Thumbs up for M-A’s production of Newsies

by Jayna Chua on March 22, 2023

M-A Drama’s Newsies, a Disney broadway musical based on the Newsboys Strike of 1899 opened at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center last weekend. An inspiring example of youth creating change, Newsies is a journey to the past brought alive by M-A’s stellar actors.

Newsies follows newspaper boy Jack Kelly (junior Carson Sanie) as he fights for fair newspaper prices. Jack and his friends Crutchie (sophomore Ben Siegel), Davey (freshman Kealy Bryman), and other newsboys form a union to protest against Joseph Pulitzer (senior Jackson Bryman), the greedy newspaper publisher and founder of The New York World. Reporter Katherine Plumber (senior Ryann Barnes) helps the ragtag group and grows closer to Jack, but is also hiding a secret about her true identity. Others appearing are Margaret Donald as Medda Larkin, Zachary Quintana as Governor Roosevelt and Ella Thomson as Les.

The production has amazing dance numbers with tap and actual Broadway choreography, beautiful set design, and talented singers and actors. With the help of the stage crew, scene transitions were seamless and professional. Sanie said, “I love the songs so much. The energy is great and it’s been my dream musical since I was in middle school.”

Even kids from Laurel Elementary School are included in the show as young newsboys (pictured above)!

Newsies is full of light-hearted and witty scenes for all ages, but it also tackles sophisticated topics concerning workers’ rights and child labor. Senior Sunaina Tadakamalla, who plays Seitz, said, “It’s a great demonstration of rebellion against power, and I appreciate that.”

Everyone in the cast worked hard to prepare the show in just eight weeks. Kealy Bryman said, “I just love how everyone contributes a little bit. It’s very collaborative. Everyone should 100 percent watch it.”

Performances continue this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 5:00 pm. Interested viewers can buy tickets online or at the door.

Jayna Chua is a M-A senior, and it is her first year as a writer for the M-A Chronicle, where this article first appeared She enjoys writing articles about local events and the arts. Outside of journalism, she plays piano and cello and is a Life Scout in BSA.

Top photo of cast by John Donald; photo of Laurel School performers by Jayna Chua

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