December 2017

STOP THE PRESSES! It’s Newsies at the Arts Center!

Author: Andrea Gannon | Photographer: TR Media World

It’s the holiday season, and with it comes an Arts Center show that pulls out all the stops; once again, this one’s sure to be a family-favorite smash hit! It’s Disney’s Newsies, with songs by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, lyricist Jack Feldman, and book by Harvey Fierstein, which became a resounding hit and cultural phenomenon after landing on Broadway in 2012, earning eight Tony nods, two wins, and running more than two years.

And now Newsies is being produced by the Arts Center for the Carolinas’ premiere, running December 6-31, just in time to celebrate and cheer with friends and family gathered for the holidays.

For those unfamiliar with the story, it takes place at the turn of the century (1800s to 1900s) in New York City. The newspaper moguls saw their circulation dwindling, so to raise their own profits, they opted to make the “newsies” (the young lads who walked the streets hawking the papers) pay a little more. The way it worked, the newsies bought the papers and sold them, keeping the profit or taking the loss on those left unsold. By charging them more, the papers were more profitable, and since the kids had no alternative, they were caught between a rock and a hard place. The publishers had the power, but the youngsters had their dreams, and, yes, the Dickensian theme is no accident.

Set to an award-winning score of unforgettable songs, the story is about these newsies, who knew the streets and had the moxie to work them, combined with the help of their natural charismatic leader, one Jack Kelly (played by triple-threat Tim Quartier), who helps the others organize what becomes a “union.” The result involves high-flying dancing in the process, tumbling to tap, and everything in between. In addition to the acrobatic, energetic dance, Newsies has pure heart, a sprinkling of romance, and of course Disney magic.

“The dancing and music are completely infectious,” said director Mark Martino, back at the Arts Center again this holiday season. Choreography is by Drama Desk-nominee Shea Sullivan, who puts her own spin on original Tony Award-winning choreography of Christopher Gatelli, incorporating an athletic, virtuosic style of dance that will have audiences in awe. There’s no shortage of the show’s signature barrel jumps and pirouettes, sky-high splits and tap dancing, and a cast of talented dancers who make those moves soar.

“The show feels very modern, and—watching these amazing dancers, actors and singers—very inspiring. Everything about this show is special,” Martino said. “The cast of 23 is top-notch. Each one of them was our first choice, so needless to say, we have the cream of the crop!”

Along with Martino and Sullivan, the creative team includes musical direction by Helen Gregory, scenic design by Charles Kading, costume design by Jennifer Van Buskirk, lighting design by Brian Riley, and sound by Aaron Vockley.

Don’t miss this high-octane hit at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, perfect for the whole family! It’s a celebration of a show for the holidays that will make you want to get up and “seize the day!”

Tickets for preview performances December 6-7 are $49 for adults and $36 for children 5-15; tickets December 8-31 are $59 for adults and $46 for children (5-15). To purchase, call (843) 842-ARTS (2787) or visit artshhi.com.

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