Photography by Greg Autry*
Disney’s NEWSIES The Musical is now playing weekends at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose, California. I was blown away by this Regional Production with some amazing young talent on stage, including Lindsey Anderson and Sean Okuniewicz, as the two leads.
NEWSIES takes us back to the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. Jack Kelly (Sean), the charismatic leader of a ragtag band of paperboys, dreams of a life far from the hardship of the streets. But when ruthless publishing titans raise prices at the boys’ expense, Jack rallies NEWSIES from across the city to strike, take a stand, and fight.
I fell in love with musical theater starting with Chorus Line which I saw at the Shubert Theater in Los Angeles. Since then I’ve been to shows on Broadway in New York City, at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and many others in Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Disney previously produced NEWSIES as a film, and again as a Broadway Musical, opening at the Nederlander Theater in 2012. So to be perfectly honest when I moved to San Jose, I thought at least I’d have access to theater in San Francisco.
Never did I expect to find in my own backyard, a theater with the quality of production and talent as I found here, and experienced with NEWSIES. I apologize herewith for my shortsightedness. On Broadway, NEWSIES won the Tony Award for Best Original Score, with songs like “Santa Fe,” “Seize the Day” and “King of New York.”
Of course the incredible music we owe thanks to Alan Menken and Jack Feldman (Lyrics.) With songs like “Santa Fe,” “Seize the Day” and “King of New York.” This production is directed by CMT Artistic Director Kevin Hauge, with choreography by Scott Shedenhelm, and vocal direction by Linda Middlebusher. I also want to acknowledge Kimberly Powers for the great set design and Jeffery Small for the superb lighting.
Ryder Kole Emerson (Crutchie) teamed with Sean Okuniewicz (Jack Kelly) to blow the doors off the opening number, `Santa Fe.’ Lindsey Anderson (Katherine Plumber), in my favorite number, wowed the audience with her amazing solo of Seize the Day.
Lindsey is a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, and NEWSIES is her Marquee debut. See her now, or miss out, because Lindsey will be cruising throughout Europe most of 2018.
Sean Okuniewicz is actually from San Jose and has appeared in many regional companies throughout the Bay area. Sean also records, and has a new single on Spotify, “Weekend.” I predict big things for both Sean and Lindsey. No doubt Broadway will be calling !
And now for the “Kicker,” so-to-speak: NEWSIES is a production of, CMT San Jose Marquee Productions. As in, `Childrens Musical Theater’, this years celebrating its 50th Anniversary, here in San Jose. My vision of what “children’s theater” is, has been forever altered.
CMT is proud of its history, offering the strongest arts education program in the Bay area. They have a fifty year tradition of casting every child who auditions, regardless of physical or financial limitations.
CMT remains committed to train and educate today’s youth through musical theater, to set and achieve high artistic and personal goals, and to inspire them to become exemplary artists, patrons and citizens of tomorrow. Inclusiveness and quality are the two touchstones of CMT’s vision. CMT is dedicated to providing the highest possible caliber of musical and theatrical training to children from ages 4 to 20, spanning all abilities and stands behind its promise never turn a child away, regardless of financial or physical limitations.
I salute CMT and will myself, be supporting this amazing group here in San Jose. I invite my readers, who can, to contribute, and for those of you traveling to the Bay area, do not miss a show by CMT here in San Jose.
There are eleven productions on schedule this season, with some of the upcoming shows including Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, and the Wiz. There will be a special 50th Anniversay Gala on Februsary 3, 2018. Please go to the websites for more information about tickets and supporting CMT. NEWSIES runs through December 10, 2017. For tickets and more information, go to the newsies website
I am looking forward to many more enjoyable evening at the Theater, with CMT, in San Jose. Thanks for a great first experience. See more pictures from Newsies at GregAutryPhoto on Facebook.
CMT San Jose Marquee Productions Presents
Disney’s NEWSIES The Musical
December 1-10, 2017
Montgomery Theater San Jose, 271 S. Market St.
*All Images ©2017GregAutry ALLRIGHTS RESERVED