One of the things I like to do when I’m tired (like the past few days) is to listen to Newsies‘ “Seize the Day” on full blast. I love it because it’s such an empowering song about courage, unity, and standing up for one’s beliefs set amidst a booming score. So imagine my joy when it was announced that Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical are partnering to bring Newsies to Manila! It made me want to shout “strike!”
Newsies is loosely based on the real-life 1899 newsboy strike in New York City, where a group of young boys rallies to protest against the rising distribution rates put forth by publishing giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. It was adapted into a film in 1992 by Disney, starring Christian Bale. It was a flop, but it gained a cult following from “fansies,” who demanded a live stage adaptation. The clamor was so strong that Disney Theatrical Productions produced a musical in 2011. The musical was more successful, moving to Broadway the following year and getting eight Tony nominations, winning Best Score and Best Choreography.
Winning Best Choreography comes as no surprise as the musical is heavily influenced by dance. There’s jazz, tap, ballet, modern, and gymnastics, so it’s just breathtaking to watch.
To meet the physical demands of Newsies, Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical had to look for “triple threats” who can sing, dance, and act. The Philippines is filled with talented people so it didn’t take too long to find the perfect cast. To further train them, the cast had to go through Training Ground, a series of sessions where they had to undergo voice, dance, and acting lessons.
Leading the Manila run of Newsies is Gian Magdangal, a singer and actor who just got back from a stint in Hong Kong Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan. He will be joined by Jef Flores, Daniel Drilon, Tory Cortez, Luis Marcelo, Alex Diaz, Danielle Chopin, Greg Dulcie, Pinky Marquez, Raymund Concepcion, Franz Imperial, Ariel Reonal, Joni Galeste, Melissa Bell, Ian Ocampo, Ronelson Yadao, Erick Arenas, Jourdan Bartolome, Mark Anthony Grantos, Jim Ferrer, Chesko Rodriguez, Kendrick Ibasco, Anton Posadas, Stephen Viñas, Clark dela Riva, Jon Abella, MC dela Cruz, Vyen Villanueva, and Jan Mayo.
This production is a partnership between Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical, who previously produced the visual extravaganza that was A Christmas Carol. I’m happy to report that they are going to be bringing it back this Christmas to spread the holiday cheer. Robbie Guevara is also directing Newsies, with PJ Rebullida as choreographer, Franz Imperial as assistant director, and Daniel Bartolome as musical director.
Newsies will be staged at the Globe Iconic Store in the Bonifacio High Street Ampitheater, Bonifacio Global City on July 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, and 28-30, 2017 at 8PM. For tickets and information, visit the Globe website or contact Ticketworld at 891-9999. This story is in partnership with Globe and 9 Works Theatrical.