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The World Will Know!
August 20, 2012 3:10 PM   Subscribe

There's kids farmed through juvenile detention centers for profit, oppressive corporate barons, and young people striking and occupying New York City to protest social injustice. The corporate overlords try to use the NYPD and private goons to break up the movement, but they can't stop the Tony-winning choreography. Wait, what? Newsies is a record breaking Disney musical based on the flop-turned-cult favorite 1992 film starring a young Christian Bale.

Very loosely based on the Newsboys Strike of 1899, the musical's timing has made it easy to make comparisons to the Occupy movement. But are the parallels only skin-deep? And in the end, the musical is being produced by one of the biggest corporate empires in the world, with ticket prices to match.

And now back to the dancing!

Clips from the musical:
"Once And For All"/"Seize the Day" at the Tonys (previously linked)
"Seize the Day"/"Santa Fe" on Good Morning America
"Seize the Day"/"Santa Fe" on The View

The World Will Know from the Original Broadway Soundtrack.
posted by kmz (32 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Obligatory: Nostalgia Chick on The Newsies
posted by Theta States at 3:19 PM on August 20, 2012


Thanks for the link to the Newsboys Strike of 1899; I had never heard of it. Funny how the labor movement gets glossed over public school, isn't it?
posted by entropicamericana at 3:20 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have adored that movie since I was a kid. And then in high school, we did a show based on the music in marching band my senior year and I came to appreciate that the music was actually really really good. I had totally missed that they had made a Broadway show out of it, and I can't wait to see it. In the meantime, thanks for the awesome links!
posted by hydropsyche at 4:00 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, your public school anyway. We studied sweatshop and mine movements, as well as Solidarty.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:01 PM on August 20, 2012


I am 34 years old and I LOVE the Newsies. I had the original movie on VHS. Now own it on DVD. Was stoked when I heard about the musical (though not thrilled with the changes. What? I'm a purist!). And almost every female within 4-5 years of my age also loves that movie. None of us must have been going to see it in theatres at the time, but we all saw it.

Oh, and Christian Bale? Not so much a dancer.
posted by aclevername at 4:06 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Step Up To The Man
posted by mannequito at 4:07 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bought this soundtrack on cassette.
posted by brina at 4:08 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and as a teenager my friend Rebecca and I used to constantly rewind and replay the pelvic thrust part of the choreography on Seize the Day. Except I guess I was the one who held the remote control.

For the record, it's all about Gabriel Damon (Brooklyn!), David Moscow (Kirk Cameron lookalike) and Bill Pullman, and NOT so much about Christian Bale, who in addition to not being a dancer is also not the best singer.
posted by brina at 4:11 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Was stoked when I heard about the musical (though not thrilled with the changes. What? I'm a purist!).

I have yet to see the stage musical, but I for one am kinda stoked about the news that one of the changes was replacing boring useless Sarah. And I say this as a 28-year-old Balehead who played her VHS copy until it fell apart.
posted by naoko at 4:14 PM on August 20, 2012


Ok, yes, Sarah can go, but I hope David's still in there. David was my favourite, and I'm too scared to go look and find out he's not there.
posted by aclevername at 4:17 PM on August 20, 2012


Obligatory: Nostalgia Chick on The Newsies

"Looks like someone has a case of the Not-Gays."

Oh God Bale's accent in this. Could we've had that instead of the Batman growl?
posted by The Whelk at 4:19 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the link to the Newsboys Strike of 1899; I had never heard of it. Funny how the labor movement gets glossed over public school, isn't it?

PSSST!!!

Good shit.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 4:22 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Newsies. Best movie musical ever. Other than 1776, obviously.

Will have to work up the courage to click on those links and see if they've destroyed my childhood the way George Lucas did.

(So glad I'm not the only David Moscow fangirl on MetaFilter. Not exactly surprised, mind you, but glad.)
posted by SMPA at 4:28 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


aclevername: Oh, and Christian Bale? Not so much a dancer.

Robert Sean Leonard begs to differ (Batman and Dr. Wilson start their dancin' at 7:20)
posted by tzikeh at 4:32 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was one of the 37 people who actually saw "Newsies" in a movie theater in 1992. It was solidly entertaining and mildly thought-provoking and I never expected it to be more than a footnote in the careers of a couple Disney executives. A nice little reminder that not everything has gotten shallower and stupider in the last 20 years.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:37 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw man. I love Newsies, I do, and wow those dance numbers in the Broadway show were really absolutely incredible. They make it worth going to see it just for that. That set, in particular, will knock you off your socks.

But gosh, I don't know how exactly to say this without spoilers, but -- the plot changes in the musical version? IMO they make the story a lot more tame in terms of its organizing clout, and I think they really Mickey-Mouse the whole thing, which I found to be _really_ disappointing. I actually suspect the plot changes (not all of them! but some of them, for sure) may have been a deliberate attempt to de-politicize the piece, or at least make it less of a threat/more cute. Could be just paranoia, but it left a really sour taste in my mouth.

To be fair, it is surprising that Disney came out with something so progressive in the first place, so maybe should be surprising that they scrubbed it, in my opinion, but still. I find the Occupy comparisons, given that, to be a little off the mark. (Although I wish!)
posted by likeatoaster at 4:43 PM on August 20, 2012


And by musical version, I clearly mean the Broadway version. (I am aware that the movie was also a musical).
posted by likeatoaster at 4:54 PM on August 20, 2012


Newsies!-Max Casella! Doogie's best buddy, Max Casella!
posted by atomicstone at 5:05 PM on August 20, 2012


I came here to say what atomicstone said -- Vinnie!

