MONUMENT • The Lewis-Palmer High School Drama Club opens its 2022-2023 season this weekend with its production of Disney’s “Newsies The Musical.”
Shows are at 7 p.m., Oct. 27-29, with a matinee at 2 p.m., Oct. 29 at Monument School.
In this musical production, set in New York City, homeless newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly befriends two new-to-the-business paperboys, a pair of brothers David and Les Jacobs. When publisher Joseph Pulitzer sets new rules that make it harder for young “Newsies” to earn an income, the staff of street newspaper vendors decide to go on strike. With sympathy for their struggle, journalist Bryan Denton offers public relations advice as the battle of the newspaper boys grips the city.
“Newsies The Musical” was based on the 1992 musical film of the same name and was inspired by the 1899 newsboys’ strike in New York City. The music for the production was written by Alan Menkin, with lyrics by Jack Feldman, and the book was written by Harvey Fierstein. The musical made its Broadway debut in 2012 where it played over 1,000 shows before its tour.
LPHS educator Kris Lilley said that after sifting through student submission ideas for the fall musical production, she met with band manager Tom Chapman and choir director Madeline Smith to see what happened. would be a great choice for the Lewis-Palmer campus and the Tri-Lakes. community.
“The music and story of Disney’s ‘Newsies the Musical’ felt like an exciting challenge,” Lilley said. “The characters, conflicts and historical perspective of the period inspired research.”
Lilley said the students researched the time period for the accuracy of the costumes and props. They learned about the treatment of workers during the Industrial Revolution in English III, Theater Tech and US History.
“This musical provides a voice to connect fact with fiction,” she said.
Hannah Turner, a junior at LPHS and a cast and crew member, is on her third show with the LPHS drama and is a featured dancer. She said throughout the rehearsal process, she learned that it really takes everyone in the company, cast and crew, to pull off a show.
“We need everyone to be there, focused and ready to work, to get the most out of every rep,” Turner said. “I also discovered that the theater environment creates super strong bonds and everyone cares a lot about each other.”
Turner said studying the material involved in the production of “Newsies” helped reinforce the idea that it is always important to stand up for what a person believes in and to fight against corrupt organizations.
“It also showed me that young people have the power to stand up to unfair treatment and deserve respect,” she said.
Lilley said the biggest challenges in “producing Newsies” have been, when working with a large cast and crew, keeping everyone healthy. While the number of rehearsals before the curtain goes up on opening night, the production has a group of 75 students who are all trying to stay healthy so they can participate.
Additionally, the LPHS production of “Newsies the Musical” becomes special by involving some of the school’s educators, staff, and School District 38 Superintendent Dr. KC Somers in the show.
Tickets for the production are $10 plus a small service charge and are available online at bit.ly/3sir94Z.