The Newsies musical based on the 1992 motion picture is, sadly, anachronistic. It celebrates with no shortage of youthful energy an era when newspapers were not only relevant but they reigned, and labor unions were both championed and cheered. In the case of this likable show by Alan Menken (music), Jack Feldman (lyrics) and Harvey Fierstein (book), the time was 1899 and the inspiration a strike by New York City newsboys that made its own headlines.
Moonlight Stage Productions’ Newsies thrives on the emotional uplift of anthemic battle cries like “The World Will Know” and “Seize the Day,” and on whirling athletic dancing choreographed by Colleen Kollar Smith. Newsies’ love story is obligatory and its ballads rote, but the heart and conscience of the story are sincere. (Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 7/25/18.)
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.