But I'll add, there's an awful lot of police brutality in that movie. Watched it recently, and it's surprisingly a lot worse than I remembered. Maybe it just related more nowadays..
posted by inigo2 at 5:16 PM on August 20, 2012


Pulled out the DVD and I'm watching it right now. The choreography was actually pretty good in the original.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:41 PM on August 20, 2012


but I hope David's still in there

David's still there. I'm kind of a purist too, but I saw the musical in May, and it was fantastic, even with the changes. The dancing was fantastic (though I am also a big SYTYCD fan, and four of the guys from that show were in the cast at the time. Alex Wong has since left, but the dancing's probably still fantastic.)
posted by carolinecrane at 6:14 PM on August 20, 2012


"You say something bad about 'Newsies' and you have an awful lot of people to answer to." - Christian Bale, 1997
posted by John Shaft at 6:48 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


The film Newsies was directed by Kenny Ortega, who on that project was a first-time director. He had previously worked as a choreographer working with the likes of Menudo and Madonna, as well as working on the movie Xanadu. His best known choreography may possibly be seen in Dirty Dancing. He later went on to direct the rather interesting Hocus Pocus (well, I thought it was interesting, anyway), and did the choreography for To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. Most recently he did the three High School Musical movies and was working with Michael Jackson on his This Is It concerts.

Frankly, I think Kenny Ortega is a name to keep an eye on.
posted by hippybear at 7:34 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, there's a new musical out. I was going to say... are there people who don't know Newsies? On Metafilter? It just seemed so unlikely...
posted by maryr at 8:28 PM on August 20, 2012


The 92Y in TriBeCa did a screening a few years back- a singalong, no less. A few of us Mefites went, dressed in our finest caps. And I brought paps to throw around during the fight scene. We felt pretty fancy until we saw the group come in with silk-screened "Never Fear, Brooklyn is Here!" shirts.

Saw the show on Broadway for my birthday. It was fun- like the new songs, like the plot updates (implausible as they are), like the cast. Jeremy Jordan is swoon-worthy and I like that kept Spor Conlon little. It felt a little too squeaky clean, but eh, you can't have it all.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:02 PM on August 20, 2012


Yeah, hippybear, I think he officially broke big with High School Musical. Ten-year-olds know who Kenny Ortega is.

" And almost every female within 4-5 years of my age also loves that movie."

REPRESENT!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:04 PM on August 20, 2012


Oh, there's a new musical out. I was going to say... are there people who don't know Newsies? On Metafilter? It just seemed so unlikely...

This came out when I was 2 years old. We're not all old. :)

/meow
posted by MattMangels at 9:48 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hocus Pocus (well, I thought it was interesting, anyway)

Dougie actually gets to talk in that movie! For that alone it is good.

Also Nostalgia Chick on Hocus Pocus

" Virgins! Why do we even have them?!"
posted by The Whelk at 10:13 PM on August 20, 2012


I was one of the 37 people who actually saw "Newsies" in a movie theater in 1992.

Thought you looked familiar ...

I'm pretty sure I saw it in the theater at least twice, but it could have been more (which just goes to show how movie economics have changed - a bomb like that wouldn't last more than one or two weekends in the theaters these days). I loved it so damned much. I was old enough (13 maybe?) to know it was kinda cheesy, but it was 1. a musical 2. with cute boys 3. involved in political action, so it was pretty much the perfect movie for my nerdy, musical-theater-loving, political-geek self.

Actually, I'm still surprised this movie got made by a major studio, especially one like Disney. It has a really strong pro-union message, and it doesn't shy away from showing things like cops beating up kids at the behest of robber barons.

Incidentally, it occurred to me that Christian Bale is probably my longest-standing ongoing celebrity crush because of this movie (and don't forget Swing Kids, also musical, political and full of cute boys! Broadway, it would make a great stage musical!) I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that.

hydropsyche: I was in a community theater revue in high school where we did a rendition of "Carrying the Banner." I seriously think it may have been the highlight of my adolescent amateur theater career.
posted by lunasol at 11:07 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I also saw Newsies in the theater. There was some sort of Disney double-feature thing my mom had us involved in, where we would see the current Disney animated Summer blockbuster, followed by a new Disney live-action movie (we saw Angels in the Outfield this way, too).

I think my parents regretted letting us see this one, though: I and my three year old (at the time) sister LOVED that movie. We owned two copies of the soundtrack on cassette because we LITERALLY wore one out. We watched the VHS tape probably weekly. I haven't seen it in years, but I know my sister has found likeminded Newsies gals. I'll have to make sure she knows about the musical.
posted by sleeping bear at 12:10 AM on August 21, 2012


Totes had this on VHS; regular feature for girly sleepovers till I was in high school, I think. I was so into David Moscow (which was simply a continuation of my girl crush from Big), Christian Bale not so much. Also Aaron Lohr (Mighty Ducks FTW) was super cute. Yeah, basically this was prepubescent fantasy material.
posted by catch as catch can at 2:22 AM on August 21, 2012


"Carrying the Banner" (THROUGH IT AAAAAAALLLL) is basically the perfect crowd song, there I said it. As a kid I watched Newsies soooo many times in school, because teachers could show movies if they had "educational value" and Newsieshad history! + singing! so it was a choir class staple. (As was Footloose but not 1776, WTF?)

Chalk me up as one who did tween-crush on Christian Bale / Jack and his amazingly silly bandanna, though I completely did not recognize him later seeing Equilibrium etc. And even at the time I had the narrowed eyes of skepticism at the "bromance cemented by dude conveniently hooking up last-minute with other dude's sister." Uh-huh. Of course you have Newsies slash, Internet. Of course you do.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:38 AM on August 21, 2012


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