESOME!) song and dance numbers, listened to the entire new soundtrack, read raving reviews and found out about the major differences in the movie and the stage production (which meant that two of the roles I had dreams of auditioning for were gone.  But my youthful dream of being on stage again is also gone until I'm like 60 and have no more kids at home, so whatever.  I'll totally be a nun in the touring company.  Newsies the Musical 2032, holla!).

All of this, my friends, is what made getting those Newsies tickets so heartstoppingly, fantastically awesome.

8 comments:

Rebecca said...

Remember that year I found the Newsies soundtrack cassette at Big Lots and gave it to you for your birthday?

Yep. We've been friends a LONG time.

And you are, indeed, a fanatic!

Gerb said...

How could I ever forget such a gift?

And, by the way, the correct term is 'Fansie'. Yes, it sounds a lot like 'pansy', but it is what it is and I proudly own it.

Rachel said...

I honestly do not know how anyone could NOT love Newsies. I didn't know that there were those out there that didn't!!!

Dropped on their heads at birth I bet........

Cami said...

Hi. My name is Cami, and I am a "Fansie".

Petersons Blog Spot said...

Well I am out of the loop but I am about to change that and find a copy of the movie to watch it for the first time ever!

Gerb said...

Jerri-
I am so excited for you, your first NEWSIES experience!! If you can't find a copy, let me know. :)

GaeLynn said...

I must admit, I've never seen it either. I might need to borrow that coveted copy from my favorite neighbor across the street.

Linn said...

My mother-in-law just bought the DVD for our kids when she came to visit a couple of weeks ago because she loves it so much and wanted them to see it. They loved it too!

PS. I didn't watch it with them (taking care of the baby), but you've almost convinced me to give it a try. I almost never watch movies (I have no idea why), so it is a big deal if I'm even considering it. :)