Newsboy Strike of 1899 Brought Back to Life

Newsies is a musical about the newsboy strike of 1899 in New York City, based on the movie made in 1992. The musical was first performed September 25, 2011 with their upbeat dancing on newspapers. This cast is manly male actors because when the real newsboy strike happened only men could work. There is a love story between the main characters Jack Kelley, played by Jeremy Jordan and the news reporter Katherine Plummer, played by Kara Lindsay. According to the Daily News, it is “An exhilarating jolt of youthful energy has hit Broadway! Newsies is something to believe in!”

The story is of Jack Kelley, an orphan who just wants to get out of New York and get to Santa Fe. His work stops him by raising the price of the newspaper, so they have to sell twice as many copies to make same they already were. He gathers up the rest of the newsboys and strikes against their newspaper company which is owned by Joseph Pulitzer. It shows what hard work and putting your voice out there can do. This musical has heart and shows how important friendship is to Jack and his new friend Davey. They all have to stick together to show Pulitzer they can’t take away their pay when they were already barely making enough for themselves.

Most of the people who work for Pulitzer are kids who are either orphans or they are working for their families. In the time it was based, 1899, a lot of kids had to work because they needed the money. They did that instead of going to school and getting an education. Davey and his little brother, Les had to drop out of school to work in place of their dad. In New York, there are other newspaper companies, so Jack and Davey go and convince them to join the fight. They join the fight but only because their leader Spot decided it was worth it. They decided to do whatever it took to win the war for the little guys.

The movie and musical end completely different compared to how it did in real life. In the musical and movie it ended with everything going back normal, the newsies won the strike. In real life what happened was that the amount of money didn’t change but if they had paper that they didn’t sell at the end of the day they could exchange the papers for their money back.

Fox 5 News calls Newsies, “A steal your heart, put a smile on your face, cheer for the good guys musical!” Newsies is coming to the big screen in 2017 and they are filming the original cast dancing and singing their hearts out. The cast consists of Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelley, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Kara Lindsay as Katherine, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, Steve Blanchard as Joseph Pulitzer, and Aisha  de Haas. It’s coming to theaters near you in 2017, so go enjoy rooting for the little guys.


About the Author

Anna Fox
Anna is a 11th grader and it is her first year in journalism. She loves to act and sing in shows.