Last night my wife Kathy Brady-Murfin and I on one of our periodic Date Nights caught the production of the musical Newsies at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theater. As always this bastion of middlebrow theater catering to a rather senior suburban base—that’s us in spades—did a spectacular job with an attractive cast of talented Actors Equity professionals. This dance heavy show also offered a rare opportunity for a large ensemble of male dancer to take center stage and shine in in muscular, athletic, and ballet heavy choreography.
The leads were charming—Patrick Rooney channeled the brash cockiness of an Irish slum product a la young James Cagney, Eliza Palasz embodied the spunky independence with a dollop on naiveté of Judy Garland, and for our performance blonde Carter Graff conjured pre-teen Mickey Rooney. It was probably no accident. The reliance on these architypes if not stereotypes helped open up the story and make it accessible to an audience likely largely alien to both turn of the 20th Century slum poverty and a class conscious labor movement.
|Before the show Kathy snapped Mr. First Nighter in all his suave sophistication in front of the convenient photo-op display in the lobby.|