Bellarmine College Preparatory Theatre Arts presents Disney’s Newsies, the hit Broadway musical about the Newsboys Strike of 1899, when child labor unionized to demand fairer treatment from the likes of publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Based on the Disney film, the production features songs by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty & the Beast) and Tony-winner Jack Feldman.
Disney’s Newsies is the 30th show directed by Peter Canavese, 23 of which have been Bellarmine productions. An alumnus of Bellarmine and Santa Clara University, Canavese is now in his 22nd year of directing at Bellarmine. “I see Newsies as the heir to West Side Story because it’s a very athletic, dance-intensive show and because New York City is so deeply imprinted on its DNA as the show’s proud setting and birthplace,” noted Canavese. “We have a terrific choreographer in Pauline Locsin-Kanter (whose impressive dance credits include Promises, Promises, A Chorus Line, and work on the Disney animated feature Mulan) and a great vocal director in Gina Adams (whose previous vocal direction of Bellarmine productions include The Who’s Tommy, Shrek The Musical, and Spamalot). All three of us have had designs on this particular show for years. The rights just became available, so we were ready at our earliest opportunity to ‘seize the day’ and ‘carry the banner,’” added Canavese, referencing two songs from Disney’s Newsies.
In addition to Bellarmine students, featuring junior JP Micallef in the lead male role of Jack Kelly, the cast of 32 performers includes several female students from Presentation, Notre Dame, and Los Gatos high schools; a home school student; and sixth grader Donovan Cozort from St. Lucy School. The design team and crew of 40 includes Gregg Carlson, technical director; Maren Alessandri Lane, lighting director/designer; Ryan Stohs, orchestra director; Kathleen O’Brien, costume designer; and Tristan Foster, stage manager.
Disney’s Newsies is presented March 6, 7, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m. All performances occur in the Main Stage Theatre of the Sobrato Center for Humanities and the Arts on the Bellarmine campus, 960 West Hedding Street, San Jose. Attendees are asked to please park on campus and to bring a can of food, which will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Tickets are available online at: www.bcp.org.